Here’s a fun way to spend your April 15th: first person to spot an online advocacy campaign using tax day as a hook gets a free…oh wait, I win! Okay, I cheated — lots of groups have been working online to organize and recruit the tax-disgruntled over the past few days, culminating in a national protest effort to launch as soon as everyone’s back from the post office. Even e.politics has gotten in on the act, at least via the Google Ads — the one shown ran on Monday, and it linked through to the nicely designed landing page below:
Archive for April, 2009
Online politics a progressive monopoly? Not in California, at least judging from the battle waged over the internet to pass Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in that state:
The ProtectMarriage.com coalition used the Web to fuel fundraising, volunteerism, and voter persuasion, and two tactics in particular may have given them an edge: online ads targeted using voter file data, and a last-minute get-out-the-vote ad blitz.
The “Yes on 8″ campaign got attention, not only for taking a forward-thinking and integrated approach to using the Internet, but for demonstrating that having a younger, more liberal base doesn’t necessitate Web prowess. Schubert-Flint Public Affairs, the firm that ran the overall campaign, along with its Internet ad and e-mail strategy partner Connell Donatelli, recently won multiple awards from the Association of Political and Public Affairs Professionals for its digital “Yes on Prop 8″ campaign.
With all the Twitter-versy going on these days it’s hard to know which 140-character summary to read, but two pieces currently on Slate are a great place to start. First, try Farhad Manjoo’s very measured take on why you should not feel guilty if you haven’t jumped on the microblogging bandwagon (hint: it involves a fundamental question about whether Twitter/microblogging in general will ever spread beyond a core group of people who are really into it). For a different kind of context, check out the brilliant video below about a new “product” they’re calling Flutter:
Satire is a high art, and this clip made me yearn for a Pets.com sock puppet. Thanks to Burt Edwards for making sure we didn’t miss these.
Bummed that you couldn’t make it to Friday’s IAB-sponsored online political advertising discussion? Never fear, C-Span’s camera was On The Scene — you can relive the magic here (direct link to the video player).
The first 25 minutes are a one-on-one between IAB’s Mike Zaneis and panel moderator (and new author) Kate Kaye, with the remaining hour a panel discussion free-for-all featuring Kate, e.politics, MSHC Partners’ (and the Obama campaign’s) Emily Williams and CampaignGrid’s Jeff Dittus. Note that the C-Span site will let you buy your own copy of the show on DVD for the low low price of $29.95; makes a Terrific Christmas Gift. Update: see also event coverage from InternetNews.com. Update II: more coverage, this time from SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Social Media.
Tired of all the Twitter talk? A little online advertising should provide just the antidote — no collaborative culture required, only a cynical desire to manipulate the public for your own ends. Or to try a different spin, a need to provide targeted information for potential activists and/or customers at a moment they’re most interested in receiving it (i.e., when they’re searching for it).
Tomorrow morning’s Interactive Advertising Bureau-sponsored discussion will examine online advertising in the 2008 elections and beyond, starting with a one-on-one between IAB’s Mike Zaneis and ClickZ’s Kate Kaye and moving on to a panel discussion afterwards (that’s when e.politics gets in on the act). There were still a handful of spaces left 24 hours beforehand, so jump now if you’re interested. Starts at 10 a.m.; let’s hope they have coffee.
SOMETHING’S being organizing in the small Eastern European country of Moldova, but there seems to be some disagreement over the “how” part. Some press coverage (particularly this Evgeny Morozov piece on ForeignPolicy.com, which the author later reconsidered) seized on the appearance of protest-tagged messages on Twitter to make a bold claim: that Moldovan youth relied on the micro-blogging tool as the main way to organize public actions that began as sit-ins but that morphed into street protests and the temporary takeover of the country’s president’s office and parliament building.
Ah sweet skepticism, will you never leave me be?
A couple of weeks ago I asked a group of online advocacy professionals to suggest a few good issue-based campaign websites, and the results provide an excellent snapshot of the current standards in the field. Particularly since an e.politics article from 2006 listing some then-outstanding advocacy sites still generates a healthy amount of Google traffic, it’s clearly a topic that could use some updating.
Well, look what happens when e.politics goes off the grid for a couple of days: the kids get all crazy over their Twitter. Jon Pincus started the conversation yesterday with a reply to the Twitter-is-not-a-strategy e.politics piece from last week: he contends that Twitter IS a strategy, and he goes to some lengths to imply that I’m not giving the micro-blogging tool its true due. From there, the discussion took off in the comments section of Jon’s site and on at least one online-activist listserv.