Archive for April 19th, 2007

Making Your Supporters Part of the Story: Learning from Minnesota Public Radio

[Cross-posted on the Covering Politics in Cyberspace blog.]

More from sprawling depths of Los Angeles — in a lunchtime presentation at the Knight New Media Center online politics seminar, Michael Skoler of Minnesota Public Radio gave a glimpse of an promising approach to integrating social media and traditional media to broaden a news outlet’s coverage. It’s potentially a good model for organizations or campaigns planning to use supporters to help tell their stories and to support their messages. Plus, they have some neat games you can play — for instance, why not build your own fantasy Minnesota Legislature (what more could we want from life?).

MPR’s Public Insight Journalism project builds a partnership with public radio listeners by bringing them in as both cited journalistic sources and as a channel for finding under-reported stories. MPR has created a network of over 40,000 people who have volunteered to help with stories and regularly contacts individual members or groups of members if their expertise might be useful.

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Money Web: See Who’s Contributing to the Presidential Candidates, Social Network-Style

Internet/politics legend Mike Cornfield, who’s also here in LA for the Knight New Media Center seminar on Covering Politics in Cyberspace, just shot me a link to a groovy new application from OpenSecrets.org — it’s a browsable, graphical representation of who’s giving money to which presidential candidates. In a classic network-analysis format, it represents candidates and donors with circles and connections as lines. It’s also a Flash application with lots of nifty interaction: for instance, click on a candidate, then click on a big donor or on a category of donor, and up jumps the web of THE DONOR’S political links, along with the amounts they’ve contributed to each candidate (hmmmmm, Goldman Sachs LOVES Obama and Romney — a winning cross-party ticket if I ever heard of one — but doesn’t have quite as much juice for Hillary, Edwards and Dodd). Here’s a snapshot of a sample page; go dig around and see what you can find.
Money Web campaign contributions database

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Good Lessons on Damage Control from Google

Steve Rubel recently pointed to an article from Google’s “Consumer Packaged Goods” blog (a niche most of don’t contemplate regularly) that covers the question of damage control in a crisis, a situation that absolutely never ([cough] Macaca [cough]) arises in the political world. The article is aimed at companies trying to recover from a product recall or similar brand-disaster, but campaigns can learn from it as well. The author’s observations:
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