Micah L. Sifry and Joshua Levy over at Personal Democracy Forum have an excellent compare-and-contrast piece about MyGOP and Partybuilder, new online organizing applications from the RNC and DNC. They look in detail at these new tools, primarily from a social networking point of view, but also considering factors such as ease of use and overall effectiveness.
A quote from their introduction:
As in 2004, both parties have taken radically different approaches to online-offline organizing, with the Republicans seemingly trying to channel supporters narrowly into certain activities, like walking their precinct and talking to registered Republicans, while the Democrats appear to be encouraging a much-more freewheeling array of user-generated activity on their site, presumably in the hopes of drawing more supporters in and then turning them toward party-building work by Election Day.
The Dems follow a social networking/social media model much more closely, with the site designed to help users find friends and form groups as well as create and share their own content, which may well help create a passionate user base over the long run. But the Republicans have some very powerful tools as well: capitalizing on their integrated voter database, for instance, they’ll find other Republicans in your neighborhood and arm you with talking points to hit them with.
BTW, PDF is a terrific resource with great contributors I’m annoyed that I haven’t been reading the site more often. Thanks to Ha-Hoa Dang, the most relentless and prolific e.politics resource-finder out there, for the tip (my friend, why don’t you go ahead and take this site over so I can spend all day siting on the couch, eating bon bons and watching my stories?).