Archive for November 2nd, 2006

Microtargeting, Turnout Frenzy and the Last Days of Campaign 2006

We’re almost there — months of plans, experiments, strategy and sweat come down to one final day. And of course, that one day comes down to turnout — who’s actually going to show up at the polls? Let’s imagine what’s going to happen between now and Tuesday.

The advertising frenzy will be obvious to anyone with a television in a competitive district, but less apparent will be the database-driven work behind the scenes. The time to build lists is over; now let’s see how well they work. Last-minute direct mail pieces will shower mailboxes, robo-calls will assault ears and answering machines, and volunteers will groan under the weight of neighborhood walk-lists and call-lists. Moveon.org alone is trying to use online tools to organize 1,000,000 calls to potential voters before the election.

The media has really begun to notice the role of political databases — just Google the word “microtargeting” and see how many recent articles show up. Will the much-vaunted Voter Vault be enough to overcome Republican voters’ lower enthusiasm this year? Have the Dems learned enough to blunt the power of the 72-Hour Project? Political news stories are going to come fast and furious over the next few days, so pass along anything you see that’s enlightening.

cpd

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CDC Using Second Life for Health Education

Nedra Kline Weinreich has a fascinating article about how the Centers for Disease Control is exploring Second Life as they look at ways social media can be used to promote public health. She interviews CDC Second Life representative John Anderton at length about why and how the agency decided to establish an SL presence and how he’s been received in the online community. The parallels to advocacy and issue education are obvious, and more and more groups will probably be setting up a presence in this virtual world. The trick, as always, will be in converting online interest into real-world action. Via Micropersuasion, and well worth a read.

cpd

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Ten Commandments of MySpace Advocacy

M&R Strategic Services has pulled together a nice list of tips for using MySpace (and by extension, other social networking sites) for political advocacy and has published it as a PDF. My favorite: “Be prepared to lose control,” always good advice in a new media environment (or when planning a night out). Other suggestions describe how to build up “friends” by tapping your existing email list, the importance of using your most viral content and how to convert MySpace contacts into long-term advocates. For more advice, see the e.politics section on social networking and social media.

cpd

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