- Republicans For Obama! At least, they like his website.
- Dissecting an NRCC site: Mike Turk and Blog P.I. wield the scalpels.
- Enough of this Web 2.0 crap: Email marketing still works, and Getting Attention points to the best email campaigns of recent months.
- Blogger Fired After Edwards Comments. Guess what: right after someone finds out they have cancer is not the best time to be a dick.
- Heckuva Job, Mappie: Google Disappears Post-Katrina Map Pix. Google Maps channels the Wayback Machine and restores Gulf Coast to pre-Katrina condition. Next up: Google Polling to freeze Bush popularity numbers as of April, 2003.
- India as a Sign of Politics to Come to the US. Goin’ mobile!
- But apparently not .mobi, as only five million U.S. citizens actually use cell phones to access the web. Via Micropersuasion.
- Hillary 1984 ad creator turns to his favorite medium to tell his own story. Via The Fix.
- Silly rabbit, video is for attack, not defense (particularly when it’s “creatively” edited).
- Some video wars are real, not metaphorical. “A YouTube channel dedicated to showing you the realities of what it means to be a part of the Multi-National Force in Iraq.”
- One hit too many: Karl Rove, the musical (dig the human beatbox).
Archive for March, 2007
Clearly recognizing the rising potential of online political organizing as a powerful new source of our most precious resource in the War on Terror (satire), The Daily Show tried to poach turf from e.politics the other night by taking a close look at the defacement of John Edwards’ Second Life headquarters (virtual poo!) and at McCain’s MySpace mangling. I’m watching you, Stewart — keep muscling in on our ground and pretty soon you’ll have a bunch of obscure online politics bloggers UP IN YOUR FACE! We’ll trackback your ASS, muthaf*ckah! (Via TechCrunch).
Guest article! My Burning Sensation colleague Dr. John T. Elliott (Ph.D.) noticed this morning that the Department of Homeland Security is considering setting up a Second Life office, following the lead of a number of companies, political campaigns, nonprofits and governmental agencies. Not satisfied with just sending the link, he decided to write up his version of a e.politics post…and I’m runnin’ it as-is, baby! Parody is the highest form of…
dissecting the craft of being an online journalist and gettin’ the ladies
blah, blah, blah
Hot Topic! Homeland Security Advisory Level is Severe…
That is, DHS is -severely- considering a presence in the Second Life community. Hey kids, don’t go dressing up as your favorite terrorist Sim while wandering the halls of your favorite Second Life store front. For all you know, you’re in the Department of Homeland Security. DHS, recognizing the increasing presence of introverts and anarchists in virtual reality, is considering setting up an office where they can add the most “value” to a Second Life street. The 3 million registered users…. blah, blah, blah.
Hey John, what’s the difference between scientists and normal people? Find out here. Bzzzzzt!
A couple of days ago, one of the folks behind a new site called Politickr wrote in to let me know a bit more about what they’re up to. Politickr turns out to be one of the few political sites I’ve seen that’s really using technology in a creative way to illuminate some part of the ’08 campaign — they’re using RSS feeds and semantic analysis to show the presidential candidates’ recent blog posts side-by-side and to map the ideas on which each blog is focusing.
Glancing at the site today, for instance, we can see that Brownback’s taking a quick smack at Romney (nyah nyah, you’re not as conservative as me), Rudy’s touting his supply-side credentials, Obama’s talking about “substance” and Biden wouldn’t mind if we voted for him. It’s a quite easy way to see each campaign’s theme of the day (Kucinich’s seems to be, “look at me! I use Flickr!”) and to compare and contrast communications strategies.
My favorite part of Politickr is the visual representation of what the campaign blogs are covering — click on the tag clouds link and you’ll get a visual/conceptual map of each site’s recent topics. It’s a classic concept cloud approach, with more-represented subjects being shown in a larger and heavier font, and it makes it super-easy to see each site’s emphasis. For instance, “Iraq” tends to loom large on the Dem sites but is rather missing from on the Repub side. Some terms are a bit obscure (what is “myleftnutmeg” and why does Chris Dodd care about it?), but you can click on each to see a recent post in which it appears (ah, it’s the name of a blog on which he guest-posted). Very cool concept, nicely done — one of the few truly innovative applications of technology to politics I’ve seen in a while.
- Welcome to the neighborhood, Politico! “In its early days the Politico is demonstrating the same coziness with power and pack reporting mentality that’s sadly been the hallmark of old media.”
- Huffington journalism professor = mass citizen-news project. Everyday people covering the campaigns? Clearly they can’t do worse than the pros. Via Beltway Blogroll.
- They’ll have competion, though, as The Onion launches a video news network. Finally, someone with the balls to uncover REAL stories the mainstream media won’t touch.
- Edwards’ Fundraising Jumps. Supporters’ wallets follow their hearts.
- Silicon Valley to Hillary: You’re all old and stuff.
- Hey, This Rudy Giuliani Site Isn’t Half Bad. If only the same could be said for his electoral prospects (please people, let’s get serious here — this IS still the Republican Party).
- Liberal in their interpretation of the rules, if nothing else: Are Ron Paul Supporters Gaming Digg?
- Pentagon invites bloggers to Iraq. Apparently part of a cunning plan to bore insurgency to death.
- Search the mobile web on Google. But beware the old walk-and-search routine — multitasking can kill you.
- For Marketers Social Media Soars, Mobile and Gaming Lag. Via MarketingVOX.
- Fans bake Jason Z. a digital cake for his two-year DIA anniversary. Awwwwwwwwwwwww… (I’ll take extra icing on my piece).
- Emaily Post Strikes Back. Some straightforward guidance for giving good email — white gloves no longer required.
- One last turn of the screw (up) — Microsoft Accidentally Sends Secret File On Journalist, To That Journalist. Oops. Place your bets: who’ll be the first presidential campaign press agent to do the same?
Though U.S. presidential campaigns’ use of YouTube has gotten plenty of attention lately, advocacy campaigns aren’t being left out of the online video revolution. An article in the new blog Together We Can Make a Difference finds 2,030 videos tagged on YouTube as “non-profit” (an increase from 76 in August) and also collects examples of advocacy videos from around the world. For instance, as reported in MIT’s Technology Review,
A left-wing group whose street protests over the unsolved murders of activists have been blocked by Philippine police has turned instead to the Internet to spread its message…[the] large left-wing group, Bayan, has created its own channel on Google’s popular YouTube video-sharing site to post videos of slain activists and violent dispersals of street protests.
In a nice piece of investigative journalism, techPresident’s Josh Levy looked yesterday at Barak Obama’s YouTube viewer statistics and wondered if something didn’t quite add up: the candidate’s YouChoose channel has been viewed 35 times more than arch-enemy Hillary Clinton’s, but it looks as though the YouTube stats might be counting a lot of ghost runners as real people.
Something definitely SEEMS a little funny: for starters, there’s an odd disparity between the number of views of Obama’s channel (high) and the number of views of actual individual videos (significantly lower). Also, Josh credits techPresident reader Robert Ruszkowski with noticing that the number of channel subscribers hasn’t risen in line with the increase in channel views. So, either the same subscribers keep coming back to the channel page without watching videos very often (not typical behavior), or something’s fishy.
John McCain’s MySpace page took an unexpected lurch to the left today, and TechCrunch has the details. The lesson — don’t annoy a guy who can wreck your online presence…in this case someone who has control over your site’s appearance because you’ve been “borrowing” images hosted on his server. Nice choice of improvements, too:
Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage…particularly marriage between two passionate females.
Now THERE’S a brave and sensible policy, um, position. Thanks to my friend Seth Horstmeyer for tipping me off. Update: the culprit comes clean.
Interesting news in my inbox this morning — Yahoo is launching an ad network targeted at users of the mobile web (read coverage via MarketingVOX and the New York Times). A way for campaigns to snare new supporters and their cell phone numbers? From MarketingVOX:
Yahoo’s mobile ad network will focus on publishers and advertisers, groups essential to the success of the mobile internet. By summer, Yahoo will begin delivering text, display and video advertising on third-party mobile websites, according to Steve Boom, Yahoo SVP for broadband and mobile.
Hmmmm, I wonder which presidential campaign will try it first? Will big advocacy campaigns find this to be a useful tool for snagging supporters, younger ones in particular? What’ll work best, simple text ads, display or video? (My guess is text, with video more useful as an “educational” tool, but somebody try it and let’s find out).
Completing the email activism trifecta of the last couple of days, Julia Rosen writes in with a brutal critique of a recent series of advocacy/fundraising messages sent to the old Phil Angelides list, which his campaign built while being crushed by Ah-nold in California this past Fall. How did they err? Let us count the ways:
The ask was dumb, the execution horrible and the response tepid. It was painful to watch, knowing that Phil was ruining a valuable list of California activists.
Ouch! Time to learn from someone else’s mistakes, kids — glad they weren’t mine this time.
Want to know how your organization/campaign matches up to the other guys, at least as far as email list performance goes? M&R Strategic Services’ Eve Fox writes in with the company’s summary and comparison of three recent email list benchmarking studies. Some findings? Bigger lists work better, overall online fundraising is on the rise, and rapid response pays off. Also, online donors tend to be younger and to earn more money than direct-mail donors. A summary quote from the report:
The three recent benchmarks studies capture online program metrics from a variety of nonprofits that focus on a multitude of issue areas. Though the data differs (sic) somewhat among the studies, one point is perfectly clear: the Internet is the place for nonprofits to invest!
You can make those “investment” checks out to Colin Delany, c/o epolitics.com. Large-denomination unmarked bills are also welcome.
Next, Beaconfire Consulting takes a look at one of the oldest forms of online community, the email list/email group. The company spent months monitoring 64 environmental discussion groups and figuring out what makes them tick, and they’ve put together a list of seven secrets to list success along with an analysis of list dynamics. One interesting conclusion that Beaconfire’s Eric Eckl points out in an email:
Of particular note for nonprofit organizations, concerned citizens formed many of these groups on their own initiative without any assistance or participation from a formal organization, and participants on most of these lists pay little attention to the activities of the national environmental groups. Those national organizations that figure out how to overcome this gap and successfully engage with these outspoken citizens stand to reap some big rewards.
So, you ever thought you had something pretty well figured out, only to have it turn around and bite you in the butt with very sharp teeth?
That happened to me last Friday, when I sent out the approximately one billionth email action alert I’ve had the privilege to distribute to an activist list, in this case for NET. What went wrong? Well, historically we’ve presented our activists (about 17,000 — a relatively small list) with a pre-written message in our grassroots action system, so that all they have to do is push a button to attach their name to it and send it to the relevant decision-maker(s). Of course, we’ve encouraged our folks to re-write the message in their own words, but almost nobody does (fewer than 10% of people do, according to vendors I’ve spoken with before).