Archive for February, 2009

Just Posted in the Politics Magazine Blog: The E.politics Review of GOP.gov

In a short break from the Obama lessons series, I just published a piece on the Campaigns & Elections/Politics Magazine blog — a review of GOP.gov, the new website for the Republicans in Congress. Not to give too much away, but the site starts out with a good framework and starts failing pretty quickly from there. Read more, plus a quick look at the Democratic alternatives in GOP.gov: Built for a Party, But Will Anyone Come?

cpd

Add comment February 25th, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Learning from Obama’s Campaign Structure: How to Organize for Success

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Part Two of a six-part series

Structure isn’t sexy, but to talk about the online tools of 2008 without discussing the framework that governed their use brings to mind a certain metaphor about forests and trees. ANYONE could employ most of the technology the Obama campaign used, but very few online communicators have ever done so either as effectively or on such a scale. One important lesson from 2008: the tools you use don’t matter as much as how you use them.

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5 comments February 24th, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Learning from Obama: Lessons for Online Communicators in 2009 and Beyond

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Part One of a six-part series

Without the internet, Barack Obama would still be the junior senator from Illinois. Under the rules of the broadcast era of politics, a young man with a funny name and a couple of years in the Senate might run honorably but would almost certainly lose, crushed by the ability of an experienced candidate like Hillary Clinton to raise money from big donors and lock up endorsements from elected officials and party activists.

But Barack Obama declared his candidacy in 2007, not in 1991, and his two-year campaign for the White House could rely on the internet to an unprecedented extent for its core functions. His staff would employ a combination of both new and proven online technologies to organize volunteers, to find new supporters and put them to work, to turn out voters on election day and (of course) to raise unprecedented amounts of money — all contributing to a crucial edge in the primary and general elections.

Both Obama and Republican rival John McCain relied on the net to bolster their campaigns. But Obama’s online success dwarfed his opponent’s, and proved key to his winning the presidency.

“Propelled by Internet, Barack Obama Wins Presidency,” Sarah Lai Stirland, Wired.com, 11/4/2008

Obama’s online staff and the contractors they employed designed, built, tested and steadily improved a series of systems and procedures that formed the basis of a scalable, distributed organization that by November of 2008 spanned the United States and penetrated areas in which Democrats had not competed in years. The Obama new media team tried many techniques in the process, but motivated by the need to achieve measurable political results, they focused on replicable models, practical tools and incremental improvements. In the end they were richly rewarded: their work midwifed an astounding level of citizen interest and involvement for a modern political campaign. The numbers alone are impressive:

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8 comments February 23rd, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Beginning an Article Series on Lessons from the Obama Campaign

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Hi y’all, I’m fixin’ to publish the first of what’s planned as a six-part series on the lessons of the Obama campaign for other online communicators, political and commercial. The second article will go live tomorrow, followed by the rest over the following week or so. Once we’re done, I’ll bundle ‘em up into an e-book like the Online Politics 101 and put it out there for download — it’ll make a great gift for the whole family. The planned topics are below; the links will start to work when each article appears.

Update: download the complete series as a PDF e-book.

cpd

16 comments February 23rd, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Online Political Advertising Discussion March 2nd

Political search advertising has come up a couple of times on the site lately, once in connection with the Obama campaign and once involving a 2010 Senate race. Even if you can’t make it to Search Engine Strategies in March, DC’ers still have a chance to learn a little more about a subject that’s only going to become a bigger part of the political communications landscape in the future, via a panel discussion moderated by ClickZ’s Kate Kaye and hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The “Political Online Advertising in the 2008 Election: Politics Will Never Be the Same Again” panel will also cover behavioral advertising, which I believe somehow involves turning us all into zombies and so will be useful to know more about. It’s free, it’s on Monday March 2nd at 10 a.m. (is the sun up by then?), and you can register here.

cpd

Add comment February 19th, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Quick Hits — February 17, 2009

cpd

Add comment February 17th, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Stimulus Bill Reminds Us that Conference Committees REALLY Write Legislation

For all the attention paid to the back-and-forth over the House and Senate versions of the economic stimulus bill, the version that REALLY mattered is the one that appeared last: the conference committee report. The early debate and early votes certainly contributed, since they helped set the parameters of what was possible for the legislation (i.e., what the critical players in either body would tolerate), but the votes to send the bill through each body were really prologue, since the conference committee would write the actual final draft that would eventually go to the president.

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Add comment February 17th, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Will the Economic Stimulus Bill Stimulate Local Online Advocacy?

How’s this for random economic fallout — will the recently passed stimulus bill stimulate online politics?

Here’s why it might: money for transportation and other projects will be funneling down through state and regional funding entities, and every local government is going to be fighting for a share. Plus, though we often think of transportation money as being dedicated to highways, roads and bridges, some of it can be re-allocated to bike and pedestrian trails or paths at the planning agencies’ discretion — and local outdoor recreation organizations will be firing up their members to push away. Finally, it always happens that some people are going to fight certain projects, particularly ones going through their back yards.

With local officials from school board on up now hearing from internet-organized constituents, and with cadres of veteran Obama volunteer commandos dug in across the country post-election, we may see an explosion of email, online video, social networking outreach and all of the other tools of electronic advocacy in the coming months — but this time turned on the projects in the stimulus bill, not on electing a candidate. Here’s one thing certain: anyone with an opinion will have no trouble finding a soapbox, at least a virtual one.

cpd

1 comment February 16th, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

NAHB Roll Call Ad Quotes Online Journal Commenters, Mirrors Bad Movie Promos

Cross-posted on K Street Cafe

Check out this fascinating print ad placed by the National Association of Home Builders in today’s Roll Call, which starts out with quite a strong quote:

“If this thing passes, I will buy immediately.” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 5

Followed by more quotes attributed to the LA Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch and U.S. News and World Report. But check out the veeeeery fine print in the scanned version below, sent in by a little bird and revealingly photoshopped:

NAHB Roll Call Ad

Now, let’s take a look at it again, this time WITHOUT the fine print blown-up.

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2 comments February 13th, 2009 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

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