Archive for December 3rd, 2007

Quick Hits — December 3, 2007

Quick Hits returns! Last seen in abbreviated form on September 7th, it’s been off training hard for the ’08 campaign season.

That’s all the Hits for today — best to make our first round in a while a weak one.

cpd

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Facebook is Both Online Advocacy Tool and Online Advocacy Target

Some news on the social networking front: more online advocacy providers are getting into the Facebook Application business, with Grassroots Enterprises releasing a new tool today that will allow organizations to run Facebook advocacy through the company’s online activism system. Grassroots has competition in the social networking world, since Convio already has a tool that connects their advocacy module with Facebook.

Facebook has also been a target lately of online advocacy rather than just a conduit for it: MoveOn.org and others have been smacking the company upside the head over its Beacon application, which shows on your profile and news feed the products you’ve recently purchased from participating vendors (hmmmmm, wonder why he needs all that itch cream?). After running into significant user opposition (organized in part through a Facebook Group, of course), the company has switched Beacon from opt-out to opt-in, meaning that users must now choose to use rather than have it installed automatically.

Before we get too much into the social networking weeds, take a look at this Sunday Post piece on kicking Facebook addiction. Burnout has been a real problem for plenty of online communities in the past, and I suspect that a lot of inveterate Facebook and MySpace users will eventually choose to live more of their life in private — particularly after more people get zapped for things they say or do online. Update: See also this Bivings Report piece on integrated Facebook marketing and advertising.

cpd

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Did a Magic Email List Propel Huckabee to the Top?

Big news from Iowa this weekend, with Mike Huckabee and Barak Obama apparently bouncing to the top of the likely caucus-voter polls. Writing in the Post on Sunday, Chris Cillizza And Shailagh Murray point to an email list as part of the reason for Huckabee’s rise:

Brinson is the keeper of a massive e-mail list of much-coveted Christian voters that Huckabee is using to reach and organize people in early-voting states such as Iowa.

Brinson’s list numbers about 71 million contacts, with 25 million identified as belonging to “25 and 45 years old, upwardly mobile, right-of-center, conservative households,” he said. In other words, a target-rich environment for a candidate such as Huckabee, who is preaching a compassionate conservative message heavily infused with religious sentiment.

In Iowa alone, Brinson’s list has produced 414,000 contacts for the Huckabee campaign, a stunning number given that less than one-quarter of that total is expected to vote in January’s Republican caucuses.

Randy Brinson, an Alabama doctor, built the list while helping to market The Passion of the Christ, a movie that drew huge audiences of Christian conservatives and whose success shocked the hell (hah!) out of Hollywood.

Of course, there has to be a lot more to the Huckster’s rise than one email list: if he didn’t walk the evangelical walk, people would see through his conservative talk just as fast as they do Romney’s (whose positions are apparently held together with duct tape). Mike Huckabee isn’t just “reaching out” to evangelical Christian conservatives; like George W. Bush in 2000, he IS one of them, something that you can’t fake forever.

To a guy like Mike, a list like that must be immensely valuable, particlarly because it’s going to contain some of the most active Christian conservatives, including people who were willing to help organize their congregations to show up en masse for Mel Gibson’s Passion. We already know that Huckabee’s counting on viral emails to build support beyond the initial primary states, and this list clearly gives him access to a huge number of potential opinion leaders — the kind of people whose friends and family listen to them.

cpd

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