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And the Winner is...Google

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 20 2010

There's a pretty good chance that you've already seen evidence elsewhere of the fact that Google is rather thrilled with how aggressively Scott Brown's campaign embraced the suite of Google tools in his win. Google reps are reporting that the campaign dropped $145,000 on a "network blast" that saturated the Internet with Brown ads in the final days of the campaign, and all told the campaign spent some $230,000 on YouTube ads and overlays, visual ads, and in-search advertising. The result? Brown's ads were put in front of the faces of Massachusetts residents 65 million times in the months leading up to the election. A Google rep praised Brown's online ad effort as "very slick, very targeted, and very strategic."

But something else has Google reps particularly chuffed: how much the Brown campaign, they say, relied upon Google's full suite of tools, including their free online collaborative apps. Brown's new media director Robert Willington tweeted, for example, "Where would our #masen campaign be without google docs? scary thought." The Brown campaign, said the company, relied upon Gmail Chat to communicate. And then, says Google, there was their election-day voter protection hotline, run through -- you guessed it -- Google Voice.

On the Coakley online front, two sources with knowledge of the new media aspect of her campaign report that Coakley's side -- thinking that it had the race sewn up -- didn't invest in a Google Ad strategy until new media strategists from Organizing for America got involved in the race, after it started to become clear that Coakley was going to have to put up a real fight to win the seat.

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Denmark, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom and Sweden have come out on top of the Web Index, a ranking of the Web Foundation measuring the economic, social and political benefit that countries gain from the web. The United States is at number six. For the authors of the report accompanying the index, the results reflect how inequality has an impact on access to the web. "Nordic policy-makers have been quick to adopt and promote the free Internet - and open access to information - as a 21st century public good," the report states. " Others, as this year's findings show, need to move fast to catch up." The report attributes the Scandinavian countries' advantage to the countries' broader efforts to invest in public goods and establish a welfare and acting against " excess concentrations of wealth and power." With the lower inequality in those countries than in others, "the skills, means and freedoms to benefit from new technologies are widespread, which helps to explain why Scandinavian countries score highly on the political, social and economic impact of the Web GO

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