Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

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 friday >

First POST: Revisions

Tim Wu says we shouldn't be so pessimistic about lobbying; Obama writes a thank you note to reddit; Ted Cruz wants to be the Uber of politics; Llamas!; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

More