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Managing your online identity version 1.7 Managing your online identity version 1.7 Document Transcript

  • Managing your online identity Leveraging the power of the internet for political campaigns Casey Phillips (2011) Version 1.7 RedPrint Strategy Group www.redprintstrategy.com Casey@RedPrintStrategy.com www.Twitter.com/CaseyPhillips1 www.facebook.com/caseywphillips www.dcvaquero.wordpress.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/caseyphillips http://www.Youtube.com/user/caseyphillips1 http://digg.com/users/dcvaqueroDownload this presentation at http://www.slideshare.net/DCvaquero
  • What is Web 360?Full 360 degree integration of your e-campaign into your traditional campaign for thepurposes of increasing your viability and accessibility to opinion makers, media,bloggers, activists and donors. A modern campaign must develop a comprehensiveplan that manages the power of the Internetʼs 1.0 broadcasting medium coupled withthe webs rapidly expanding 2.0 community building and activism tools while optimizingyour web presence for use in the mobile 3.0 world. The world of slow moving, top downcommunications is becoming obsolete, authority now comes from many differentdirections and you must engage the public through multi-directional channels.The best way to quickly judge your online identity is what shows up on the first page ofGoogle or any search engine when you type in your name, (85 percent of Internet trafficstarts at a search engine). If you and your campaign are buried on page 2 or 3 ofGoogle then you barely exist and nobody will find you and nobody will care.www.google.comWhy You Should Care:Your online identity is the fastest, easiest, and cheapest medium for communication topotential activists, donors and voters. The Internet allows you to begin building yourbrand among the chattering classes long before the TV commercials begin to run. Infact many times potential donors will search you out on the Internet before decidingwhether or not to contribute to your campaign. If your e-house is not in order and yourcampaign does not look attractive online you may be turning potential check writers offand away. The press and local media outlets are hurting because the Internet allowsusers to search out the news they want to find at free or minimal cost. The Internetoffers you a medium to generate media stories, raise funds and build an army offollowers to your cause without ever leaving the comfort of your easy chair.The Internet is now the first step in building your personal brand. In the old dayscampaigns were started with initial meetings with party leaders, business leaders,activists and donors. These meetings helped you understand what is important in yourdistrict and whom you need to talk to, where you need to go, and what you need to talkabout. These meetings help you gauge the political climate, size up your competitionand start the buzz about your potential candidacy. Nowadays the groundwork for eventhe original rounds of meetings can be laid online. In fact it is likely that blogs andonline forums will be buzzing about your candidacy long before you ever beginassembling your team. Nothing is secret anymore and certainly not on the Internet. Asmart candidate will learn to harness and exploit this wild west of people andinformation using sometimes confusing but ultimately simple, and mostly free tools.The Internet is full of people who are generating fresh content and having conversationsevery day, it is in your best interest to turn on and plug in.
  • The long tail of the Internet allows you to speed targeted messages and instantresponses to targeted niches of the population.The speed of Internet communication is one of the main reasons that traditional newsoutlets are fading. Blogs and online magazines area able to break news hours beforeanyone can warm up a printing press. Anything that is printed is history, has likely beenshared, discussed, sent around, corrected and editorialized on by thousands of peoplebefore you picked it up.In 2009 traditional newspapers are now too slow to even break news about themselves:
  • The Internet is now almost universally available. Broadband access in Americanhouseholds is up to 82% in 2008, according to a recent report by the Pew Internet &American life project, from around 50% in late 2004 and 10% in 2000. Until fairlyrecently most people were constrained by bandwidth from fully enjoying itʼs capabilities.Your Objective:To establish and manage a dominant web presence that will leverage the reach andscope of the Internet in order for you to promote your message, encourage people toactivate and contribute. The building of a solid community online is truly a 3 leggedstool. You must appeal to 3 groups in concert: donors, media (including bloggers), andactivists/voters. Put your best foot forward because all 3 groups are judging yourperformance. As with the traditional campaign your goal is to make a strong sales pitchto the donors and the media and in turn inspire the activists to follow you.A modern campaign invites people in to the process by focusing on transparency. Atransparent approach allows donors, activists, bloggers, media, and voters to takeownership of your campaign, feel a part of it and take responsibility for it.To forge new relationships with people you otherwise would not have access to, youmust recruit them to your cause, add value to their experience and make them feelappreciated. In response your online community will provide you with the tangiblebenefit of real life action and nearly instant feedback.If you pay attention to the community youʼre building, then the community will step upand do the work. -Joe Trippi, campaign manager Howard Dean for President
  • What is the difference between web 1.0 and web 2.0?In the early ages of candidate involvement on the Internet many political candidates andgroups felt that they needed a website or splash page, basically an online presence forthe sake of having one this is known as a simple broadcast platform or web 1.0Web 2.0 provides tools for community building, interaction and mobilization allowingInternet users to get involved and help to spread your message. Web 2.0 allows youronline presence to by dynamic and engaging. Content can be uploaded and sharedfrom a variety of sources making your website attractive for repeat visits. Web 2.0allows your campaign website to become a true virtual campaign headquarters.
  • How the Internet has fundamentally changed campaigns for 2011 and beyond:Power now comes from the people. The Webʼs big success stories are based in itsinherent populism—its position as giving voice to, rather than talking at, masses ofpeople. If people wish to simply listen or watch, be passively entertained or informed,theyʼll watch TV.A common denominator for success on the Web is that it allows people to get their ownvoices heard (and images seen), from email to blogs to social networking sites touploaded videos.From a political perspective, this means creating space for the issues about which yourcommunity is or can become intensely passionate and giving them an outlet (yourcampaign) for them to take action.The barriers to entry in the online community are shrinking every day. Inexpensive andfree broadcast mediums (YouTube, Blogger, Wordpress) coupled with cheap tools ofcreation, (iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, Gimp) have created a whole new class ofmedia producers.Have you ever heard of “Obama Girl”?http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=wKsoXHYICqUPeople are out there networking, small groups of like-minded individuals are organizingthemselves online. Your campaign shoud take advantage of their hard work and theirnetworks.Uninterrupted access to what you and your community cares about (Blackberries,iPhones, and wireless cards allow you and everyone else around the clock wirelessaccess to media, their networks, and to you.Access to these technological tools allows candidates to bypass the filter of mainstreammedia. When you want to deliver an important message, you are no longer dependenton the media to deliver it for you. It can be as easy and updating your Facebook pageor sending out a tweet.It is cheap and cost-effective. The technology allows political candidates to reach morepeople with less money and more quickly than conventional media. The web holds thepotential to be revenue positive for a political campaign, attracting small dollar donors toyour cause through the web can not only pay for your online efforts but can actually putpositive dollars into your traditional campaign.Candidates can effectively mobilize supporters and rally them to their movement orcause. Supporters can be touched by a number of means, including emails and onlinemessages. Once activated, candidates can use the web to get real people to canvass
  • their neighborhoods, make telephone calls, and convince their friends, families, andassociates that you are the best candidate for the job.Two way and multi-channel communication facilitates civic engagement and createssocial capital. Voter turnout in most democracies today is disappointingly low. It isusually a small minority who follow politics 24-7. What remains is a sea of passiveobservers who choose to get involved only if activated. Having ones voice heard cangive people a sense of loyalty to the political system and the motivation to engage incivic activities. Supporters are now able to make their voices heard through theirFacebook profiles, their Tweets or by recommending a story on Digg.Candidates for political office must establish an online presence where they can betterconnect with and target voters socially and organizationally.Rules for building your identity: Content Is King vs. Technology for TechnologyʼsSakeFirst have something to say: donʼt forget that content is still king. These fun-filled andinnovative bells and whistles are, above all else, new tools to better enable a skill as oldas time itself—communication. But no graphic or clever technology can take the placeof great content so be sure youʼre creating and sharing information your recipients aregenuinely interested in.Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it,picturesquely so they will remember it, and, above all, accurately so they will be guidedby its light. – Joseph PulitzerAnd give them easy, simple, direct ways by which their voices may be heard and bywhich they can, individually and in concert, take action. -Ralph BenkoRemember to keep your message accessible, dynamic, exciting and easy to share.Take advantage of 2-way communication with real people and strive to make yourcampaign transparent. Feature timely and in-depth content meant to keep everyone upto-date and able to participate in spreading an easy to share message and providinginstant feedback. Empowering your community and giving them access will inspire themgo to work for you in a tangible way.Give increased access to traditional and non-traditional media, and be sure to takeadvantage of social network leaders, they are the online “connectors” (see MalcolmGladwellʼs book “The Tipping Point”) social network leaders can open up doors for youand give you access to online communities of like minded people, in your communityand beyond, that you never knew existed or could break into on your own. Somewherein that expanded community are more donors and voters.Candidates and campaign managers can no longer afford to see voters as mailboxesand points of TV. Passive political involvement officially died in 2008, you are now
  • dealing with community members whom have access to platforms and tools that allowtheir voices to be heard.Remember that the Internet does nothing. It is a medium with which you can reachmany people at very low cost, and engage them in profound ways. That doesnʼtguarantee that theyʼll be interested in what you offer—or even know that you existAlso remember that campaign messaging has not changed very much, you still need tokeep a handle on your campaign message, what is changed is one method of deliveringyour carefully crafted message not the message itself.What do I need to get started?First and foremost you will need a plan for what you want to accomplish, a Blackberry orsmartphone an e-mail management utility, a web designer, a handful of trustedvolunteers, donor management software, credit card processing system at your localbank and/or a Paypal account.Buy a good domain name, so people can find your page easily, try to avoid usinghyphens and numbers, make your website as easily searchable as you possibly canand try to buy up any common misspellings you can think of. You will likely only need topurchase .com and .org. Have your web engineer point all of your newly purchaseddomains to your active page. I use GoDaddy.com but there are many low costproviders out there worth exploring. Never pay more than twenty dollars to reserve adomain name.You will need to purchase a few things to get started as well, try Best Buy orwww.overstock.com for these.Laptop and mobile Internet cardBlackberry or smartphone with data plan (with camera)5.0 megapixel or better digital cameraDigital video camera HDD or Mini DV with digital or analog in, digital outUSB MicrophoneA DVR (to record TV appearances) or digital receiver/recorder like Elgato EyeTVDigital video editing software (iMovie, Windows Moviemaker, Dazzle, Pinnacle)How much will it cost me?As stated before you should lay the groundwork as soon as humanly possible with thefree tools available to begin building a base of contacts to work from when youeventually launch your comprehensive and paid web strategy. A good website designershould be able to set up a fully functional website for between 5 and 10 thousanddollars but you can do it yourself for much less. You can get the hardware and softwareyou will need for around a thousand dollars, much more if you want the good stuff,much less if you are able to beg, borrow or steal a few pieces. Most of you probablyhave a digital camera lying around that will work just fine.
  • Open source platforms such as Joomla! and Wordpress are free tools that allow you tocreate websites on your own with a minimal investment in the domain and hostingthrough low cost providers like GoDaddy. A quick online search will turn up onlinetutorials that will help you get started although I do not recommend this for beginners.COMPONENTS OF ONLINE IDENTITY:Home Page: Your website is still the hub of your wheel, holding other moving partstogether, you live on your website, your website is your virtual campaign Headquartersthink of social networks as your employees, working in and around and through yourcampaign HQ.Your homepage needs to be clean, easy to navigate and constantly updating. A statichomepage quickly becomes stale and irrelevant. A boring homepage will not generatesufficient amounts of user participation or attract repeat visitors.Think about your homepage as a telephone number or a single yard-sign along anobscure highway, when you installed your telephone, did that instantly cause importantpeople and large numbers of them to start calling? If you put up just one yard sign on a
  • country road people will have to go hunting for it. Donʼt let that happen to your website,take your website to the people and be where they are online.IMPORTANT: The four Cʼs of a successful and useful modern campaign website:" " " Content, Contact, Contribute, ConnectContent:Breaking news from the campaign, recent articles from local newspapers, online videoof speeches and events, information on upcoming events, campaign commercials,mailers, radio appearances, photos from the campaign trail, endorsements and an RSSfeed of your latest blog or campaign diary entries.
  • A dynamic media center page. Make sure your media center and news releases haveeasy to find, grab and use digital content like downloadable images, video with embedcodes, audio clips and contact links.Donʼt bother with lengthy position papers, nobody will read them who does not alreadyhave a position on the issue in question.Contact: Ask every visitor to enter in his or her name and email address in return for“staying in touch with you” very few people will sign up for a “newsletter” they getenough of them already. Sometimes this is successfully done with a pop-up screenbefore the visitor is even allowed to access the campaign website. Resist thetemptation to ask for more information here - you can do that later. The goal here isbuilding your list.Be sure to include the standard campaign contact information, email address, physicaladdress, telephone number, P.O. Box and if you happen to be running a campaign in1992 your fax number.Contribute: Make it hard not to give. A donate button (or buttons). There are manyoptions and designs to choose from, make certain that your ask is prominently featured.Connect: A connect with me graph offering users the option to quickly link up with thecampaign on Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Ning, Twitter, Digg,Stumbleupon, or any other networks that spark your curiosity.
  • A modern political website should be engineered for engagement, prompt visitors toconnect, contribute, volunteer, make phone calls and find nearby events. You should notbe content in asking visitors to just fill out a volunteer form and wait, make sure that yougive them the tools needed to get started on their own.Now you have your website, next you will need to drive traffic to it.EMAIL:Email list building is still as effective as ever. Offer an email list sign up on your homepage. Email collection and management will happen on and off line through yourwebsite, on and offline petitions, contact links and simply asking for it in person. You canalso purchase email appends to your voter file through commercial vendors. Thi can bea costly measure when dealing with limited campaign funds.Make sure you are using your email management system to import every email addressyou can find, mine your social networks for every valid email address. Many people stilldo not understand how to use blind carbon copy (bcc) and looking through some of yourold email forward chains can yield a lot of addresses. Remember to ask for the countyRepublican club or other organizations supporting your campaign for their list eventhough you might not get it. Just make sure that you are always on the lookout for moreemail addresses and have a protocol to ensure that they all wind up in one place.
  • Be careful not to become a spammer. And know the difference between SPAM andBACN. SPAM is email that the recipient does not want, BACN is email that the recipientwants, just usually not right now you will likely be sending BACN if you are successful.Always remember your audience and be careful to ensure they get the point of youremail in the first few lines. Many people will be opening your email blasts onblackberries or phones, so be sure there is enough lead in text content so that youremail does not show up as just a bunch of links.Use your email blasts to cross-pollinate your efforts. Ask your recipients to becomeyour friends and connect with you on social media. Invite your social media followers tojoin your email list. Be sure to highlight the best content from your blog and blogsfollowing your campaign in your emails and incorporate interactive elements so yourreaders can provide you with feedback.A couple real life tips on email blasts, the most successful email blasts that I ever sentwere plain text, they looked as if they came directly from the candidate and asked therecipient for a small contribution, they came across flawlessly on peoples Blackberrys,were easy to read and drove a ton of traffic, this will not always work but the moral ofthe story is please do not think that you need to have a fancy huge static banner and aton of graphics, a couple of pictures are fine, links to relevant and exciting content andopportunities to act and connect are certainly appropriate.Email Signatures:Cross pollinating your efforts can be as simple as getting a modern email signature. Inthe old days, email signatures pretty much just mirrored business card information:name, company, title, phone, fax and email address. A modern email signature willintegrate your social networking information into your email sign-off. After all, the twopurposes of an email signature are to tell the recipient a little about yourself (e.g., yourtitle, company and location) and to give them different ways to contact you. Socialnetworking sites are simply an extension of those two functions, giving other peoplemore information about yourself and additional ways to interact.Some elements that you can add to your Web 2.0 email signatures are your
  • Twitter page, LinkedIn profile, MySpace profile, blog link, Facebook page, and of courseyour website. Wisestamp allows you to add these elements even to your web-based orpersonal email accounts. http://www.wisestamp.com/Online Video:For the same reason that television ads have a more significant impact than radio andmail, combining pictures, audio and text in a web ad can have an increased impact onyour audience.Online video is the most powerful tool in your arsenal for attracting more visitors morevisitors and growing your community, virally spreading your message, quick and clearresponse to attacks, and impacting your campaign.Content is king, nobody is going to spread around something boring, make your webads exciting, funny, controversial or extremely informative. Web adʼs do not need to befancy, they just need to capture attention and be on message.The inexpensive creation tools that the user/producer class has access to and you canuse are plentiful, some examples are iMovie, Dazzle, and Windows Movie Makersoftware, and any inexpensive digital camcorder.Making web videos can be as cheap and quick or as time consuming and expensive asyou want to make it. I suggest getting help for the larger projects and posting the rawvideo for everyday projects.YouTube allows our earlier discussed newly formed user producer class to get involved:
  • YouTubeʼs how to page can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/my_videos_uploadWhy does online video matter? Two words, “macaca,” and “cling” as Sen. George Allenand Barack Obama discovered the hard way.There are 4 major video outlets: YouTube / Facebook video / MySpace video andGoogle video. Higher quality videos can be maintained at sides like Vimeo and Blip.tvYouTube allows you to track who is watching your videos using YouTube Insight. Thisamazing tool will provide you with real time data and demographics about who isviewing your content online. http://www.YouTube.com/my_videos_insight#c.caseyphillips1.channel_summary.world..14358.10..Examples of youtube spreading political messages rapidlyMs. California: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=8XMvviFbkf0Perez Hilton: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=YI1u6bZ39YE&feature=relatedGeorge Allen: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=r90z0PMnKwIBarack Obama: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=DTxXUufI3jAIt does not all have to be web ads and gotcha games: An example of an effective,straightforward Facebook video used to great effect by freshman State House memberTodd Schlekeway for his legislative update series: http://www.Facebook.com/profile.php?id=1560120486&ref=ts#/profile.php?id=721180426&ref=ts
  • Viral videos spread across networks rapidly but they must start somewhere. Give yourvideo the best chance at becoming viral by making sure to equip your video with goodand relevant “tags” when uploading, these tags will help search engines deliver yourvideo to the people searching for it. For a video about my non-existent run forGovernor, I would use the search tags: Casey Phillips, Republican, South Dakota,Governor, 2010, Election, Handsome.Spread any video across your own networks by using the “share” link at the bottom ofthe video player to post it to Digg, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and others, the purposeof the video is after all to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible.One mistake campaigns sometimes make: If you are fortunate enough to catch youropponent on video saying something stupid or bad do not try and tell the story yourselfby editing the video and holding back the raw footage, Bloggers, and television stationswill want the raw footage and will take care of the editing themselves. Feel free to post2 videos, one with the really juicy parts and one with the raw uncut footage. The nightlynews will play online video of your opponent saying something stupid but they will notlikely play your web ad with crude graphics and your chosen background music. If whatyou captured on tape is good enough then let it shine by itself.
  • Example of what not to do:http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=alO9asqx_g4http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=qzpz3hiyCxc&feature=related (this is a little better)Instant uploads to Facebook video from your cell phone can help you take video mobile.Make sure to outfit your YouTube profile, and channel just like all of your other socialnetworks and make sure to link them all together.Search Engine Optimization:There is a whole art called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a way ofpositioning your site to appear higher in the Google (and other search engine) ranks—i.e. to be higher on the page a user sees when conducting a search. It is extremelychallenging to game the system to move your site to be one of the top three entries—oreven on the first page of search engine results.You want these results to show up:Not this one:The search engines are very sophisticated in determining which are the most popularsites. Google claims that its system takes into account something like 500 millionvariables in assigning a page rank. These variables include things like how long youhave been on the Web, how extensive your traffic is, how many content-relevant siteslink non-reciprocally to yours, and other factors.
  • Constantly updating and adding new content to your sites will put your site/pages higherin the Google returns. Itʼs easier to do in a low profile race than in a higher profile race.Letting your opponent define you on the Internet is 100% unacceptable and is usuallyone of the first signs of a lost or failing campaign.You can optimize your presence by thinking about how your targets audience may besearching and writing website copy and tagging posts and videos in that way.Put simply, the more places you are on the web, the more mentions of your name thatyou control, and the more able you are to drive traffic to those entities the better yoursearch engine profile will become. Be aware that this can be a slow process.Buying Google AdWords is also a quick and easy way to kick start your SEO campaign.AdWords are small advertisements that appear when people search on Google using akeyword such as your name or your opponents name. When someone in the particularstate, city, or region that you have chosen to target searches one of your targetedkeywords then your ad will appear next to the search results. Google AdWords are aneasy and cost effective way to to target voters within your district and boost your onlineidentity. You can learn more about Google AdWords at www.adwords.google.comOnline Reputation Management (ORM)Whatever goes on to the Internet is archived and searchable, this can work for oragainst you. Make sure you are regularly managing your online reputation by promotingand adding fresh content to the sites you control, adding links to positive stories aboutyou and promoting your groups and social networks. Think of these actions asinsurance for when the bad stories and blog posts start to come.When the bad stories start to come the only way to bury a bad search engine hit thatstarts showing up is to start building links to the sites ranking immediately beneath thenegative piece in the search results. If you make a significant effort you may be able toboost the sites you want to be seen above the negative pieces. Ensure that the desiredkeyword terms are in the anchor text of the desired links. The same goes for photos insearch engines such as Google Image Search, remember to tag all of your images withpositive keywords when uploading to your blog, website or social networks.
  • Also spend a bit of time doing opposition research on yourself, there is no guaranteethat you can get something unflattering taken down from the net, and still less likely thatit will actually disappear but it never hurts to ask you old college roommate to removethat picture of you with a lampshade on your head from his Facebook page. Note: youcan untag pictures of yourself from Facebook but that does not remove them from thesite, untag first and then send a message asking for the user to remove the picture.Blogs and Media:In 2009 Press Releases look dramatically different:Without rich and dynamic content such as pictures or video, your old text only pressrelease is nearly worthless. Bloggers also like to make easy posts, give themeverything they will need contained or linked in the release. Include a download link toa high quality headshot from your website that is suitable for publication. Also be sureto allow website visitors and community members to easily post your content directly totheir Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites with dynamic links like these:http://www.new.Facebook.com/share_partners.phpThe above example is over the top, but it serves to underscore the basic fact that youshould include dynamic content, embed video, high quality photos and important links tooutside content sources of interest. Once again be sure to apply the same campaignstandard to any content you share. Give your bloggers everything you give your
  • reporters and vice versa, they are rapidly becoming synonymous, treat them as such.Also remember that everyone in your audience has the potential to spread, forward,comment and put their own spin or brand on your content so provide them with the toolsto do so.How Social Media and Blogs are realized in traditional media:Reporters like bloggers are more likely to write a story if they are provided with all of thetools necessary. Reporters read blogs and can be swayed by them. Develop and useyour contacts with local bloggers to help you break that story you just cant seem to sellto the local paper. Once the editors at the hard to reach paper have seen the story onblogs and public reaction via the comment section the chances they will dispatch areporter to cover that story or your next story will increase exponentially.How to spread the good stories. Lets imagine for a moment that you have just nailedan interview with the Meade County Times-Dispatch and you know a great article aboutyou is coming out in tomorrows paper. One small problem is that the MCTD has acirculation of only about 10,000 people. As a candidate building your brand, or fendingoff attacks, you would really like to get this story in front of as many eyeballs aspossible. So you sit down at your computer and use your newly built social media andInternet outreach machine to pump this story out to bloggers and average voters alike.Reporters usually file their stories with the web editor just after they submit them forprint, the web editors usually begin posting the next days stories sometime aftermidnight local time. Google Alerts usually will pick these stories up in the next hour orso but if not, be sure to check the news organizations website and or RSS feed.When this great story arrives in your inbox or RSS reader, step 1: is to email it out toyour blogger email list as an ICYMI or (in case you missed it), be sure to add someadditional fresh content that is just for them, maybe a picture or an additional quote.Step 2: post the story with the link to the original article on your blog and your website.Step 3: spread the story via your social networks and make it easier for your followers tofurther spread the message. I recommend first posting the story on your Facebook viaFacebook publisher, send a tweet with a tinyurl link back to the story, make sure to getthe story added to Digg and del.icio.us, and always remember when reposting andsharing good content to provide your followers with Sharehis or Addtoany buttons sothey can spread the content through their own networks as well.
  • It is not uncommon to republish the article in its entirety on your website with links backto the original page. Then you can add all of the sharing buttons to the article there, thiswill point all new visitors to the shared material back to your website, in theoryincreasing your page views, funds raised and volunteers signed up.Blogs, your own blog vs. connecting with other bloggers:Blogs have become absolutely essential to modern political campaigns because of theirability to almost instantly break news and their lack of editorial oversight when dumpingopposition research. In the absence of mainstream media attention on a down ballotcampaign, many times the blogosphere may be the only or the most accessible sourceof information about the race.Do not underestimate the power of a committed blog author to build a strong communityof followers by offering intelligent and timely commentary, and then to sway the opinionsof and to mobilize their sometimes large and loyal readership.The most popular and easiest to use blog hosting and technology sites are Blogger andWordpress. Other popular sites are Moveable type and Livejournal. I recommend anduse Wordpress for all of my blogging needs personal and political.There are more than 72,000 blogs that at least partially cover politcs on the webaccording to Technorati. More than 10% of all Internet users read blogs and many forlocal political information.To get heavily involved in the blogosphere it is advisable to or recruit a volunteer who isable to spend the enormous amounts of time scanning, posting, commenting,contributing content and building relationships with the local blogosphere.
  • Starting and maintaining a blog is by far the easiest, quickest and least expensive wayto get your message out ever created.So feel free to sign up for a free account and get started, it takes a long time to build afollowing but do not let that deter you. Use the hometown newspaper standard and link,build, share, track-back, tag and post away. And remember as with everything contentis still king.Your relationship with other bloggers:First, find political blogs in your area.Check the BNN Rank for your state, BNN weekly assigns a ranking of political blogs bytheir influence, their methodology is somewhat secret but they are a very goodresource: http://www.blognetnews.com/Search keywords out on Technorati http://technorati.com, and Google blog search.Scrolling through the blogroll of political blogs as you find them.
  • Build and maintain a list of all the blog contributors email addresses for news releases.Spend time building the relationship and getting them to work for you:The best way to make the blogs work for you is to bring them into the campaign, givethem access, respect and participate in a 2 way conversation with them. Bloggers likerecognition and do a service to the community as a labor of love. It is usuallyadvantageous to throw them a few advertising dollars, some campaigns and politicalorganizations put bloggers on staff or retain them as consultants to solidify therelationship.Bloggers are always looking for the elusive credibility factor, help them find it and youwill likely make friends quickly. It is a good idea to offer bloggers news tips andexclusives. Keep in mind that many times bloggers will cover stories that the MSMwould likely never cover, so find a couple niche stories and give the blogosphere theexclusive right to cover it.Bloggers nowadays have a platform and legitimacy, be sure to include them in ineverything that you include the local media in, your press conferences, conference calls,issue rollouts, and events. Remember to add dynamic content to your press releasesthat bloggers and reporters can use alike, many opinion columnists and reportersmaintain their own blogs and Twitter accounts nowadays, keep your messaging asconsistent as possible between blogs and traditional media, they are becomingsynonymous.Offer all of your content for syndication on local blogs, RSS feeds of your content canbe made available to be shared on other blogs, the easiest way is to create a campaignWidget they look nice and help you syndicate your content and drive traffic to your site.http://www.widgetbox.com/ www.springwidgets.com, www.sprout.com
  • Below is an excellent example of a well written blog post that incorporates all of themajor elements: quotes from other bloggers, track backs, links to more information,opposition research, editorial, news clips, quotes, campaigns, activism, and a call toaction. http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/5/28/23333/4632Never let a web attack go unanswered:Quick Reaction comments:The comment section of a political blog regularly draw supporters, observers andcontributors allowing the people to have their own say on a blog post or topic. It iscommon for the supporters of political candidates to have nasty back and forthexchanges in the comments section, make sure that you as a candidate are never everinvolved in these sometimes nasty debates.That is not to say that you should let an Internet attack go unanswered. In fact youshould never ever let any attack go unanswered. The question is, who should fightback on your behalf? The general rule is that nobody who is paid by the campaignshould post “anonymously” on blogs. Pretty much everyone else is fair game to fightback on your behalf. Many times “Anonymous” comments are allowed on blogs but“anonymous” comments do not have much credibility. For certain it is better to have“anonymous” sticking up for you than nobody.To use the blog comment section effectively for promotion and defense you must findsomeone with the time and ability to do this for you. They can build credibility with thecommunity by creating a username with the local blogosphere and contribute regularly,you blog reaction team must spend the time to build their own brand if they are taskedwith successfully defending your brand.
  • The Obama campaign employed hundreds of blog surfers to never leave an attackunanswered, I know because I run a couple blogs, and every single time someoneposted anything anti-Obama a commenter would show up and defend him off thecampaigns talking points sheet and also attack back. Refusing to let any attack gounanswered even in the smallest of venues is accomplished by constant monitoring ofyour name on Google Blogs, and Technorati.com. Ask for and get people to help yourespond to attacks, this is your online identity after all. Never let a web attack gounanswered.If the attack is bad enough create a response video and get the link up in the commentssection under the attack.The Democrats use blogs for character assassination, be ready for it and respondaccordingly.WARNINGS:Nothing on the Internet can yet replace a well executed conventional campaign strategyof raising money and knocking door to door. But it can give you an advantage byhelping you generate excitement.Watch your employees closely as you monitor your online image. If they blog do not letthem get off message or put themselves in a situation to damage your reputation ortheirs. I made this mistake in 2005 and it was repeated on the same campaign in 2007.LJ: http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/xp-32802EB: http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/elections2007stories/wb/130961Donʼt Astro-turf or Flog (fake blogging): Remember TRANSPARENCY is one of the bigkeys to success on the Internet. Astroturfing is a word that describes a formal political,advertising, or public relations campaign that seeks to create the impression of beingspontaneous and legitimate user generated grassroots behavior. Hence the referenceto the artificial grass, AstroTurf.Wal-Mart busted for Flogging: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=51724Basically Wal-Mart paid a couple of journalists to travel around the country in an RV andstay in Wal-Mart parking lots. The floggers-for-hire wrote about the good people theymet in Wal-Mart and the good things the company was doing. The bloggers failed todisclose the financial arrangement with Wal-Mart as their flog developed and thebacklash was far worse for the companies image online than the benefit of the flog.Fundraising:There are now 3 distinct types of political fundraisers now due to the spread of theInternet, the old standards of 25 people in a fancy suburban home writing $2,000
  • checks, and the 200 people at a barbecue writing $200 checks. The emerging class isthe 10,000 people who never show up but are drawn into the campaign via the Internetand kick in a few dollars online after an action call.Many fundraising tools are available to the political candidate, Democrats have ActBlue.While Republicans do not yet have an answer for ActBlue several promising sites aretrying out new and similar tools. Right now there are two sites, www.slatecard.com andwww.rightroots.com leading the way at this point. Look for tools to be launched by otherGOP aligned groups and PACʼs soon.Basically ActBlue is a tool for collecting money that is raised on blogs via blog links andwidgets when bloggers and social network communities deem a candidate worthy. Youcan do this on your own by making your own widgets and connections with bloggersand building your own social networks, giving them ownership of the process andactivating them to give and find others to give to reach a goal.The real beauty of ActBlue lies in the open platform. You donʼt need permission to startfundraising for or sending money to candidates of your choice, the plumbing has beenlaid out for any motivated person to start making a real difference by raising money fromtheir contacts, all it takes is a few clicks.
  • Many of the lessons learned from Howard Dean way back in 2004 and still truetoday. Announce attainable online fundraising goals and ask for help reaching them,use your email list and social networks to help drive traffic to the blogs that are helpingyou make the push. Build a sharable widget so that blogs can post them that tracksprogress toward the goal and immediately directs the possible donors web browser toyour websites donate page.Blow your goal away and thank your community, always hit your online goal even if ittakes a few phone calls, this will further energize and activate your community. Giveyour community ownership of the goal realization and then ask for more help on thenext deadline.The best tool for online fundraising is still email, concentrate on writing the best copypossible for your email and laying it out as simply and as straightforwardly as possible,remember to include important action items. A timely emotional appeal and giving atleast the appearance of a tangible benefit to your audience are key components of asuccessful fundraising email like the one below:Notice the sense of urgency, celebrity author, multiple contribute links, forward to friendtools, embedded video, goal, deadline and emotional appeal.
  • Gathering the donations:For the very small campaign, using Paypal to gather online donations is very cheap andvery easy to set up and integrate, no brick and mortar bank involved. Be careful ofcompanies that want to charge you high fees to collect online donations. Your localbank can set up a credit card processing account and shopping cart for a smallpercentage. Do it yourself.SOCIAL NETWORKS:“Joe Six Pack” is now online and he has a Facebookhttp://blog.pos.org/2009/05/voters-are-networking/POS Survey: Voters Are Networking By Jim Burton Friday, May 8th, 2009Public Opinion Strategies completed a national survey of 800 likely 2010 voters (April19-21, 2009) where we asked a few demographic questions about cell phones andnetworking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  As you would suspect only a smallpercentage (13%) of voters do not have a working cell phone and one-third of likelyvoters use networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster or Twitter.  Use Social Network Sites: Yes (34% overall)GOP: 29% Ind: 37% Dem: 38%
  • Good rules to social network by:First, do no harm. Not understanding and misusing social networks can cause real andconsequential damage to your campaign, make sure everyone on your team hasknowledge of what not to do first. Nobody associated with you or your campaign shouldever think that anything they do on the Internet is private. Assume that every comment,status update and photo uploaded to any social network or blog is fair game to wind upas front page news. Have a meaningful conversation with every member of your teamto ensure that they leverage their personal networks in a positive and constructive way.I have seen one wrong Facebook status update cost a bright young political operativeher job and stall her career. Unfortunately no amount of online reputation managementis likely to cover up a mistake like that.Social networks allow you the opportunity not just to be found by but to search out andfind like minded individuals that can easily be swayed to your cause, Facebook evenallows you to search by political affiliation. Another great way to find people to join youis to browse through ideological or regional groups. If you are running for state senatein Sioux Falls South Dakota a few good groups to start with would be the “Vote Yes forlife” South Dakota group and the “Augustana College Alumni” Group.Once you have located a few friends, joined a few groups and started building afollowing of like-minded people make sure to do what does not seem to come natural tomost people, interact with them in a meaningful way. Make sure you cultivaterelationships with your social network friends. It is not enough to have them add you asa friend. Stop by their page to wish them a happy birthday or congratulations on awedding or engagement. Take note of your friends status updates and take some timeto read and respond to your friends updates - pay special attention to messages sentdirectly to you and respond to them promptly. Do not be afraid to cut the cord and takeyour network with you on your mobile, just remember to not let your Blackberry getbetween you and a real live person.Private profiles are not an option, and trying to maintain two separate profiles will likelylead to confusion and mistakes. Try hard to consolidate your networks and make roomfor your new political friends by taking down the potentially embarassing pictures fromcollege.Messaging reminder: Message control is crucial in social networks. Have you readabout a politicianʼs mistweet recently in the media? Do you have reporters andbloggers as followers or friends? It is easy for anyone in your networks to grab a screenshot of your slip up and send it out to blogs all over the country. Control yourself, thinkclearly, and have a firm grasp of how to use the technology at your disposal.Social networks have changed many aspects of political campaigns but none so muchas upsetting the traditional top down campaign information flow. The structure of thecampaign has become spread out, transparent and open to encourage citizen accessand participation. While all well and good, even the Obama campaign proved that even
  • with all the structural campaign operation seemingly transparent, the campaignmessage flow was very tightly controlled. Although activists got to have their say onmybarackobama.com cooler heads must prevail in the newsroom.Understand your own messaging strategy, and implement it. The interactive audiencecan be a great test market for your messages, and they can provide you with nearlyinstant feedback, but remember that no successful messaging strategy has ever beenrun by an angry mob, otherwise wouldnt we have a more rosy image of angry mobs?Listen to your mob but let cooler heads prevail. The real secret to keeping your peoplehappy is to listen. They wonʼt expect every idea they send you to come out of yourmouth or wind up in a news release but as is the beauty of the Web 2.0 they want theirvoice heard, so go ahead and listen.WARNINGS: the larger the campaign the more tightly controlled the message shouldbe, do not tweet about everything. In most large operations the candidate may suggesttopics for tweets but should not actually be tweeting. If you plan on doing it yourself Iurge you to think critically, watch your tone, follow the doʼs and donʼts and know wherethe line between normal person and candidate for office is.Watch your staff and their social networks, make sure they are using a hometownstandard as well, it can be an embarrassing distraction to the campaign to have nudephotoʼs of your press secretary on the local political blog.People are not on Facebook to be marketed to or to be told what to think, they are thereto engage their friends and build their network, find old friends and occasionally strikeup a conversation. Bring value to them or do not come at allK.I.S.S. this stuff is not that hard, search, build, listen, respond, engage, controlyour message and follow back.The Basic Sites:FACEBOOK:“Facebook is such a cool and easy way for me to connect with my fans while Im on theroad,” said Britney Spears. “I love that I can update my status, blog and post videos andphotos all in one place.” (if Britney can do it, you can do it)Step-by-step instructions for any public figure or organization wanting to create apresence on Facebook and best-practice suggestions for public figures, non-profits orother organizations can be found at http://www.Facebook.com/publicprofiles.The rules,Fill out your profile, donʼt be scared and be sure to be as real and honest as possibleInteract (the like button takes almost no effort) Commenting or piling on a discussion willput your profile into news feeds of others in the discussion. Add everyone who requestsyou. Search for like-minded individuals (political affiliation, hometown, current town,
  • personal and professional email contacts search). Have and plug your fan group (givetitles to your best online supporters). Upload and tag friends in photos and videos.Read your news feed so you know whatʼs happening in your supportersʼ lives. Lastlybut most importantly - Be very careful, and mind your image.Facebook stats:More than 200 million active users, two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of collegeand the fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older. The average userhas 120 friends in their networkActivity:850 million photos and 8 million videos uploaded to the site each month.More than 1 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos,etc.) shared each week.More than 2.5 million events are created each month.More than 25 million active user groups.And it is growing rapidly.Features of Facebook:Wall - The Wall displays the most recent and relevant information on a profile. The Wallis a collection of what the user shares as well as what those connected to them aresharing. People can easily comment on the content posted.
  • Publisher - Just as a user can add content such as status updates, photos, and videosto any of their connectionsʼ profiles, the Publisher provides a simple interface for sharingcontent.
  • News Feed – Users receive updates in News Feed every time they visit Facebook. Thelatest content shared by their friends is organized before them in a timeline.Build your brand: You or someone you know can spend a few bucks to set up a groupand advertise regionally and in advantageous networks to help create a buzz about yourcampaign or to further positive rumors about you, and of course negative ones aboutyour opponent. The below ad was legitimately organic and placed by a local activistwithout knowledge of the campaign and it generated exactly the desired effect. BrianDubie not only gained new Facebook friends and followers, the simple ad alsogenerated blog postings and buzz all over the state for pennies.September 1st, 2009 Dubie Running Low-Level Ad Campaign (ARTICLE EDITED)by Philip Baruth: Lite Governors all share the dream of being one day less Lite. Our bet was thatDubie does, and as of yesterday we picked up a few shreds of proof.Now, sure, this ad purports to be the work of a group trying gamely to encourage Dubie to run.But Facebook ads, like all others, cost money, and there are various potential risks and hoops ifyou’re starting a page for someone other than yourself.Which is to say that this page was almost certainly started with Dubie’s assent, as a placeholderuntil the semi-official announcement is leaked to the press. And should Dubie decide, forwhatever reason, to jelly-leg at the last possible moment, this ad can vanish without a trace,without attribution, and without embarrassment.
  • Who’s behind them then VDB? You or your friends?Exhibit A: the Facebook ad.Facebook Advertising:I certainly suggest taking advantage of the minimal cost of Facebook advertising, youcan set it up to pay per impression or pay per click, I suggest you and your team spendsome time to think through targeting and message in your ad, it is a very cheap way toget yourself in front of a lot of eyeballs for very minimal cost.
  • Finding new friends on Facebook:It is generally frowned upon to mine for information on social media profiles for useoutside of Facebook, that is why it is the most popular of the social network sites. MostFacebook profiles are private so you wont be able to access much information frompeople who are not already your friends.Expand your network by allowing Facebook to search your personal address book;Outlook Contacts, Gmail address book etc using the “find friends” function. As you lookto expand your reach begin by searching for people within your geographic network,political philosophy, mutual friends, and or trolling groups of like-minded people to findprospective friends and allies.Watch your limits on outstanding friend requests: Beware that if you want to friendrequest everyone in the “I support Governor Barbour” Facebook group and you do it allat one time you could be blocked by Facebook as they limit the amount of outstandingfriend requests that may have out at one time.Bottom line: Facebook is the most powerful social network on the Internet today period.Learn to master Facebook first, use contact importer to find people you already know.Spend time here first and then move on to some more exotic sites once you havemastered the all powerful Facebook.TWITTER:Twitter is a micro-blogging site that lets users interact with each other around onesimple question: What are you doing?
  • Doʼs and Donʼts of Twitter:#1. Have message discipline, do not tweet anything that you donʼt want to see in yourhometown newspaper because it will hopefully wind up there.DO:1. Tweet VALUE (content is king)2. Create a user-friendly Twitter ID (@yourname)3. Your first choice for a Twitter ID should be your name. If your name is taken find a" way to keep it as close as possible. There are only 140 precious characters" available in each Twitter post. The longer your Twitter ID, the more space it takes" up.4. Be clear but donʼt be afraid to abbreviate >140 is tough5. Use a clear picture6. Learn the lingo. As with any new network there is a learning curve. Twitter has a" quirky lingo all its own. But donʼt let that hold you back from interacting. If you" donʼt understand something, ask someone.7. A few of the essentials:" • DM = Direct Message" • @ = Use to reply and always include proceeding a Twitter ID in a reply" • RT = Retweet" • Tweet = Sending a message on Twitter8. Make your links clear and prominent9. Use Tinyurl, shrink shared links in order to maximize the description10. Use hashtags to optimize search to allow others to find you11. Follow people back12. Retweet good content and promote others who share your best content.13. Reply promptly to direct messages and @replies14. Take it mobile - use that smartphone!15. Link to Facebook status and website/blog/feed/Digg16. Spend some time finding locals and opinion leaders, journalists in your area17. Think critically about what your voters and locals might be tweeting about and use" www.Twitter.search.com to find them (what is popular? local sports teams, high" schools, landmarks, churches, hobbies, clubs, recreation, sports)18. Syndicate using widgets and get posted19. Promote your Twitter page: with “follow me on Twitter” links20. Read tweets, they will help you know what is going on if you are following the right" people you will learn valuable information about the goings on in your community.21. Read the bio of those who follow you (determine if they will add to your network in a" positive way) following Aston Kutcher is not likely to help you win votes or know" what is happening in Helena Montana.22. Learn about when you should “@” versus DM (i.e. direct message)23. Follow the reporters in your area via the (TRACKVIA: Media on Twitter Database)24. Have fun.
  • DONʼT1. Follow back people who add nothing to your campaign, Take quality followers and" tweeters over over quantity, I know it is tempting to want more followers but they" only serve to clog your feed and take away from real people who will add value.2. Twitter is not a popularity contest so do not treat it as such.3. Push too hard or try too hard, shameless self promotion is frowned upon.4. Lecture / Talk down to people5. Be Oprah who has a million followers and follows nobody, it will create the image that" you donʼt care what your community is saying and you are not listening6. Be Boring7. Tweet everything, especially do not tweet about food etc., nobody cares8. Tweet anything you donʼt want to see on the front page of your hometown newspaperhttp://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2009/05/leaky_tweets_sink.html?wprss=virginiapoliticsLeaky Tweets Sink...Rosalind Helderman Are there no secrets anymore?One of the mysteries of the Virginia gubernatorial campaign thus far has been whenRepublican Bob McDonnell will take to the television airwaves, particularly now that aDemocratic political action committee has bought $550,000 in commercial time to slamhim statewide.We may now have a piece of the answer--thanks to a 23-year old film productionassistant in Boston. Yesterday, one Jonathan Paula Twittered the following to hisroughly 1,000 followers: I work 45 hours a week as an assistant editor in Boston editingpolitical campaign commercials. Right now: Bob McDonnell for VA GovThree hours after Paula tweeted, the item had found its way to Ben Tribbett, who runsthe Not Larry Sabato blog, who posted an item suggesting McDonnell will soon be onair. And now were off to the races, as the campaigns pop the item back and forth andspeculate how soon the ads Paula was editing will go on air.
  • What is a hashtag -#?Hashtags are a way for like minded people to find each other or to follow conversationsoutside of their group on Twitter. Placing the # sign in front of keywords or targetedgroups, makes it easier to track all conversations in the Twitter timeline via search. As iwrite this Twitter informs me that #fpdc is one of the top tweeted words on Twitter. Oneclick and I find out that there is a Free Press convention in DC this weekend, attendeesand fans are having a conversation about the convention, planning to meet up for happyhour or excited for a certain speaker, yet others are talking about how the whole thing isa huge waste of time. Candidates and causes often create their own #tags hopefullyyours will catch on like mine, #cwp=themanSome good sample Tweets to get your off and twrunning and twthinking:• Who is angry about the proposed tolls on I-99 #rapidcity #TCOT #nonewtolls• Come sign our petition against new tolls at tinyurl.com/xyzrtn #rapidcity #nonewtolls• A great picture of us at a rally with @jeffcamp & @stephjones www.twitpic.com/123• Help us win the magnoliareport online poll: tinyurl.com/vwxyz #tcot #sdgop• Need new asics from all this door to door, may wear them out this wknd in Pierre• email jim@phillips4gov.com if you can come canvass with us Saturday in Pierre• No dog bites today walking doors, a couple close calls here in Mitchell• Stopped in Puckwana on the way to Mitchell, had lunch and Sallyʼs diner• Retweet: @sallysally making calls for Phillips 4 GOV! (Thanks Sally)• Our volunteers are the greatest 2200 calls last night, thank you #jimbojones & @sallysally• Are we all Facebook friends? Add me at tinyurl.com/vwxyz• Yard signs finally arrived, call or txt 605-605-6050 with your address
  • • Big rally with Governor Popular tonight in Harrisburg, come down and join us tinyurl.com/vwxyz• Sturgis Scoopers homecoming tonight, hurrying so we donʼt miss kickoff• RCJ profile on our race this morning tinyurl.com/vwxyz please Retweet if you like it• Heading to Rex Ross radio show in SF tonight on 97.4 at 5, talking about taxes• If you missed the Rex Ross interview the audio clip up on our blog tinyurl.com/vwxyz• @4eyesdoc @cowboybob thank you for donating on our website tinyurl.com/vwxyz• @jjrobinson of course, i am a pro-life, anti-tax fiscal conservative thanks for asking, help us spread the word here tinyurl.com/vwxyz• My record is clear on tax cuts, read about it here tinyurl.com/vwxyz #sdgop #phillips4gov• SD Dems sending out distortions today, bring nasty flyer to office get a t-shirt #sdgop• Thank you @redblogger for setting my tax record straight: tinyurl.com/vwxyz #tcot• Op-ed today in the Argus about my opponents disingenuous tactics tinyurl.com/vwxyz• We need some more foot soldiers for election day www.phillips4gov.com/signup• Need to raise another 750 dollars before midnight to reach our goal #sdgop• Election night party tonight: details here tinyurl.com/vwxyz please join us #phillips4govWhat is a TWEETUPA real world meeting between two or more people who know each other through theonline Twitter service. Basically the use of your Twitter network to help you driveattendance at your already planned political events, fundraisers, press conferences,super Saturday door knocks etc. Tweetups are meetings between Twitterers best touse the service to drive attendance to your events instead of plan separate eventsaround Twitter alone.Possible help services for driving real life attendance at a campaign function,www.meetup.com and www.eventbrite.comOther important social networks:WIKIPEDIA: www.wikipedia.org Do not under any circumstances neglect to update andmonitor your wikipedia page. This is a crucial component of your online identity that canbe manipulated by anyone and returns high on search results.MYSPACE: http://www.myspace.com/Myspace allows you to search, find, and make new friends, has a very open andcustomizable platform that can be easily manipulated. Although users are declining dueto spamming they still have the 2nd largest community with new users joining everyday.Myspace also allows you to follow your friends updates, share updates and uploadphotos and videos.
  • GOOGLE PROFILE:Very easy to set up: takes 10 minutes http://www.google.com/profiles/caseywphillipsA Google profile is simply how you present yourself on Google products to other Googleusers. It allows you to control how you appear on Google and tell others a bit moreabout who you are. With a Google profile, you can easily share your web content onone central location. You can include, for example, links to your blog, online photos, andother profiles such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. You have control over what otherssee. Your profile wont display any private information unless youve explicitly added it.You can also allow people to find you more easily by enabling your profile to besearched by your name. Simply set your existing profile to show your full name publicly.Google Friend Connect: (new and hot)Anyone can join your site and discover other members by using information from avariety of services, including Google, Yahoo, Twitter, AOL, orkut, and Plaxo,strengthening your community as visitors become members. Choose social featuresfrom a catalog of gadgets created by Google and the OpenSocial developer communityto keep your visitors more deeply engaged with your site and with each other.LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/homeLinkedIn has over 40 million members in over 200 countries and territories around theworld. A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second.
  • Linkedin is a hybrid site, very much dedicated to professional networking, it is a goodway to connect to folks but few users are very active. Works with and inside Microsoftoutlook. Sign up for SEO reasons mostly.FLICKR: http://www.flickr.com/ almost certainly the best online photo management andsharing application in the world, flickr helps people make their content available to thepeople who matter to them.Maybe they want to keep a blog of moments captured on their camera phone, or maybethey want to show off their best pictures or video to the whole world in a bid for webcelebrity. Or maybe they want to securely and privately share photos of their kids withtheir family across the country. Flickr makes all these things possible and more.To do this, we want to get photos and video into and out of the system in as many waysas we can: from the web, from mobile devices, from the users home computers andfrom whatever software they are using to manage their content. And we want to be ableto push them out in as many ways as possible: on the Flickr website, in RSS feeds, byemail, by posting to outside blogs or ways we havent thought of yet. What else are wegoing to use those smart refrigerators for?Flickr is the WD-40 that makes it easy to get photos or video from one person toanother in whatever way they want.YOUTUBE: http://www.YouTube.com/ the worlds largest video sharing site, has wonand lost countless elections in its short history and is the most powerful, easiest to usegold standard of video sharing, itʼs influence is almost guaranteed to continue to growand grow rapidly. Set up your channel as soon as possible.MEETUP/EVENTBRITE:http://www.meetup.com/ 6 million monthly visitors: Meetup is the worlds largestnetwork of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group orfind one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 2,000 groups gettogether in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselvesor their communities.Meetups mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the wholeworld, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make adifference.http://www.eventbrite.com/ Eventbrite is the leading provider of online eventmanagement and ticketing services. Eventbrite makes it easy for anyone to hold asuccessful event of any type and size. Eventbrite is free if your event is free. If you selltickets to your event, Eventbrite collects a small fee per ticket. So just like you,Eventbrite wants your event to be a big success.
  • The Eventbrite service includes many features and tools intended to let you performthree basic tasks really well: Publish: Everything you need to create and easilypersonalize a custom web page for your event. Promote: The tools you need to spreadthe word about your event and maximize attendance. Sell: The immediate power to selltickets and collect money online. Read more.DIGG: http://digg.com/Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web.From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the beststuff as voted on by our users. You wonʼt find editors at Digg — weʼre here to provide aplace where people can collectively determine the value of content and weʼre changingthe way people consume information online.Everything on Digg — from news to videos to images — is submitted by our community(that would be you). Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg whatthey like best. If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to thefront page for the millions of our visitors to see.And it doesnʼt stop there. Because Digg is all about sharing and discovery, thereʼs aconversation that happens around the content. Weʼre here to promote that conversationand provide tools for our community to discuss the topics that theyʼre passionate about.By looking at information through the lens of the collective community on Digg, youʼllalways find something interesting and unique. Weʼre committed to giving every piece ofcontent on the web an equal shot at being the next big thing.
  • How they all work together:(Answer, only some of them do but that is rapidly changing)(Share buttons) How to drive traffic by user driven sharing:Allow your users to share everything by adding simple code share buttons to yourcampaign generated content websites such as: www.addthis.com or http://www.addtoany.com/ and http://sharethis.com/ offer these valuable tools for free.Be sure to add your social media footprint to everything you do. Once you have createdyour identity on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Myspace and Linked-In, create a graphicwith links to your pages and add it to your releases, your blast email, your personal andemployees email signature(s) and your media center page so your recipients,journalists, bloggers and others can easily follow you.Your Blog RSS feed and your Twitter feed can be easily integrated into your homepageto drive participation and offer ever changing fresh content. Remember: Google lovesfresh content, the more your home page is changing the higher it will show up onsearches, and that of course is what we call SEO or ORM.Social Networks Working Together:• Your Facebook status can be linked to your latest tweet by installing the Twitter for Facebook application here: http://apps.Facebook.com/Twitter/• Facebook publisher is a powerful tool to share content from your blog, website, youtube and local news outlets via Facebook connect.• Facebook also accepts mobile video and pictures video@facebook.com• Linkedin has a Wordpress plugin that shows your blog posts on your profile• Google profile will link with Flikr, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Linkedin, Wordpress, any other functioning website, Picasa and Flikr are featured• You can use Tinyurl to make a long URL short enough to include in your tweets• Digg allows you to share any link or page on Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Share over email link or Shout to your friends• Digg, Twitter, and Facebook can also be used to promote and share YouTube videos.• YouTube offers great tools for users to rate, share and syndicate videos themselves via Digg, Twitter, Facebook, Email and post directly to blogs.• Applications like www.peoplebrowsr.com (still in beta version) and www.friendfeed.com give you a centralized dashboard and help your networks work together.
  • Demo: Press This plugin allows you to post any link and comment quickly on your blog,add the code for WP share button at the bottom, save post, that will automatically showup on your Linkedin and your website via RSS, then click share, add to Digg, from Diggyou can post directly to Twitter and Twitter will automatically update your Facebookstatus. (In just 6 mouse clicks you have spread a news article or blog post over 5 socialnetworks, 6 if it is a video and your website, in seconds you have shared valuablecontent of your choosing with hundreds or thousands of eager readers. Use the Emaillink to spread it to even more selected folks who might find you interesting.Step 1: Find a storyStep 2: One Click Submit to Digg:
  • Step 3: Spread over your networks:Digg:Twitter:Facebook:
  • Email the link:The Internet and your traditional campaign:Promote your social networks and online presence in traditional media, traditionalmailings, business cards, handouts, and advertising. This will help create buy-in andalso provide anecdotal evidence to the effectiveness and timing of your paid media.Conversely, you can also use social networks, your website and blogs to promote yourtraditional campaign methods. Make sure you let everyone in your networks knowwhen your new commercial is starting to air. Think about previewing yet to be releasedads to your networks. A good strategy is to release traditional campaign content toblogs, media and social networks the night before it is to appear. Make your onlinecommunity feel like campaign insiders and use their feedback.Another great side effect of web technology and social networks are that they multiplythe sets of eyes and ears you have on the ground monitoring the traditional campaignmethods. I have always had a habit of visiting the post office on fall mornings after I getmy coffee, spending time digging through the trash to locate any pieces of mail thatmight have dropped in my particular race. By mid 2007 my excursions were worthlessas the campaign was getting Facebook messages and emailed scans of our opponentsmailers from supporters before I could get to the post office for my morning dig.Ensure that you digitize everything from the media for your site/networks. This is part ofadding good content to your site, and of course content is king. Audio, televisioncommercials, web ads, recorded endorsements mail-pieces, and high resolution photosoffered as downloadable and sharable content becomes free reach into others networksand a good resource for your volunteers, bloggers and the media. When your networkstarts doing its job it will drive new people to your content. Once new folks have beendriven to your site by user generated and shared content make sure that your site is set
  • up to offer action items to new visitors. Ask them to call their friends, spread the wordby email, make sure they can get started working on your behalf right away and on theirown.Real life example: Hosemann Campaign:The Hosemann campaign had just cut a great TV commercial and we knew it. We hadbeen working closely with bloggers and traditional media sources with blogs for monthsand we saw an opportunity to promote ourselves and extend the life of our ad 5 daysbefore the ad was set to air on the following Tuesday. The campaign was able to usenew media to light a new media fire that took our opponents totally by surprise andabsolutely obliterated the coverage of our opponents campaigns by being first to marketwith a good message with strong and available content.We started pushing on Thursday morning 5 full days before the ad and our opponentsad were set to run. Beginning with a Facebook status update (new commercialavailable today on the profile at 2 PM. And followed by a posting of the ad to YouTubethe campaign manager emails link to the new ad to bloggers as a “bloggers only”preview. This absolutely guaranteed written posts.Friday afternoon we posted the video to the website, watched our Technorati alerts andbegan to collect positive responses. The shell of the press release was crafted inadvance with interactive content, video link and information about the commercial,producer and actors, we were able to collect positive blog post feedback and roll theirquotes into our afternoon press release lending credibility to our release and claims thatthe ad was game changing.Saturday and Sunday the news stories rolled in. The nightly news anchors did a parodyof our ad and we were set up and ready to capture and use it. Political columnistslabeled the ad “best of the year” and political cartoons were drawn. All of this user andmedia generated content gave us exactly what we needed to blast our email list withsuccessful fundraising appeals.Subject Line: Critics agree Hosemann campaign ad “the best of 2007” watch it now.Subject Line: 10,000 views and counting, Hosemann ad breaks all records, mostwatched political ad in MS history.Subject Line: Meridian Star says that a political star is born in Mississippi, see whySubject Line: Help us prove that campaigns can still be positive, sign the petition.Subject Line: Will you forward “Gilbert” to just 3 friends.Within 48 hours the video went about as viral as a down ballot state campaign ad cango. It was prominently featured on political and non political blogs, linked on news sites,spread around message boards, shared on supporters Facebooks and Myspaces andfinding its own way into email chains of church groups, civic organizations and normalgroups of friends.
  • The video had almost 10,000 views by Tuesday when it actually aired for the first time.We sent a follow up email appeal for funds to keep it on the air that was our mostsuccessful fundraising email of the campaign. Our social media presence drove a lot ofsupporters to see our video and share it with their personal networks. It also drovevisitors to our contribute page but the most successful fundraising still came from theemail blasts using the generated dynamic content.We worked very hard to control the candidates image and drive links, to help ourcampaign leapfrog past the many 1998 articles about the candidates unsuccessful bidfor congress. By taking advantage of our network of blogs and social activists we wereable to leave 98 behind in a big way as well as activate statewide volunteers, lock upkey activists and raise quite a bit of money.TAKE IT MOBILE:MOBILE CAMPAIGN RULE #1 DO NOT BE JOE BLACKBERRY, put your Blackberrydown or hand it to a staffer when you are in front of living breathing people. Donʼt stopbeing a candidate. It is easy to become obsessed with Facebook, Twitter and blogs.Be careful. Hand your Blackberry off to a friend. Donʼt Twitter as you walk. Nobodyshould witness your e-campaign in public, there will be plenty of time in the car to tweet.Web 3.0 is handheld and mobile, Twitter and Facebook lead the charge. Your contentdelivered directly to your users handheld in real time, audio, video, action alerts, news.Quik (www.quik.com) can stream live video from your phone to your friends and post tofacebook.More than 30 million active are users currently accessing Facebook through their mobiledevices. Mobile users are almost 50% more active on Facebook than non-mobile.Example: Imagine that you could knock on a voters door, talk them into supporting you.Facebook friend request them from your phone, record a 20 second endorsement videoand publish it directly to your Facebook, and home website on your way to the nextdoor. You can.“Friends in common” is a very useful tool Facebook offers. Profiles are not public but ifyou search out someone that you have an upcoming meeting with, possibly a donor,when you find their profile Facebook will inform you if you have any “mutual friends”.Possibly the ultimate source for establishing a connection with a donor or possiblesupporter. Reach out to your mutual friend, download their information on the target
  • donor then use the mutual connection to either get you in the door or to break the ice.This can all be accomplished from your Blackberry.Do not be afraid to ask people for their Facebook email, people will usually give thatvery readily, because people really do want friends.24-7 access to the web. Twitter (Twitterberry) Facebook Mobile (Blackberrry, iPhoneand other smartphones) Myspace Mobile are all optimized to be carried with you all ofthe time. This is the real first emergence of truly mobile web. Folks who are thisplugged in and constantly receiving and replying to messages on the go are much morelikely to be active members of the community. This is the future, take your socialnetworks mobile and you will understand the benefits.Live streaming video from your smartphone to your friends only has a 2 second delayright now. Remember ust know that it is out there and the kid standing in the front rowof your press conference holding his cell phone could be instantly broadcasting yourevent to his network of friends and the entire world should they take an interest infinding his feed.Warning: continue to think critically and do not let Twitterberry get between you and areal life voter.MMS (Multi-Media-Messaging) messaging services allow users and visitors orattendees or people sitting at home to sign up for text message alerts from yourcampaign by texting a 5 digit code to a certain number. The technology is inexpensivebut certainly takes some know how to set up and properly use. MMS can be used todrive traffic and participation in real-time as well as used through your traditionaladvertising to capture people who are not online when they see your ad.SMS or text messaging was used extensively by the Obama campaign to great effect,unless you are running for a very high profile position you probably donʼt need it but ithas been used effectively in TV ads for smaller campaigns, getting instant feedback andenrolling supporters. My advice is to hire a competent vendor.Success Stories:Howard Dean:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5FzCeV0ZFcHoward Dean was the first candidate to harness the power of the internet for communitybuilding, his 2004 presidential race was headed up by political consultant Joe Trippi whooutlined the first law for community building in the age of the internet, known as “TrippiʼsLaw”: If you pay attention to the community youʼre building, then the community will stepup and do the work.“Inside the campaign, we were always looking for ways to show our faith in the peopleout there, to involve them in what we were doing, to take our cues from them, to modelthe campaign on their passionate involvement. At one of these meetings with … our
  • young finance director, we tossed out the idea of posting our fund-raising—not just theresults, like other campaigns, but the goal. Invite the people in and open up the books.Give them the knowledge and information—how much money we wanted to raise—andtheyʼd take the responsibility for doing it.” -Joe Trippi (The Revolution Will Not BeTelevised)Ron Paul:Money bomb: Ron Paul raises $6 million in 24-hour periodhttp://www.thisnovember5th.com/Barack Obama:
  • You must have someone to manage your efforts, if you build the Internet into yourcampaign plan and you run a competitive campaign some people will seek you out andfind you. If you fail to deliver and or show up, they will become bored and abandon youas a cause. Show up and build your army. Barack Obama did this. His campaign waseverywhere and he employed a huge team of competent professionals to guide hisefforts, you donʼt need a huge team but you will need some help.For pure comparison and notes let us take a quick look at how mybarackobama.comutilized the best of the webs organizational and activism tools to promote his candidacy.MYBarackObama.com (incorporated the best of the Internet into one action center)Peaked at 8.5 million monthly visitors, 2 million profiles, 35,000 volunteer groups,allowed activists to send Emails to friends, and make phone calls from home. 400,000blog posts allowed users to join the conversation and 200,000 offline events with realpeople were hatched, organized and realized
  • Components of Obamaʼs success.1. The team wrote a comprehensive strategic plan, very early in the campaign.2. Barack Obama is a charismatic leader, with something to say.3. The campaign had a clear “cause” or “enemy” that galvanized supporters.4. The team focused on highly personal communications with individuals.5. They offered unique, relevant, consistent, and dynamic content that was easilyshareable.6. They were everywhere, no social network or group was too small7. Invited supporter input and participation and empowered super supporters to action8. Made it very easy to donate any amount, everywhere and attracted first time donors9. Built to scale, and performance driven, build your plan to scale and monitor yourperformance10. They let no attack on the Internet go unanswered or unchallengedI hope this is starting to sound familiar...
  • Am I doing what I need to be doing?Checklist:How is my online identity/reputation holding up (google frontpage)Am I everywhere?Are people getting involved or annoyed?Am I posting and sharing Value and Action Items?Are my people fighting back for me?Am I providing an acceptable level of access?Am I still controlling my overall campaign message?Am I raising money?Is my campaign morale high?Conclusion:Be everywhere, go where the voters are spending their time, integrate yourself yourimage and your cause into their daily lives, become a familiar visitor and friend thatengages in constructive dialogue, is accessible and transparent. Always remember tomonitor and manage your online image as if your entire image depends on it, because itdoes.Be proactive and reactive seamlessly in order to become engaging and win. Alwaysremember that content is king. You must offer value to elicit responses and activatecommunity members.Be careful, always use the hometown newspaper standard and demand the same fromyour employees, volunteers, vendors and anyone associated with your campaign. Donʼtever say or do anything you would be embarrassed to read about in the local paper. Ifyou write it, chances are it will find itʼs way into the public eye.Candidates need platforms, personalities, financing, timing, and luck to pull off asuccessful run. In the end, a campaign is a campaign, and new media tools are justthat, tools. They can in principle helpful for executing a campaign against a candidateʼscore strengths and beliefs. But they more than likely cannot be used successfully inisolation.Sources:http://www.markdrapeau.com/2009/03/the-social-media-political-campaign/http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2009/powerlines_spring/index.htmlhttp://mashable.com/2009/02/25/tweetup/http://mashable.com/2008/11/10/twitter-community/http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2009/05/leaky_tweets_sink.html#morehttp://www.wiredcandidate.com/http://www.trackvia.com/misc/media-database.htmhttp://www.thewebstersdictionary.com/http://mashable.com/2008/11/10/twitter-community/http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2009/powerlines_spring/index.html