Archive for November, 2011

Quick Hits — November 29, 2011

The Quick Hits of Autumn are the sweetest, tinged with the quiet regret of a dying year.

cpd

Add comment November 29th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Maximizing Your Google Grant

Guest article! Brian Cook is with the Human Rights Campaign, which works on marriage equality and other equal rights issues for the LGBT community. He recently put the Google Grants guide below out on the Progressive Exchange and was kind enough to let us reprint it here at Epolitics.com.

Maximizing Your Google Grant

By Brian Cook

Background

A Google Grant is available to qualifying 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. The Grant is worth $10,000 per month of Google AdWords, with some restrictions on keywords and bidding. If used properly, it represents an enormous opportunity to drive traffic to your website and reach a new and significant audience.

When an organization uses its Google Grant at full capacity (spends its entire grant) for two months, it is eligible to apply for Google Grantspro, which is an additional $30,000 per month of AdWords. For any organization, $40,000 per month of free advertising is a huge bonus. For financially lean non-profits, it can be game-changing.

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2 comments November 21st, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

On a Sunday Night: Cain’s Shirts Fall Short, We’re Drowning in Swill, and Pepper Spray as the Sound of History

Cain on Cafepress

Hi folks, it’s getting late on a Sunday and I’m coming down from the high of seeing a super-fun band with great stage presence and mad musicianship last night — Super Diamond, the finest Neil Diamond cover band that could possibly be imagined. But now it’s time to confront some hard truths, starting with an understandable one. Guess what: people have stopped buying Herman Cain gear, at least on popular merchandise self-serve website CafePress. According to a CafePress rep,

  • Herman Cain-tagged merchandise sales nosedived by 62% since October 17, with Cain-related products falling a dramatic 38% since last week.
  • Meanwhile, for the first time during this campaign, Newt Gingrich-tagged merchandise sales on CafePress have risen two points, from 4% to 6%.

Makes sense — Cain is beset by sexual harassment charges and makes a fool of himself on video (repeatedly), and people quit being so excited about wearing his t-shirts. But here’s something else I read this weekend that absolutely does not compute:

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Add comment November 20th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

As Obama’s Online-Enabled Grassroots Operation Takes Shape, Do Republicans Have Anything to Match It?

Also published on HuffingtonPost

This week’s news that Obama’s 2012 campaign has already assembled a powerful army of small online donors — more than a million people have given him money so far, only half of whom did so in 2008 — provided just one of many recent glimpses into the growth of what’s shaping up to be a reelection juggernaut.

Other evidence? One million talks between current Obama volunteers and staff and people who volunteered for the candidate in 2008, which campaign manager Jim Messina characterized as actual conversations rather than just short fundraising calls. The goal: to persuade people who devoted time and money four years ago to put their training to work again, despite grumbling among some in the “professional Left” that their 2008 investment has yet to pay off substantively. Millions of people made real sacrifices to help Obama get elected the first time around, and his team is doing its best to make sure that the same thing happens over the next twelve months.

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3 comments November 19th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

How the Presidential Campaigns are Using Facebook: A Side-by-Side Overview

Guest article! This comes in from Kimling Lam, Marketing & Communications Director at Meltwater Group. Meltwater is following the presidential candidates on social media this cycle and produced the analysis below, which also appeared on their blog earlier today. Look for more analyses like this one from Meltwater soon.

Election 2012 Candidate Social Profile Analysis: Facebook

By Kimling Lam

Where do you get your news online? For many of us, it’s through the Facebook newsfeed. As US election 2012 buzz heats up with scandals and gaffes, we took a look at how candidates are using social media to connect with their supporters.

From a social media marketing perspective, here’s how they stack up:

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2 comments November 18th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Laser Graffiti Occupies NYC! Plus, OWS as API

Update: Charles Lenchner sends over an overview of recent Occupy-related technology, and c.f. the earlier Epolitics.com roundup. Update II: Occupy Healthcare: Swapping Tents for Online Advocacy. Update III: Check out James Fallows’ excellent analysis of the role of video in shaping public perception of events over the last few days, The Moral Power of an Image: UC Davis Reactions.

Two Occupy stories to check out, one because it’s awesome and the other because it’s a hell of a metaphor. First, part of the Occupy Day of Action in New York involved laser graffiti projected onto a Verizon building:

Here are some stills, if you want to preserve the memory. Next, the Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal explores a fascinating idea: that OWS is best understood (in serious geek terms) as an API:

What an API does, in essence, is make it easy for the information a service contains to be integrated with the wider Internet. So, to make the metaphor here clear, Occupy Wall Street today can be seen like the early days of Twitter.com. Nearly everyone accessed Twitter information through clients developed by people outside the Twitter HQ. These co-developers made Twitter vastly more useful by adding their own ideas to the basic functionality of the social network. These developers don’t have to take in all of OWS data or use all of the strategies developed at OWS. Instead, they can choose the most useful information streams for their own individual applications (i.e. occupations, memes, websites, essays, policy papers).

Showing some serious geek cred, he next explores the various database calls that would underlie a conceptual OWS API framework. Dude.

One other online politics-related story to note — super-easy publishing platform Tumblr has gone enabling activism to encouraging it, by asking its users to lobby against the “Stop Online Piracy” act in the House. Almost 90,000 phone calls to Congress in a single day! Bully for them.

cpd

Add comment November 18th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

Forgetting Sarah Palin? The Internet (Largely) Is

Update: Now with a title 50% funnier than the original!

Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin…who was she again? Of course I’m being facetious, but look at the pattern of online discussion around the former next-President of the United States since July 1:

Online conversation around Sarah Palin

Our new friend Steve Kleine provided this chart via the online monitoring tool Social Radar, and it illustrates dramatically the drop-off in Palin-related conversation since she announced early in October that she WOULDN’T be running for President in 2012. Steve notes that much of the slight uptick at the end of October revolved around speculation about whom she might endorse, along with discussion of her comments that Occupy Wall Street and millionaires were both looking for “bailouts”.

These numbers also suggest why she kept people guessing about her presidential intentions for so long — once the answer was clear, she suddenly wasn’t nearly as interesting. And those books weren’t going to fly off the shelves on their own.

cpd

Add comment November 17th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

VoterTide: Easy Social Media Monitoring for Campaigns

VoterTide

Just launching today: VoterTide, which employs technology originally designed for the music industry and now being applied to politics. Journalists, bloggers and the rest of us can use the VoterTide’s basic version to follow the presidential candidates’ activity, watching their follower growth, see their trending videos, and measure the “Tide Score” generated by the site based on their activity.

But here’s what’s particularly interesting from our point of view: campaigns can use the site’s Pro version to monitor their own and their opponents’ social media presences in detail. Sign up for an account, and you can track a campaign’s social media activity, their followings (and follower growth), the most recent and most prominent online stories about them, and the phrases most commonly associated with them online. Of course, a campaign could hand-assemble most of this data on its own, but VoterTide aggregates it automatically and displays it via a straightforward interface. When your campaign or your opponent generates buzz, you’ll see it quickly, giving staff and consultants much more time to react.

Check out the screenshots after the break to get a taste of VoterTide. I suspect that this service will turn out to be particularly useful for candidates in crowded primaries and for consultants monitoring many different clients at once.

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3 comments November 16th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

NewtHampshire!: Newt’s on NationBuilder

Or at least, he will be soon. Yes, just a couple of hours after we here at Epolitics.com made fun of his overpriced website/CRM system again, it turns out that Newt Gingrich is soon to launch “‘Newt Hampshire!‘, a social media volunteer platform wholly dedicated to Granite State volunteers” and built on NationBuilder. Good for Newt! He’s actually adopting some solid (and relatively cheap) technology. Best part of the announcement, as quoted by First Read:

Communications director Matt LeDuc said the site’s content and mobilization strategy will “utterly blow your mind.”

Dude, pass the bong. Congrats to NationBuilder for such a high-profile pickup! And congrats to Newt for getting wise about online mobilization, though of course the proof will be in how his campaign actually uses it. Next up: after full deployment (scheduled for Monday), will the campaign roll out a NationBuilder-based voter-organization system nationally?

cpd

6 comments November 15th, 2011 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us

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