Saturday, January 29, 2005

Looking back at me looking forward

If you didn't see my three-book review from the Texas Observer last summer -- Joe Trippi's autobiography, James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds, contrasted with Malcolm Gladwell's older, The Tipping Point -- I see they've now put it online. I argued there that Internet GOTV strategies were not yet ripe, and called for a more stringent evaluation by Democrats of Internet tactics. Oh, and I didn't like Trippi's book. Give it a read and see what you think I got right and wrong.

I'd add as a short postscript that literally as I was writing that piece, the Kerry and Bush campaigns' web consultants were developing new, amazing social software to mobilize volunteers, and MoveOn wound up not using volunteer phone bankers to call voters, as they'd said in a Wired article, but instead to call other volunteers to get them to do tasks, go to meetings, etc. That's a much smarter strategy that avoids some of the problems my review predicted. At the end of the day, the 2004 campaigns show that the array of political web tactics available so far can excel at fundraising, and is useful, in conjunction with other media strategies, for educating and mobilizing one's base. But who could argue that more traditional media and tactics are not more effective at GOTV?

1 comment:

Adina said...

This Washington Post article does a great job of explaining how the Bush campaign did better across the board, at advertising, direct marketing, and field organization.

The Democrats started later at field organizing, and they were less organized.