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October 5, 2010
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Internet Technology News for Political Campaigns and Causes

  Campaigning 2.0 
  • CampaignGrid launches industry breakthrough: VideoGrid, the voter-targeted video ad network
    CampaignGrid has launched VideoGrid, the revolutionary voter-targeted video ad network. For the first time ever, political TV spots can be targeted online directly to specific registered voters with known party affiliation in precise geographical locations to follow congressional district lines, states and specific buildings or neighborhoods. To do this, Grid has mapped every registered voter in the United States to the Internet and uses party registration, voter history and demographics to target online video messages. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Summer surge helps the GOP increase its social-media advantage
    The Republican Party's social-media advantage grew significantly this summer, spurred by an uptick in social-media support for the party in the mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions, a report shows. Nationally, congressional Republicans saw their Facebook fan base increase 35% between May 1 and Aug. 31, compared with 22% for Democrats. In the mid-Atlantic region, GOP candidates saw their social-media support surge 115% during that period, while Democrats increased their online fan base by less than 10%. OhMyGov! (9/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Digital Campaigning 
  • RNC's secret weapon: a listening platform
    As battle lines harden ahead of next month's election, the Republican National Committee is preparing to put community listening and crowdsourcing at the center of its campaign strategy. "This RNC listens to folks," said Todd Herman, the RNC's chief digital strategist. "We insisted on a listening platform. It's not at all unusual for [Chairman] Michael Steele to ask me to put him in touch with a participant on our site or on Twitter." Mashable (9/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The reason online "weak ties" are essential to changing the world
    Malcolm Gladwell has made waves by declaring that social-media activism is incapable of causing meaningful, real-world change because it tends to create weak ties to a cause or an organization. Gladwell's argument doesn't hold water, Zeynep Tufekci writes. Gladwell fails to see that these weak connections can be leveraged to powerful effect, because they tend to attract a wider, more diverse audience, Tufekci argues. "Large pools of weaker ties are crucial to being able to build robust networks of stronger ties -- and Internet use is a key to this process," Tufekci notes. New Yorker, The (10/4), (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  From the Trail 
  • 5 ways for campaigns to sprint to the finish with social media
    As the midterm races enter their final leg, it's important for campaigns to maintain their focus on attracting and engaging online followers through Facebook, Jessica Wood writes. Promote your Facebook page's URL at every opportunity, seek to leverage your existing fans to find and rally other likely supporters and be sure to post content that showcases your real-world campaigning, she writes. "Post as many pictures as you can, but be sure to post pictures that include supporters, so your Facebook fans can see that your campaign has volunteers who are busy and engaged offline," Wood advises. (10/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama risks losing social-media support, a former aide says
    President Barack Obama's impressive roster of social-media supporters might wither if his team doesn't do more to make people feel included, said Joe Rospars, digital director for Obama's election campaign. The reality of Washington politics has taken the sheen off Obama's campaign message, so it's vital to give supporters a renewed sense of inclusion and ownership. "I think he has that network of people outside Washington behind him, but those are delicate relationships that, if not carefully maintained and put to good use, will atrophy over time," Rospars said. Politico/Ben Smith blog (9/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Tools of the Trade 
  • Senate Republicans revamp their iPhone app
    The National Republican Senatorial Committee has launched the latest version of its application for iPhone, iPad and iPod. The widget helps users post media-rich content to Twitter and Facebook, follow Twitter streams tied to a particular campaign, use Foursquare to check in at rallies and make donations via an external Web link. (tiered subscription model) (9/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Digital fundraising means all politics is national
    In the era of digital fundraising, even local political candidates have to be capable of competing and raising cash on the national stage, Colin Delany writes. Unions and corporations have always brought national resources to bear on key local races, Delany notes, but online tools make it possible for grass-roots fundraisers to make a big difference. President Barack "Obama's 2008 campaign remains the prime example, but many other groups on all parts of the political spectrum are building up grassroots donor bases with an eye toward repeating his success," Delany writes. (9/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • No political ads on Twitter -- for now
    Twitter isn't accepting adverts from political campaigns, at least for the time being, campaign managers said. The social network doesn't appear to have sworn off campaign cash for good, though. Company representatives said they're testing ad offerings with a select group of brands, and they said the status quo "could change any minute, any day." ClickZ (9/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • lets people donate social updates to campaigns lets people cede control of their Facebook updates and Twitter feeds to a political candidate for the duration of the campaign. Once a supporter signs up with the site, it automatically cross-posts updates from the campaign on the supporter's update stream. "Of course, it requires people to trust a campaign with what amounts to their public face -- not something I'd do, thanks," Colin Delany writes. "But plenty of people might, so perhaps [it's] worth a look." (9/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
The Democrats seem to be sticking with the tactics that brought them into power, whereas the GOP, as the challenger, is exploring more innovative ways to tap the power of new media."
--Shana Glickfield
co-founder of Beekeeper Group, as quoted by Mashable

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