Back in May, the RNC stirred up some buzz in the news media with the launch of its “Social Victory Center” Facebook app, which was supposed to do for Republicans what MyBarackObama.com did for Dems in 2008 (though note that the Obama campaign has moved to a more-straightforward, less-social-oriented model for its 2012 Dashboard).
Yesterday, users of the RNC’s app received an email outlining some updates:
The Invite Friends button on the sidebar makes it easier to invite friends to join events, watch our latest videos and help get out the vote! We also made our Phone from Home tool easier to find when you first log in. This tool is a great way to help get out the vote from the comfort of your home!
As the election approaches, please continue to check out the Social Victory Center as we are constantly adding the latest volunteer events, news and videos throughout the day. You can help out as well by creating your own events and bringing friends out to events to help get out the vote.
Good to see the tools evolving! My big question, though — how many people are actually using the Social Victory Center? According to Facebook, that number’s currently about 5000:
Note that back in June, the number was ALSO 5000, and it actually dipped to 4300 in mid-July — a far cry from the 2,000,000-odd MyBO users in 2008. Plus, when I try to use the Social Victory Center, I find a few campaign-created events (block-walks and phone-banks, primarily), but almost no user-generated events. And, the news articles posted on the Center have very few “likes,” which is a clear sign that people aren’t running over every day to look at what’s new. As for “Current Discussions”? There are none. Also note that the sucker runs reeeeeally slowly and has actually crashed my browser (Firefox) a couple of times.
Okay, this is just one online feature, but didn’t the RNC spend something on the order of a year developing it? Plus who knows how much money, and they hired a very talented friend-of-e.politics to run it. Plenty of people have talked about how Dems are concentrating on a ground game this year, while Republicans are putting their money on the air. Is the apparently poor performance of the Social Victory Center a result of a general neglect of field organizing or of poor app design? Or, does it say something more fundamental about the state of Republican support on the ground? If it’s the latter, a lot of Republicans ought to be getting nervous.