Quick Hits returns! Get your fix of The Best Damn Internet Politics Reading List In The Known UniverseTM.
- UK Conservative party deletes archive of speeches from internet. Irony alert! “Decade’s worth of records is erased, including PM’s speech praising internet for making more information available.”
- Sometimes websites actually matter. HealthCare.gov: How political fear was pitted against technical needs. Meanwhile Healthcare.gov’s Head Tech Guy is Out.
- Which leads us to headlines like: Why can’t Obama run the government as smoothly as his campaign? and The disastrous beginning to Obamacare reflects terribly on the president and his administration.
- Obama Shifts Focus in Bid for Momentum, Organizes Flurry of Events on the Economy and Immigration. What to do when your website doesn’t work.
- Bully Pulpit Interactive and NGP VAN Help Shape Democratic Victories, and Going Beyond the Boundaries of the Obama Digital Model in Virginia. C.f. earlier Epolitics.com and Politico coverage.
- How Twitter has changed politics — and political journalism.
- German Parties Eying Obama’s Web-Savvy Campaign. Somebody warn Poland.
- The Extreme Tilt of Chinese Internet Politics.
- Wikipedia editors, locked in battle with PR firm, delete 250 accounts.
- The Evangelist. “Jim Gilliam of NationBuilder says his software will ‘democratize democracy.’ So why do many of his progressive friends consider him a traitor?”
- Reddit Moderators Apologize for Handling of “Bad Journalism” Ban. Bad = “what I don’t like.”
- Michael Hayden’s Off-The-Record Conversation Gets Live-Tweeted by Liberal Activist.
- Oops! Khanna campaign lists Twitter followers as fundraisers, including surprised reporter.
- Some Twitter Users Still Confused by the Whole Tweeting Thing.
- Twitter Will Not Replace Traditional Polling Anytime Soon.
- After Twitter #Fail, JPMorgan Calls Off Q. and A..
- Super-Lobbyists Tell All on Reddit.
- Competitions Aim to Define Congress’ Social-Media Successes.
- Are you ready for the oncoming storm that is mobile marketing? Take cover!!!
- Can Nonprofits Raise Money on Social Media?
- Back to Basics for a Successful Grassroots Campaign.
- Why Bitcoin Will Remain A Bit Player in Politics.
- Tricks & Treats for Nonprofits to Spark Action This Halloween. Put it in your goody bag for next year.
- Explaining Appalachia’s coal woes – in two charts and a map.
- Older Americans’ Internet Use Up vs. 2002, but Still Lags. “Overall, Internet use has risen from 69% in 2002 to 87% today.”
- How the NSA Halted My Rise as a Vermont Drug Lord. Tragedy.
- Via Twitter and Tumblr, Congressman Alan Grayson Suggests a Burning Cross for Tea Party Logo. Typical, low-key Grayson idea.
- And finally, Are These The Worst Sites On The Internet? Yes.
Can’t get enough Quick Hits? Check out previous editions.
November 15th, 2013
TWO separate little birds chose to fly through the ventilation slits in the e.politics bunker this morning, both bearing the following information: Change.org is officially helping Republicans recruit new grassroots supporters and donors, in this case the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Astute observers of the digital political world will remember the furor over Change’s pivot a year ago toward working with groups across the political spectrum (rather than just liberal/progressive or politically neutral campaigns), and here we see the new strategy in action.
Of course, Change.org is also working with Democrats, as you can see from a list of petitions they’ve run on behalf of the DSCC. But plenty of Lefties aren’t going to be happy with this development, and not just for tribal reasons. Here’s the thing: when you run a petition on Change.org (or on its primary competitor, Care2), you help the company engage and grow its overall list (each petition is a recruiting opportunity for the site). If Change is working with Republicans, liberal groups could easily decide that their Change.org petitions are in effect be helping their rivals by stocking the pond.
Good fun all around — I bet this one’s going to stir up some conversation. And remember that article a while back about the lack of a conservative equivalent to Care2 and Change? Might be time for an update.
November 14th, 2013
Update: From NGPVAN, “NationalField will be offered a la carte, not only bundled as part of a larger package. So same number of choices, just a better product.” Good news for political data services consumers. Update II: NationalField has a video out that discusses the acquisition.
Big news on the Democratic data-driven field organizing front: NGPVAN, long a provider of political data-management/manipulation tools, has bought NationalField, which builds tools for managing field staff and volunteers. From the press release:
NGP VAN, the global leader in technology for Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations, today announced its acquisition of NationalField, the startup launched out of the 2008 Obama campaign that provides online organizing networks and powerful data dashboards to campaigns and organizations fighting for change.
Here’s why they wanted it:
With a beautiful Facebook-like interface, NationalField allows managers to see real-time data dashboards of key metrics and progress towards goals for everyone in the organization. Organizers can quickly and easily track their own performance, share best practices with peers, and provide front-line feedback to managers up the organization’s hierarchy. Taken together, the features of NationalField amplify and optimize the efforts of organizers.
Implications? For candidates who use NGPVAN and/or NationalField, better integration of the technologies and (we can assume) even more efficiency in grassroots management and outreach — the kind of work which quite likely put Terry McAuliffe on his way to the Virginia governor’s mansion. For the political/technology industry, it means more consolidation…and possibly, some diminishing of choice in the market, particularly if the new NGPVAN decides to offer NationalField’s services only as part of a larger package. [Note: see update above.]
For NationalField’s founders, of course, it’s a payout — acquisition is the goal for most tech startups, and they’ll also now be joining NGPVAN’s payroll. Interestingly, the last time we discussed NationalField on Epolitics.com was when they were trying to branch out into corporate market a couple of years back. With this new development, they’re obviously firmly in the political space. One more note: it was a conversation with NationalField co-founder Aharron Wasserman that sparked the Epolitics.com article this past summer comparing the Democratic campaign/nonprofit ecosystem with Silicon Valley’s eternal process of “creative destruction.”
November 14th, 2013
If you missed last week’s year-end fundraising webinar, never fear: Campaigns & Elections is holding a campaign-focused fundraising training next Thursday (November 21st), right here in the lovely District of Columbia. Topics include:
- Fundraising fundamentals
- Fundraising 2.0
- Fundraising for local campaigns
- Navigating a SuperPAC-filled political universe
- And more
Check it out today — it’s a full afternoon of training, and registration starts at $100, which I bet will more than pay for itself as we move into the 2014 election cycle. Be sure tell ‘em you heard it here.
November 13th, 2013
Good information is creeping out about how Democrat Terry McAuliffe used digital and data tools to win the Virginia governor’s race last week, and you can look for my analysis piece in the next issue of Campaigns & Elections mag. Meanwhile, check out excellent coverage in Politico, starting with Alex Burns on data and Emily Schultheis on digital. Emily and I were both on a call last week held by Virginia Democrats to discuss the role of data in the campaign, BTW, and today I want to dive into an idea that came up in that discussion.
Here’s the concept: creating a “voter data feedback loop” in your field and digital outreach. What’s involved: start with an outreach strategy driven by data analysis. I.e., you use polling, focus groups, demographics, past voting history, etc, to create “data models” of the voters you need to contact to persuade to go to the polls (or persuade to stay home), which you then apply to the voter file to generate a list of people to contact via phone, direct mail or in person. Meanwhile, you use the same models to target your online advertising, using demographic data in Facebook, an ad vendor’s “cookie pool,” etc.
November 13th, 2013
Check out last week’s top 10 over-performing Facebook posts, from the (roughly) 500 progressive groups followed by CrowdTangle. Note: a big week for labor posts, apparently.
1. Montana State AFL CIO (185x)
November 11th, 2013
Busy times in the e.politics bunker! One endeavour is coming to fruition Friday: the year-end online fundraising how-to webinar happens at 3 PM (Eastern), and I gua-ran-tee it’ll be worth your time (and your $15). Check out the details here, and don’t forget to help spread the word if you can’t join in. Thanks!
November 8th, 2013
Guest article! This piece comes from Abe Greenhouse and is adapted from An Activist’s Guide to Live Tweeting, originally published on Middle East news and analysis site Electronic Intifada. Lots of great advice below — don’t miss it. Also check out an earlier (but much less detailed) guide to live-tweeting we published a couple of years ago.
How to Live-Tweet and Influence People — or Politics
By Abe Greenhouse
With the continued growth of Twitter, more individuals and organizations have begun leveraging this ubiquitous “microblogging” platform to draw attention to unfolding events as they happen.I can state from personal experience the same thing that Twitter says based on studying vast amounts of data: “Live tweeting” consistently increases retweets, mentions, and new followers. In fact, I’ve observed it to be the single most effective tactic for rapidly attracting new followers.
Here’s how Twitter’s official live tweeting “best practices” page defines it:
Live-tweet (v.): to engage on Twitter for a continuous period of time — anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours — with a sequence of focused Tweets.
While the general public is mainly inclined to live tweet television programs (don’t get me started), the practice is increasingly being applied at conferences, debates, legal proceedings and all manner of other events at which potentially compelling tweet content is continually generated.
With the idea catching on across a multitude of sectors, articles offering specialized tips for the live tweeting have begun appearing for journalists, public relations firms, nonprofits, search engine optimization (SEO) experts, sports fans and even lawyers. Rather than rehash a large amount of material that can easily be found elsewhere, I’ll quickly outline the core principles, then move on to some more practical tips less likely to be found anywhere else.
November 6th, 2013
Hi folks, that digital strategy webinar was a big hit a couple of weeks back, so let’s have another one. This time, we’ll be looking at the key factors involved in year-end online fundraising, and the webinar will cost $15 to attend. The topic is timely and space is limited, so sign up today. And if you can’t attend, please help spread the word!
Year-End Online Fundraising: What You Need to Know [Webinar]
Friday, November 8, 3-4:15 PM Eastern
Sign Up Now: https://www.eventbrite.com/event/9163808197
December 31st is coming up fast — and most U.S. nonprofits and charities raise the bulk of their donations in the last few weeks of the year. If you’re preparing a year-end online donations drive, what do you absolutely need to know? What tools, techniques and tactics will give you the best chance of success at raising money online?
In this 75-minute webinar, we’ll discuss the topics vital to year-end fundraising success, including:
- Structure of a successful fundraising email
- Types of appeals
- Tailoring your appeals to your audience
- Narrative arcs
- Donor match programs
- Small-dollar programs
- Social media fundraising
- List segmentation
- A/B testing
- Tips for implementation
After we’re done, you’ll have the tools you need to plan and execute your own year-end fundraising campaign, and you’ll have plenty of lessons to carry into the year ahead.
Hope y’all can make it.
November 4th, 2013