Politics Can Be Crowdsourced, Too

from the changing-politics dept

Last week, Mike noted the latest example of the trend towards people wanting to share the news, rather than just consuming it. Now that two-way communications have become cheap and easy, people (especially young people) are growing accustomed to news reporting being a two-way enterprise, with them commenting on the news and sharing it with others rather than just passively consuming it. A recent Washington Post profile of the Obama campaign’s online efforts suggests that something similar is happening in politics. The Obama campaign’s fundraising efforts have put to shame those of the McCain and Clinton campaigns. The Post suggests that a major reasons is that Obama’s campaign has been careful to cultivate a real relationship with its supporters, rather than just treating them like walking ATM machines. It notes that Obama’s emails to his supporters are less likely to ask for money and more likely to invite them to attend a campaign event, watch a video, read an article, or volunteer time for the candidate. This is politics as crowdsourcing. Just as companies can build brand loyalty by cultivating an ongoing relationship with customers, so political campaigns can spark greater levels of support by making them feel like they have a greater stake in the campaign.

A particularly interesting part of this strategy was discussed is a recent edition of Don Marti’s LinuxWorld podcast with Tony Steidler-Dennison, who talked about the Obama campaign’s success with phone banking. The campaign has an online phone-banking system that allowed users to log into a website, get a list of phone numbers to call, and make the calls from the comfort of their own home. This saves the campaign the hassle of having to rent out space for phone banking, but more importantly it gets more volunteers the opportunity to participate, which gives them a stronger sense that they have a stake in the campaign. The net result will be that money will become less important, while volunteer engagement and enthusiasm will become a lot more important. Thanks to the Internet, campaigns that can energize large numbers of people will find it easier and easier to harness that enthusiasm and translate it into concrete results.

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Politics Can Be Crowdsourced, Too”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Wirehead (user link) says:

I think it actually does signify some level of change.

It’s just that the new strategy will be how to run the best steal-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor campaign, since you’ll get more manpower and cash from the masses than the rich people and big corporations.

Still, I kinda like Obama for reasons other than his social-network campaign. He also seems to understand that things are not always simple with easy answers you can campaign on.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Candidate songs

Speaking of being in touch with the supporters, all of the 3 main candidates now have their own songs.
Hilary has some latin song meant to get all those of spanish decent to vote for her. Catchy tune, but I have no clue what that song is saying since it is in spanish. McCain has the “It’s Raining McCain” song. … .. That sond should never have been made. The singers cannot sing in tune with the song, or each other for that matter. They also look like they should never have been let out of the house. The production value of the video is put to shame by just about 80% of the user made content on YouTube. Ugh.
Today they played Obama’s new song. To the tune of I Wanna Rock, there is now I Want Barock. Hilarious!!
Of course, a simple song cannot sway my vote at all Buttttt just in terms of the songs, McCain is losing so bad its not even funny. Okay, its kind of funny.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...