Notes for Knight Digital Media Center Presentation on Congressional and Local Campaigning

Along with Dennis Johnson, Karen Jagoda and Morra Aarons-Mele, I had the pleasure of giving a presentation this morning on congressional and local online campaigns for the assembled journalists at the Knight Digital Media Center’s symposium, Election ’08: Unleashing the Cyber-watchdogs (i.e., after a week of luxuriating in the California sun, it was time to sing for my supper and justify the trip). My notes are below; if they’re too cryptic, drop me a note for details.

How candidates are using the web

  • find voters
  • keep voters
  • get them to do things


  • more variation at congressional level than presidential, even more at the local level
  • standard packages becoming available: DIA
  • more experimentation from insurgents/challengers than the incumbents
  • what you can see in public may not be the most important thing going on — don’t believe the hype!

Finding voters

  • website as core
  • going where they are: soc nets, online communities, blogs, search advertising
  • new tools: video

Keeping voters

  • using the channels their supporters use
  • email, email, email — still the killer app

Mobilizing offline/online connection

  • fundraising
  • volunteer coordination
  • distributed phone banks
  • neighborhood activism: house parties, block walks
  • GOTV

The natives are restless

  • citizens are using new tools to shake up the process
  • some of the most interesting stories will be there
  • examples



Written by
Colin Delany
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