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At This Point, The Internet is Pretty Much Done

BY Colin Delany | Monday, October 27 2008

Cross-posted on e.politics

Got your attention with that headline, eh? No, I'm not saying the 'net has jumped the shark or otherwise taken a stock market-like plunge as a political tool, but I AM saying that in the last weeks of a political campaign, the internet team's job is mostly over. There'll be plenty of Get-Out-The-Vote messages to send, plus last-minute candidate videos and fundraising appeals to promote, but by now the real work should be done -- if the systems aren't in place and the databases largely complete by now, somebody'd better be sweating.

I started thinking about this over the past few weeks while talking with people working on the national campaigns at different levels. Unlike almost everyone else in in the campaign world, the web people seemed remarkably relaxed, as though the storm had already passed. But for a good reason: it turns out that for the big campaigns and their vendors, the online work peaked weeks or even months ago. If your technology isn't already built and working this close to the election, it's a little late -- software takes too long to develop, debug and scale, and all you can do is install a vendor's pre-built package. Though it's probably too late to populate those volunteer networks and virtual phone banks and to fill the donor and neighborhood block walker lists -- supporter databases don't grow overnight.

Consider it another moment in which online politics has more in common with trench warfare than with blitzkrieg. Most of the time, using the internet for politics is a game of incremental gains, with victories scored one voter/supporter at a time. We'd better get to work.

cpd

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Net Effects

Ballooning digital campaign teams; early registration deadlines kept millions of people from voting in 2012; love letters to Obamacare; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Data-Driven

Get to know Clinton's digital team even better; Ted Cruz election announcement-related fundraising offers peak into the coming data-driven campaign arms race; New York City launches online community engagement pilot program called IdeaScale; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Too Much Information

Will Facebook become the Walmart of News?; Hillary Clinton's digital team; how easy it is to get your hands on 4.6 million license plate scans; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Firsts

Political reporters use Yik Yak to pep up stories about Ted Cruz's campaign announcement; The New York Times, Buzzfeed and National Geographic may agree to let Facebook host their news on its servers; Google fiber users to soon get targeted television ads; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Cowed

TedCruz.com for president; Meerkat fever; who does Facebook work for (probably not you); Medium, "the billionaire's typewriter"; and much, much more. GO

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