Eight million list members. One million MyBarackObama members. Nearly two million Facebook/MySpace “friends.” A couple of million online donors. By the time November comes around, those numbers will have grown — and Barack Obama is likely to be on his way to the White House. Assuming he wins, what will he do with his online following? Will Congress be next in his sights?
Hey John, how’s things? Crazy year, eh? Sorry about last week — you must have been dying inside as the press fawned all over that pipsqueak Barack Obama on his overseas jaunt. Reporters are YOUR base, after all, and what’s worse is that you know you created the moment in the first place by making such a big deal about his “need” to go abroad. In any case, it’s always ugly to see the old reliable standard cast aside in favor of someone new and young and vibrant, but you know in your heart that it’s poetic justice as well — which may help explain your campaign’s undercurrent of bitterness against TV and print reporters last week. Junior Varsity Squad? Harsh!
Hey kids, better sign up quick for the August 13th IPDI (Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet) Book Discussion, ’cause this time we’re covering Online Politics 101 LIVE and IN PERSON (I’ll bring the beer). Seats are limited to the first 20 callers, and operators are standing by. The details:
IPDI Book Discussion on Online Politics 101 with Colin Delany – Wednesday, August 13
The library of the Graduate School of Political Management
GWU’s Media and Public Affairs Building
805 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
Hey y’all, e.politics is just wrapping up a couple of big projects, so it’s way past time to be shakin’ the trees for new bidness. A couple of colleagues in the field asked for a concise description of what I do so (basically an elevator pitch) and it seems only smart to toss it out there for you guys to mull over. And as soon as you recommend improvements, it becomes a de facto crowdsourcing project — we’ll be all 2.0 and stuff.
Colin Delany uses over a decade’s experience in the online political world to guide progressive campaigns and organizations through the process of building an online strategy and putting it into practice. In some cases he’ll create the website or technology needed, but he’ll also serve as a client’s advocate if an outside vendor is involved. Delany also provides online advocacy trainings and presentations for groups, organizations, companies and trade associations.
Strategic online communications planning
Website design and construction/technology development
Social media/social networking strategy and execution
Here’s a clever idea — install a web browser toolbar sponsored by the Republican National Committee and you can raise money for the RNC “through normal online activities such as searching and shopping.” It seems to be a variant of the Yahoo toolbar, so presumably it’s some kind of ad revenue-sharing deal with kickback from selected online retailers as well. And of course it contains a communications function, placing an RNC brand and magic “donate” button right on your desktop as well as opening up a new channel for direct messages from the Republican overlords.
Somebody install it and let me know how it works — sorry guys, but I ain’t raisin’ a dime for the RNC, even in the interest of science. Update: a couple of folks have written in to point out that the toolbar they’re using is from FreeCause and that other organizations are able to use it. You can get more details on the application from FreeCause. Note: at least this time it’s not a pink elephant.
Something jumped out at me during today’s Vocus seminar on P.R. and New Media — journalists and bloggers often see each other as rivals, but they’re united in at least one very important way: both are desperately looking to fill space and/or time in their publications with good content, and both also have trouble finding it in a vast, churning sea of online information.
For online marketers (whether of products, candidates, policies or causes), this situation presents that most classic of clichés, both dangers and opportunities. Dangers in that your message is most likely going to get lost in the clutter unless it’s well targeted and timely — and even then, it wouldn’t hurt to bust your butt AND get a little lucky (e.politics had rather be lucky than good any day).
The opportunities? They lie in the online world’s voracious hunger for words, pictures and video, the flip side of the clutterstorm. For the people producing them, both a blog and a cable news channel are like the carnivorous plant in Little Shop of Horrors, constantly screaming to be fed, and journalists both amateur and professional face short deadlines and fickle audiences. If you’re a communications person and you can guide a content provider to something solid, useful and just right for the audience, you’ll be worth the money you’re being paid. Some outlets will obviously be more important than others, and mass exposure rarely hurts, but even a blog with a tiny audience can be a good pickup IF that audience is made up of the right people.
The first e.politics online interview! In which Sarah Burris (of FutureMajority and Rock the Vote) and I discuss writing, the question of why most campaigns can’t figure out the internet, the delicate balance of losing control, and the joys of making fun of David All. We had a great time and might just have learned a thing or two before we were done.
Want to see it from the other side? Sarah’s got you covered. Note that I put this together with Windows Movie Maker, which is fairly primitive, so the titles and credits are, well, fairly primitive. Better technology coming soon, I hope.
But wait, there’s more! After the break, we examine the process of…doing a Bassik.
Amidst all the excitement (and booze and Ladies) in Austin, I completely forgot that July 17th was the two-year anniversary of the launch of e.politics. Remember 2006? When dinosaurs roamed the Earth and Republicans ruled the Congress? I even had a job then! (Crazy talk, I know).
Goals for the next year? Same as for the last year: world conquest, adoring groupies and lots of time for all e.pol contributors and commentors to recline on a couch and be fed grapes. Plenty else has changed in just the past 12 months, though, so let’s take a look at the updated numbers:
Check out this smart little critter from Rock The Vote and Credo Mobile — it’s a customizable voter registration widget. When people click on the image below (which you can change to something matches your site), a DHTML window pops up to collect the necessary information. When someone fills it out, they’re emailed a voter registration form for their area that they can then print out and mail in (one day we may be able to register people directly via some kind of database upload, but not yet). Site owners can add questions (note the classics I added at the end of the example below), collect data on the people who sign up through their instance of the widget, prepopulate fields in the signup form and make other changes spelled out in the developer’s guide.
On the cheapening of outrage. “Outrage is supposed to be extreme anger about an extreme and dignity-damaging insult. It has instead become the quotidian autonomic emotional register of most species of political actors, including partisans, campaign operatives and pundits.” Via Salon.