Archive for July 29th, 2007

MoveOn Launches Radio Ad Contest

Ad contests have become a bit passé of late, but MoveOn’s recent solicitation of scripts for radio ads stands out as a good example of social media in action — as well as an online/offline mixed-media performance from the organization that invented crowdsourcing of political ads. I risk being labeled as obsessed with radio, but audio seems like an excellent channel for citizen contributions, in this case ads to be run against Republicans blocking changes in Iraq War policy. The MoveOn contest requires even less technical ability than video, since anyone with a feel for words can try his or her hand at writing a script. I’d love to see them open the production process to member contributions as well — let people submit their own MP3s and see what comes out. But this script competition will be determined in part by member vote, and overall it looks promising. Update: A Loyal Reader (thanks, Mom) points out that this competition is also being heavily pushed on the John Kerry list, which she still reads but whose messages I am apparently all too likely to delete.

cpd

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Facebook Looms Large, But Crickets Chirp in Second Life

Hi y’all, I’ve been off in a print- and web-production frenzy the past few days, but the world of online politics never sleeps, so let’s dive right in with some revealing information about two much-hyped channels for online outreach.

First, according to MarketingVOX, Facebook is already the sixth-most-visited destination on the web, with users spending over 20 minutes on the site per day. They’re not all young: more than half of site users are out of school, and the site’s fastest-growing demographic is the over-25 crowd (which is what you’d expect, since it only opened to old people like me a few months ago). Users are also receptive to widget-like applications like those used for advocacy and fundraising, with over 75% installing at least one app. For those of you trying to go where your audience is, a good chunk of it may be hanging out on Facebook (particularly if they’re preps rather than nerds).

Unfortunately, Second Life doesn’t seem to be faring as well as a marketing tool: according to this month’s Wired, the site hasn’t lived up to its promoters’ buzz, with most commercial spaces unstaffed and rarely-visited. Those high traffic members (7 million!) are grossly exaggerated, since most accounts are quickly abandoned — over 85% of all avatars ever created are now ghosts in the immaterial machine. Though some visitors do become regular users, “the big draws for those who do return are free money and kinky sex” (god bless ‘em). The main benefit companies seem to have gained is press attention for the outreach effort itself. Who knows what they’re paying their PR agencies, but I’d love to see some ROI numbers for THAT little project.

cpd

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