The Potential of Blogging

Writer, blogger and consultant Jerome Armstrong describes the role of blogs and the internet in modern political campaigning.

In the first stage, a candidate reaches out to the base, and specifically over the internet, reaching out to bloggers, especially those most local. A campaign builds up it’s listserve, the candidate aims to get buzz from the activists on the ground, and recognizes the local blogosphere as the pre-field organization of the campaign. At this stage, it’s a very decentralized operation, and the candidate’s message works because he’s seen the movement rally around it, and everything going forward builds off of this base. Moving into the second stage, when the campaign brings on field staff, they are integrated with the grassroots. The communication staff are in daily touch with the bloggers for message and tactics, and rapid response and oppo research. The Financers recognize that if they can get buzz and chatter and small donors, it’s more than just noise and provides validation for the larger donors and funding organizations.By the time we get around to the last stage of the campaign, I wouldn’t argue that it’s all that different. It’s still mostly about TV commercials, direct mail, and GOTV. Certainly the campaign that recognizes the power of using niche media to reach the other 65% of the voters that don’t watch broadcast television has an advantage. But bloggers are not as integral a part of the closing effort of the campaign, except in helping to rally troops, and some with rapid response (but can still be pushed around by the media mainstream memes).  

Although this has obvious applications to charity campaigning and fundraising, arguably the considerably lack of internet use in older age groups, particularly in Ireland, might affect how, or indeed whether this could be applied to Ireland.

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