Colin Delany Tech Bytes November 21, 2014

2014’s Key Digital Technologies, And A Tech Bytes Scoop Gets Noticed

The 2014 elections are behind us, but the post-mortems are still flowing fast. The latest edition of “Technology Bytes” got a jump on the competition, though, with a pre-mortem (I filed the column late in October) look at the two key technologies campaigns employed to help get people elected this time around. What were they? You’ll have to read the article to find out! Spoiler: if you read, you can already make an educated guess.

Also in this month’s column: an introduction to the great Democratic email fundraising debate, more signs of the new Republican emphasis on field technolgy and an appreciation of NGPVAN’s innovative new grassroots app space. Check it out.

While you’re there, wander down memory lane to our summer coverage of the Facebook API change that killed off tools that connected a voter list with campaign supporters’ Facebook friends, letting candidates reach hard-to-find voters using their friends as a conduit. Yahoo News picked up the story earlier this week, with a link back to the original Tech Bytes column as well as Kate Kaye’s excellent Ad Age coverage of this development.

Via Yahoo, the story got picked up in other outlets, and several friends have asked why the some reporters have suddenly made a big deal out of what’s essentially old news to many of us in the field. My guess? Anything Facebook draws news coverage, and this particular Facebook feature figured in a lot of post-election coverage of Obama 2012, leading some to over-estimate its actual importance to the campaign (it was a useful way to reach voters difficult to find otherwise, particualrly younger ones who move around a lot, but not a war-winning technology on its own). Regardless of why this story popped, perhaps more political reporters will start paying attention to Campaigns & Elections and Technology Bytes — rumor has it, folks there occasionally know what they’re talking about.


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