My old NET colleague John Anthony (who’s soon off to a new gig at the U.N. Foundation) writes in today to note an online aspect to the current Democratic “scandal” — to back up her claim that Barack Obama plagiarized Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has emailed political reporters a link to a YouTube video that shows speeches by the two side-by-side:
If you’re trapped in the office on this pre-holiday-weekend Friday, check out the Obamafier from Slate. Not a translator, but clever way to show off some pretty painful Obama puns in the form of random definitions from the “Encyclopedia Baracktannica.” And they very cleverly made it a widget so that we can embed it and give them free publicity:
Guest article! First in a long time, too. In an online discussion a few days ago, friend-of-e.politics Riche Zamor posted a set of tips for getting the best results out of a pay-per-click advertising campaign. He was responding to a question about free ads an organization was running via a Google Grant, but these would seem to apply to PPC ad runs across the board. BTW, Riche will be taking a leave of absence from CITI over the next few months to run a Congressional campaign in Alaska — an awesome opportunity.
Tips for Pay-Per-Click Advertising Campaigns
By Riche Zamor
Here are a few tips I recommend when you are running PPC campaigns:
Hot damn, we’re gettin’ close to conference season and it’s time to warm up those mad panelist skillz before things get completely out of hand. Alan Rosenblatt’s Internet Advocacy Center discussion on online advertising next week should be a good start: Michael Bassik, Judith Freeman, Justin Perkins, the Good Doktor Rosenblatt and I will be looking at best practices for running advocacy ads while also answering questions and generally tossing ideas around in productive fashion. I’m not sure why I’m on the panel, other than for comedic relief, but the others actually know what they’re talking about so it should be a good event.
Next up, the Politics Online Conference hits town in only three weeks, and e.politics is downright stoked: take a look at the list of breakout sessions and you’ll see some real goodies there, including a panel I’ll be moderating on the question “Does Good Design Matter?” (Guess where e.politics stands on the issue.) You’ll also get a chance to meet and mingle with a ton of your peers in the field, including (perish the thought) some from the Other Side. And you’ll get to see who takes home the hardware this time around (to inspire the kids, I’ll be sporting last year’s Golden Dot on a chain around my neck, as a good hype-man should).
But wait, there’s more! If you’re among the first 500 callers and you mention e.politics, you’ll get an extra $50 off the already low, low registration fee. Actually, just go to the signup page and enter the discount code MINUS50 at the checkout and you’ll be taken care of — and don’t forget who brought you the sugar. If you just can’t get enough e.politics (and who possibly could), in March I’ll also be speaking at South by Southwest in Austin and the Nonprofit Technology Conference in New Orleans (clearly it ain’t too hard to drag me to a party city). Swing on by and say howdy if you’re at any of these events.
Read Scott Martin passes along a new site he’s running that tracks online advertising by the presidential candidates. The data and analysis both look good, and when I asked where the information came from, Read replied:
Yahoo, MSN, AOL, many others use them to provide tearsheets for the clients. Huge untapped potential in political campaigns (chiefly in research, IMHO).
The site has a blog that comments on current campaigns and an Ad of the Day feature, though I’m not quite sure of the distinction between the two; might be better to combine them. An example of why the site’s navigation is overall a little rough. Cool information, though — check it out and see what you think.
Early this morning, Sen. Barack Obama sent the first of three text messages to supporters who’ve signed up to his messaging program and live in the D.C. area. It’s a jam-packed message, starting out with an Obama quote, then asking supporters to forward the text to their friends. Most importantly, the text provides an 866 number to call to find your polling location. All you’d have to do is click on the number on your cellphone to make the free call.
Jose has detail about the campaign’s ability to target messages by zip code, and also about how quiet they’re being about the size of their list and its response rate. Texting for turnout isn’t an original idea, but this campaign seems focused on implementing it well — a part of the campaign that future online political professionals will look to as a model?
Maybe nobody else thinks this is interesting, but to me it’s fun to realize that as I write this, I’m mixing the oldest and newest widely adopted wireless communications media: radio and wifi. I’m a-sittin’ in my chair, pulling the ‘net from a wireless hub hooked to a cable modem while also listening to WAMU radio’s live election coverage. I could stream the NPR station over the ‘net, but it’s easier to listen to if it’s on in the background. And for live local coverage, Kojo, Jonetta and the gang are fun as hell and also happen know a whole lot about local politics, so you can learn a ton. I’m going to check out the Post’s live online coverage in a bit; they seem to have poured a lot of resources into it. Anyway, thanks Mr. Marconi, for the wireless. Update: The Post thing is basically TV on the web; if you like TV news coverage hosted by print journalists, you’re their demographic.
While we’re on the subject of social networking, here’s a quick Facebook tip: on a confence call today, Farra Trompeter mentioned that a she’d received Facebook message from a pro-Obama group she’s joined, asking her to change her Facebook Status to “voting for Obama.” I’m sure this isn’t new, but I hadn’t thought about it enough before to see it as a communications tool. Clever, since regular Facebook users see their friends’ Status messages (“Colin is…”) often.
If you’re looking for guidance on using MySpace for advocacy and/or politics, I just found a bunch of it: Heather Mansfield at Diosa communications has assembled 42 separate pieces of advice and is adding more every week. She’s clearly a social networking enthusiast and these tips sound like the product of solid experience. Some of them (“#34: Use MySpace to drive individuals to your e-advocacy campaigns”) will be familiar to readers of more general guides, but many of them are more subtle and will go a long way to helping an organization or campaign avoid mistakes and get the most out of their investment in social networking sites.