Archive for December, 2006

Will a Coming Explosion of Widgets Catch Campaigns Unawares?

Brian Braiker in Newsweek is suggesting that 2007 may be the Year of the Widget, a time in which web users start to customize their online experience to an unprecedented extent. Some marketing folks, most notably Steve Rubel (who gets a nice shout-out in the Newsweek article), have been talking up the potential of widgets for some time as well as looking at the dangers for companies and organizations who ignore them.
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Add comment December 28th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Campaign 2006 Online — Four Insiders’ Views

On December 1st, the New Organizing Institute and the Center for American Progress hosted a discussion among four participants in campaign 2006: Benjamin Rahn from ActBlue, Megan Matson from Mainstreet Moms Organize or Bust (a grassroots group), Tom Matzzie from MoveOn and Jessica Vanden Berg, Jim Webb’s campaign manager. Shortly after the event, I wrote up Jessica Vanden Berg’s take on how the campaign spread the Macaca story, but the participants covered a lot of topics of value to anyone doing online politics. Let’s look at the discussion point-by-point, with my comments in [brackets].

Online Fundraising

As would make sense when you’re dealing with political professionals, much of the talk focused on fundraising. The consensus: online fundraising rates are going up, with the Webb campaign receiving almost half of its funds through the Internet as a good example. Fundraising pros are even switching high-dollar donors online, often walking them through the process over the phone, which both guarantees that the donation will actually be made and also cuts back on the administrative work needed to process checks. Some additional observations:
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1 comment December 27th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

More from RootsCamp: Expanding on Warner Campaign Lessons

Writing in Personal Democracy Forum last week, Jerome Armstrong discussed a number of lessons he learned from leading the online arm of Mark Warner’s (once and possibly future?) presidential campaign operation. He raised several good points, from the power of organizing local blog networks to the fragmentation of online media into many niches to the need to combine data that has often been hidden in silos.

Reading his article inspired me to go back to my notes from a similar presentation he participated in at RootsCampDC back on December 2nd, along with several other members of Warner’s web team (see the photo in the PDF article to see who took part). The group brought up a bunch of interesting observations, not all of which made it into Jerome’s article.

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Add comment December 24th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

You Kids Must Be Bored

So, e.politics had a sizable bump-up in traffic yesterday, both compared with the day before and with a normal Saturday. Everybody must be trapped somewhere for the holidays, already tired of Uncle Bob’s stories and the squalling of that lovely new cousin. I’m worn out from chasing adorable nieces around the house (apparently, I make an excellent scary monster — perhaps a career change is in order), but I’ll see if I can’t crank out a couple of articles that have been simmering for the last few weeks to do my part to give you an excuse to hog the family computer. My chance to help you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa or a Kickass Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday Pageant.

cpd

1 comment December 24th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Quick Hits — December 20, 2006

I’m-trapped-in-East-Texas-for-a-week edition.

cpd

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Outstanding Advocacy Websites

Last week, I sent an innocent messsage out to the Progressive Exchange email list, asking folks to send along examples of good advocacy sites to help with a presentation I was finishing. The response was overwhelming, with people suggesting a good three dozen excellent sites and organizations. I’ve pulled the list together as a resource for all y’all, roughly dividing it between organizations that generally “get it” and the specific campaign sites. I’d hoped to write them up individually, but the pre-holiday frenzy has precluded it. The sites are roughly in the order that they were suggested. Thanks to Tim Walker, Susan Finkelpearl, Royelen Lee Boykie, Jed Miller, Farra Trompeter, Brian Sant, Paul Fraley, DJ Francis, Brian Komar, Heather Gardner-Madras, Rochelle Robinson and Liz Butler for passing these along. Want to suggest more? Leave them in the comments below.

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6 comments December 19th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Best Political Moments of the Year: Three out of Five Ain’t Bad

Slate’s John Dickerson has written up his five best political moments of 2006 and the Internets are involved in three of them. Fickle blogs build up and then undercut Ned Lamont, Foley’s IM’s bring ruin upon his House, and George Allen finds himself in a deep pile of macaca. The two events for which our beloved series of tubes can claim no credit? Cheney’s itchy trigger finger and Rumsfeld’s fall from grace. Next year…

cpd

Add comment December 19th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Yay! Yet Another Way to Spam Congress

Update: A couple of readers have written in to say that I misunderstood how this one works or at least missed some significant features — wouldn’t be the first time. See below.

The folks behind a dead anti-spam service called Blue Frog have decided to adapt their technology as an advocacy tool, which they’re calling Collactive (get it?). As Ryan Singel reports in Wired News, Blue Frog was based on a model that was similar to a distributed denial-of-service attack — once the system identified a site as a spammer, it coordinated mass hits from Blue Frog subscribers’ machines to the offending company’s server to shut it down. Ultimately, Blue Frog itself fell victim to a Russian spammer’s DDOS attack (at least the retaliation didn’t involve polonium).
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2 comments December 18th, 2006 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Quick Hits — December 18, 2006

Extra-long weekend catch-up edition.

cpd

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