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Day One: THURSDAY, MARCH 10 Level 1, Marvin Center, Betts Theatre 2:00pm 2:15pm OPENING REMARKS: Carol C. Darr - Director, Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet OPENING PLENARY Reviewing Election 2004: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Nasty Now that the election is over, Internet political moguls and the online teams from both Presidential campaigns will engage in a no holds barred analysis, discussing how each of the major campaigns utilized the Internet to garner support, the role of the Internet in empowering small donors and the use and possible misuse of 527s in the 2004 election. Mike Turk - eCampaign Director, Bush-Cheney '04 Josh Ross - Director, Internet Strategy, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Pam Fielding - President, e-advocates Bradley Smith - Commissioner, Federal Election Commission Heather Holdridge - Director of Online Organizing and Campaigns, CTSG Vinay Bhagat - Founder, Chairman, and Chief Strategy Officer, Convio, Inc. Phil Anderson - Managing Principal, Navigators Michael Janofsky - Washington DC Bureau, New York Times (Moderator) 3:15pm 3:30pm 4:30pm 4:45pm BREAK OPENING PLENARY Cont. BREAK BREAKOUT SESSION 1 Room 301 Politics Online Goes Global: What’s Hot Across the Planet Internet Politics isn’t just influential in America: it now has a global audience and some International players who are harnessing the power of going online to deliver their message. This panel will combine some of the most cutting edge overseas protagonists as well as some home grown talent to discuss how Internet politics is flourishing around the world, assisting worthy causes, as well as a selection of very dubious organizations. Francis Schiller - Owner/Publisher of politicswatch.com Scott Heiferman - CEO, Meetup.com Michael Colopy - Aristotle International Phil Noble - President, PoliticsOnline (Moderator) Room 302 All Politics Is Local: The Best of the State and Local Internet Campaigns in 2004 Far from dwelling in the shadows of the Presidential campaign Internet behemoths, many state and local campaigns saw the huge potential of the Internet and created some of the most innovative and groundbreaking Web strategies seen on the Web to date. These campaigns represent the real future of Internet politics, moving far beyond mere fundraising and targeted e-mail to create a seamless join of virtual and the traditional campaigns. Andy Golodny - Director Internet Operations, Tom Daschle for Senate Ann Yoders - Founder & CEO, The Bronx Cash Register Consulting Co. Dan Manatt - Principal, Manatt.net/Web Video for Politics Phil Sheldon - Media Director, RightMarch.com (Moderator)
How to Start an Online Movement from Scratch Got a burning idea or cause? Is there an issue, a ballot proposition or rebuttal yearning to take root? Want to jump on the “527” bandwagon? The Internet empowered numerous groups to enter the 2004 election debate, thereby trailblazing a path for future political pundits and activists. Our panelists will explain exactly how it was done, who did it best and how you can create the next Internet politics wave. Steven Clift - Strategist, Publicus.Net William Greene - Founder and Director, RightMarch.com David Alpert - Co-Founder and Director, Cosmopolity Christine Williams - Professor of Government, Bentley College (Moderator)
BREAK NETWORKING COCKTAIL PARTY It has been a long day, and you definitely deserve some relaxation time and a cool drink. Get to know your fellow conference attendees and prepare for Day Two at our opening night cocktail party.
Day Two: FRIDAY, MARCH 11 Level 3, Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom 9:00am MORNING PLENARY And Now For the Next Four Years: Shaping the Future of Internet Politics Day 2 starts off answering possibly the most important question of the 2005 Politics Online Conference: where do we go now? That’s why we have brought out the heavy artillery to debate, discuss, muse, pontificate and generally help shape the future direction of Internet politics. Top campaign representatives, e-governance specialists, online communication gurus and non-profit leaders give us their insights and then chew over your questions and thoughts. Audience participation is encouraged and highly sought after. Joe Trippi - Former Campaign Manager, Dean For America Ken Mehlman - Chairman, Republican National Committee Ellen Malcolm - President, EMILY's List Greg Spiridellis - Co-Founder, JibJab Media Phil Noble - President, PoliticsOnline Rick White - President and CEO, TechNet Carol C. Darr - Director, Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet 10:30am 10:45am BREAK BREAKOUT SESSION 1 Room 307 Integrating the Flows: Combining Database and Internet Technology in the Modern Campaign Sponsored by: NGP Software and Liberty Concepts Database and Internet technology is an integral part of modern campaigns. Our panel of experts will discuss the latest techniques and tools for “Integrating the flows”. They will show you how to integrate campaign data from supporter acquisition to voter management, from micro-targeting to financial compliance, from online contributions and volunteer signups to blast emails. If you want to make the most of your resources and information, this panel should not be missed. Jonathan Karush - President, Liberty Concepts LLC Nathaniel Pearlman - Founder, NGP Software (Refer to Update Sheet for Further Panelists)
Room 308 and
Getting the Message Out: Communicating Online for Non-Profits Trade Associations Sponsored by: US Chamber of Commerce You may have the greatest issue or the most worthy cause, but if you don’t know how to use the Web to communicate your message, you may be the only one who knows about it. This panel of industry specialists will share their experience and knowledge and teach you state-of-the-art methods for communicating online. Neil Hare - VP, Corporate Communications U.S. Chamber of Commerce Michael Bassik - VP, Internet Advertising, Malchow, Schlackman, Hoppey, & Cooper Mindy Finn - eCampaign E-mail, Bush-Cheney '04 Mike Krempasky - RedState.org (Moderator)
The Internet Cash-Cow: Fundraising Online Sponsored by: Plus Three Millions of dollars raised online; small donors making up the bulk of election contributions; fundraising that is cost-efficient and virtually immediate. No, it’s not a pipedream; it's political fact. Only the Internet has been able to deliver where campaign finance reforms have failed: the dilution of the power of big money and the rise of citizen participation in the political process. These fundraising successes can easily be transferred into the issue-advocacy and non-profit world, and many more campaigns and initiatives can learn from newly developed techniques and technologies. Juan Proano - President and Co-Founder, Plus Three Ari Rabin-Havt - Internet Communications Dir., Kerry-Edwards 2004 Chuck DeFeo - eCampaign Manager, Bush-Cheney '04 (Moderator) (Refer to Update Sheet for Further Panelists)
Tracking the Buzz Through Blogs Blogs have empowered the online citizen and helped diffuse the homogeneity of the traditional media. Consequently, they have caused a dramatic shift in the make-up of the PR playing field. Its not a matter of sending out press releases anymore. Smart PR execs and organizations are now monitoring the bloggerati and joining the discussion to hit key constituencies and influencers through the blogs. Ken Deutsch - Principal, IDI Patrick Ruffini - Webmaster, Bush-Cheney '04 Peter Daou - Online Communications Advisor, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Nicco Mele - CEO, EchoDitto (Moderator)
BREAK BREAKOUT SESSION 2 Room 307 Influentials, e-fluentials and Internet Elites Sponsored by: Roper Public Affairs (A Part of NOP World) The Influentials are the ones who tell everyone who to vote for, where to eat and what to buy. They are overwhelmingly Internet savvy, clearing the way for the masses to follow. Find out the top issues that concern these Internet elites and discover how you can harness their energy for your cause. New data you don’t want to miss!
Chuck DeFeo - eCampaign Manager, Bush-Cheney '04 Annie Webber - Senior VP, Roper Public Affairs and Media Henry Copeland - Principal, Blogads Grant Reeher - Associate Professor Political Science, Syracuse University (Moderator) Room 308 Online Advertising Sponsored by: The New York Times, NYTimes.com Candidates, political committees and ballot initiatives purchased $15.7 million in online political advertising in 2004. Find out what worked, what didn’t and what to expect in 2006. Mike Connors - Sales Manager, The New York Times Morra Aarons - Frm Director, Internet Marketing, Democratic National Committee Jonah Seiger - Founder, Connections Media LLC Karen Jagoda - President and Founder, E-Voter Institute (Moderator) Amphitheatre United We Stand: Online Mobilization and Constituent Relationship Sponsored by: Care2 Mobilization underscored every successful grassroots campaign over the last 12 months and will play a key role in grassroots efforts for the foreseeable future. If you fail to understand its importance and power, you do so at your peril. Online mobilization is cheap, local and quick. Our panelists will discuss recent innovations and will also open up the panel to insights from the entire audience about new ways to activate your constituents. Andrew Stocking - VP, Business Development, Care2.com Robert Hahn - Executive Director, Free Republic Network Jo Lee - Co-founder, CitizenSpeak Melissa Boasberg - Deputy Dir., Internet Operations, Kerry-Edwards 2004 (Moderator) Room 402 Innovations and Successes of Online Issue Advocacy Sponsored by: @DVOCACY Inc Issue advocacy groups are driving online political discussion, reaching out via the Web to increase their exposure, drawing new supporters and raising much needed cash. We will bring together some leaders in the field of online issue advocacy to discuss their recent innovations and gloat over their successes. This is your chance to discover their secrets and take advantage of their combined experience. Rob Stuart - Senior Vice President, Strategic Relations Brian Michael - Account Representative, Mindshare Doug Pinkham - President, Public Affairs Council (Moderator) (Refer to Update Sheet for Further Panelists)
Level 3, Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom 1:00pm - 3:00pm KEYNOTE LUNCHEON: Perspectives on Internet Politics (Premium and Speaker Ticket Holders Only)
SIMULCAST: Amphitheatre will house the Blogger’s Den and Live Video Broadcast of the Keynote Luncheon (All Ticket Holders Welcome) BREAKOUT SESSION 3 Room 307 On the Frontier: New Faces, New Voices, New Visions Sponsored by: EchoDitto The best and the brightest of the new guard in Internet politics assemble to discuss their vision for online politicking, how they achieved their success and why it has to be “their way or the information super highway.” Look out Internet “old timers”: these young guns are firing and ready to take you down! Justin Germany - Web Video, Bush-Cheney '04 Evan Coyne Maloney - Editor, Brain-Terminal.com & Documentary Filmmaker Zach Rosen - Founder and Director, CivicSpace Labs Michael Silberman - Vice President of Online Organizing, EchoDitto Brian Reich - Strategic Consultant, Mindshare (Moderator) Room 308 Internet Sponsored by: ElectionMall.com Psst!! Online commercial players are 2-5 years ahead of their political contemporaries. If you want to know what lies just over your horizon, take a look at what they’re doing today. Ravi Singh - CEO ElectionMall Technologies, Inc. David Wickenden - Senior Vice President And Senior Partner, Fleishman-Hillard Julie Barko - Deputy Dir., Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet (Moderator) (Refer to Update Sheet for Further Panelists) Amphitheatre Lobbying Online: Keys to Reaching Hill Staff Through the Web Sponsored by: Cambridge Strategic Partners As security procedures have rendered snail-mail letters to the Hill increasingly problematic, online communications have become a crucial component of lobbying strategies. Led by Internet lobbying specialists, this panel will explain how to avoid getting caught up in spam filters and explore online techniques and tools for influencing policy makers, especially the next generation of Hill staffers. The panel will also explore the value of Internet based lobbying compared with more traditional lobbying methods and will demonstrate why more activists and organizations are moving Online to lobby. Brad Fitch - Congressional Management Foundation Joy Howell - Cambridge Strategic Partners Alex Treadway - Senior Associate Dir, Corporate & Advocacy Advertising, NationalJournal.com Larry Purpuro - Rightclick Strategies (Moderator) What Savvy Corporate Types Can Teach Politicos about the
Social Software: Creating an Online Community They say “the good things in life are free” and they weren’t kidding. From ‘meetup’ to ‘friendster’ to organizing parties with ‘Evite’: social software allows you to build your own online community and join with other likeminded souls. Discover how your organization can utilize social software innovations. Cheryl Contee - Senior Consultant, IDI Allison H. Fine - Chief Executive Officer, The E-Volve Foundation Tim Erickson - E-Democracy.Org Costas Panagopolous - Exec. Dir., Political Campaign Management, NYU (Moderator)
Level 3, Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom 4:30pm THE POLITICS ONLINE CONFERENCE GREAT DEBATE Battle to the Death or Interfaith Marriage? Can the Old Media Fend off its New Media Foe? Sponsored by: Blogads Blogs, online journals and Internet news sites have all increased their exposure exponentially over the last 12 months. Have they finally begun to eat into the market share of the traditional media? Should network news, radio and newspapers be looking over their respective shoulders at the charging hordes of online media outlets? The Politics Online Conference Great Debate is the most anticipated session of the conference, and that is why we have saved the best for last. This will be politics “unusual” as our cast of contentious but brilliant panelists go toe-to-toe in the ultimate debate smack-down. You will definitely laugh, you may even cry, but we guarantee you a highly entertaining and thought-provoking debate. David Lytel - Left.org John Hinderaker - powerlineblog Versus Jonah Seiger - Founder, Connections Media LLC Cliff Sloan - VP, Business Affairs & General Counsel, Washington Post Newsweek Interactive Cyrus Krohn - Executive Producer, MSN Video (Moderator) 6:00pm GOLDEN DOT COCKTAIL PARTY Join us to toast the Golden Dot Award Winners Live Jazz, great food and well-deserved drinks await you at the final cocktail party of the 2005 Politics Online Conference. This is your last and best chance to network and mingle as well as to raise your glasses to the winner of the 2005 Golden Dot awards. Enjoy - it’s on us.
WELCOME MESSAGE FROM CAROL DARR
Director, Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet
March 10, 2005
Over the past year since our last conference, the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet has enjoyed a particularly productive year. In addition to a number of half day educational seminars, we have published several new studies, including the Political Consultant’s Online Fundraising Primer, Putting Online Influentials to Work For Your Campaign, Pioneers in Online Politics and Under the Radar and Over the Top: Online Political Videos in the 2004 Campaign. Julie Barko, Deputy Director of the Institute, and I want to thank our speakers, moderators and sponsors for their support and assistance in making this Politics Online Conference the most successful conference to date. We also want to thank the staff of the Institute, as well as the staff at the Graduate School of Political Management. And finally, we offer our enthusiastic and heartfelt appreciation for a job well done to the conference leaders, Conference Manager Matthew Zablud and Conference Deputy Manager Kathie Legg, as well as the rest of the conference team, Glen Vierk (Financial Manager), Lindsey Baldwin (Cocktail Party Coordinator), Lanny Cardow (Golden Dot Coordinator/Media Liaison) and Peter Churchill (Registration/Conference Services Coordinator).
elcome to the 12th Politics Online
Conference. This year, the innovations adapted by the 2004 presidential campaigns have changed the face of elections. These tactics will feature prominently in this year’s conference dialogue, alongside an increasingly global array of technological topics. This year’s conference features new panels on blogs, social software, corporate tactics and lobbying, in addition to sessions on the latest techniques in online fundraising, issue advocacy, grassroots participation and Internet communications. We have also added two panels that will introduce you to some of the hottest up-and-coming political and technology strategists and the global Internet trends that are emerging in campaigns across the globe. In the wake of both Rathergate and Gannongate, our great debate will tackle the question of whether old media and can fend off its new media foe—the online blogging community. This year’s Golden Dot Awards, which recognize excellence in Internet innovation among political and campaigns and online journalism, include Web video as a new competition category. All of our nominees reflect the cutting edge of online politics.
The Politics Online Conference 2005 would like to give special thanks to the following Staff of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet whose tireless efforts have made this conference possible.
Conference Magazine Editor
Conference Financial Manager
Cocktail Party Coordinator
Golden Dot Coordinator and Media Liaison
Registration / Conference Services Coordinator
Plenary Sessions Captain
Official Conference Photographer Thank you for all your dedication, hard work and innovative spirit. We would also like to thank our team of fantastic volunteers, Louise Stephens, Damien LaManna, Tamara Quandt, Mike Rendina, Curtin Brooks, Laetitia Deweirdt and Zach Myers. Sincerely, Matthew Zablud Conference Manager Kathie Legg Deputy Conference Manager 8
March 10 & 11, 2005
Table of Contents
Conference Agenda Welcome Message from the Institute Carol Darr Golden Dot Award Nominees Speaker Biographies Grassroots Advocacy and the Internet Vinay Bhagat The Chamber Neil Hare Can Internet Journalism Survive Campaign Finance Law? Some Possible Issues at FEC Bradley A. Smith The Internet Election 2004: Lessons from Advocacy Organizations Pam Fielding and Alan Rosenblatt E-Voter 2004 Study: Crossing the River Karen Jagoda Increasing Activism through Community Engagement Andrew Stocking, Randy Paytner, Lisa Sock and Rebecca Young Co-Creation and Open Source Politics: Meetup Communities in the 2004 Presidential Campaign Christine B. Williams and Bruce D. Weinberg Web Video 2004: A Breakthrough Technology in a Breakthrough Year Dan Manatt At the Touch of A Button: Maximizing an E-mail List to Mobilize Millions Mindy Finn Peaking around the Curtain Ann Yoders The Missing Element for a Happy Medium: Partisanship David Lytel The New Digital Divide: What It Means for Grassroots Going Forward Cheryl Contee With Dean Now at the DNC, an Extreme Makeover is Required of the GOP! Larry Purpuro The Internet and Election 2004: Where We Went and Where We Might Go Grant Reeher and Steve Davis The Mantra of Business Technology in Today’s Campaigns Ravi Singh The Internet is an Essential Advocacy Tool for the Left and the Right Joy Howell Network-Centric Thinking: the Internet’s Challenge to Egocentric Institutions Rob Stuart and Jed Miller Maps 1 7 10 11 35 41 44
Director Carol Darr Deputy Director Julie Barko Research Projects Manager Joseph Graf Senior Advisor Robert Hoopes Financial Manager Glen Vierk Conference Manager Matthew Zablud Deputy Conference Manager Kathie Legg Visiting Fellows Costas Panagopoulos Grant Reeher Christine Williams Research Staff Lindsay Baldwin Lanny Cardow Peter Churchill Work Study Chris Brooks Ryan Sullivan Cover Design Glen Vierk Matthew Zablud
Copyright© 2005 The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. Date of Publication: March 10, 2005.
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2005 GOLDEN DOT AWARDS
The Golden Dot Awards honor those who exhibited excellence in their use of the Internet as a political tool over the past year. As an election year, 2004 was a landmark year for politics online, and this year’s winners of the Golden Dots truly represent the movers and shakers of cutting-edge campaigning. This year, the Golden Dots committee received a total of 140 nominations for awards in seven categories. Across the board, the submissions were of extremely high quality. This was partially due to the fact that it was an election year, but was compounded by the relentless improvement of technology that comes with each passing year. The steadily increasing adoption of broadband Internet connections in homes across the country will only encourage this trend. The awards recognize outstanding achievement between the dates of March 20, 2004 and January 20, 2005. The finalists in the seven categories are listed below.
1. Best Breakout/Impact Internet Moment DNC Post-Debate Online Campaign FactCheck.org Jib Jab Republican National Convention 2. Best PAC/527 or Political Party Internet Campaign Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund GOP.com MoveOn.org Swift Vets and POWs for Truth 3. Best Non-Commercial Online Journalism CommandPost MyDD Powerline Blog Wonkette 4. Best National Internet Campaign Bush Cheney 04 Bush v. Choice Kerry Edwards 04 Rock the Vote 5. Best Statewide Internet Campaign Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus Harry Reid John Thune YesOn63.org 6. Best Local Internet Campaign Glendale Neighbors Mary Jo Kilroy Brett Mandel John Perzel
7. Best Political Web Video or Animation (New for 2005) DNC Online fundraising advertisement animations Republican Survivor Ronald Reagan Tribute White House West
The Golden Dot Awards will be announced and presented at Friday’s cocktail reception, which runs from 6:00-8:00 pm.
Award winners are selected by an impartial panel of academics, journalists, civic activists and members of the Golden Dot Awards Committee.
2004 Golden Dot winners include: Best Breakout/Impact Moment – Draft Wesley Clark Best PAC or Political Party Internet Campaign – GOP.com Best Non-Commercial Online Journalism – KQED, “You Decide” Best National Internet Campaign – Dean For America Best Statewide Internet Campaign – Citizens for Tax Repeal, Ohio Best Local Internet Campaign – DC Vote, Online DC Budget Rider Campaign
MORRA AARONS - Vice President Interactive, Edelman Morra is Vice President of Interactive Services at Edelman in Washington, DC, where she manages online communications, marketing and advocacy for Edelman clients. During the 2004 Election, Morra was the Director of Internet Marketing for the Democratic National Committee, where she oversaw online fundraising, organizing and marketing. She also worked in the same capacity at John Kerry for President. Before coming to Washington, Morra worked in various roles at leading online companies. She managed iVillage.com’s awardwinning public affairs program in New York, then transferred to London where she managed marketing and public relations for iVillage UK, the British arm of the leading women’s Web site. After leaving iVillage, Morra was VP/Head of Marketing for eBookers.com (Europe’s #1 online travel site). Morra has a degree in Political Science from Brown University. PHIL ANDERSON - Managing Principal, Navigators As a former Senior Vice President of government relations for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), Phil Anderson was responsible for lobbying federal and state issues affecting ACLI member companies. Prior to joining ACLI anderson was Director of Federal Government Affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents of America. In addition to lobbying members of Congress and congressional staffers, he designed and directed the grassroots campaigns for 300,000 agent members. During the early 1990s anderson held a series of policy and political positions on Capitol Hill with the national Republican Party and the Bush I White House, including serving as Special Assistant to Vice President Dan Quayle and Lee Atwater. In 1988 anderson handled media relations at the Republican National Convention. Anderson also served as a top official in several prominent Republican leadership operations, serving as Convention Manager for former Vice President Dan Quayle’s Campaign America at the 1996 Republican National Convention and as Deputy Director of former Governor Carol Campbell’s Victory America.
DAVID ALPERT - Co-Founder and Director, Cosmopolity David Alpert co-founded Cosmopolity, an organization dedicated to providing easy entrance into progressive involvement, using social interaction to promote political action and facilitating collaboration among progressive organizations. Cosmopolity projects include an online calendar of progressive events (http://cosmopolity.org/), Drinking Liberally (http://drinkingliberally.org/), a weekly Democratic drinking club now with 36 chapters across the country and numerous inperson events and conferences including RNC Week at The Tank during the Republican National Convention in New York and the Morning After Conference in November 2004. David also founded IPac (http://ipaction.org/), a nonpartisan group dedicated to preserving individual freedom through balanced intellectual property policy. He holds a degree in Computer Science from Harvard and currently works as a Product Manager for Google.
JULIE BARKO - Deputy Director, The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet Before coming to the Institute, Julie served as the Assistant to the President of Rome Foundation International, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing health care in emerging countries. She has previously worked as a writer, editor and program manager for international initiatives in Korea, Ukraine, Haiti and the United States. Julie is a founding member of Young Champions, a non-profit that works with youth health issues. As an undergraduate, she studied Literature, Philosophy and Classics at Messiah College. Julie also studied at Keble College, Oxford University, as well as in Edinburgh, Scotland.
She was a Pew Younger Scholar of Literature at the University of Notre Dame. In 2003, she received an M.A. from The George Washington University, where she was a University Fellow. She served as the principal author and editor of the Institute’s Political Consultants’ Online Fundraising Primer and co-authored Putting Online Influentials to Work for Your Campaign.
MICHAEL BASSIK - VP, Internet Advertising, Malchow, Schlackman, Hoppey, & Cooper Michael Bassik is Vice President for Internet Advertising at Malchow Schlackman Hoppey & Cooper, the leading political persuasion mail firm in America. Michael joined MSHC last year to head up its new online division, focused on helping candidates and organizations use the Internet to reach current and potential supporters. Under Michael’s leadership, MSHC has executed over 100 different banner ad campaigns and delivered over one billion ad impressions on behalf of Democratic candidates at all levels of the ballot. MSHC was also the online advertising agency of record for John Kerry and the Democratic National Committee during the 2004 election cycle. Before joining MSHC, Michael worked at America Online as Director of Political Advertising; where he oversaw political sales strategy across Time Warner’s online properties, including AOL, CNN.com and TIME.com. Michael has previously held internship positions at The White House, The New York Times, New York City Hall and on various political campaigns. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and currently attends evening classes at Brooklyn Law School.
them, Dean for America, which mobilized 650,000 constituents and raised more than $20 million online in less than 12 months. Other clients include American Diabetes Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence United with the Million Mom March, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Chicago Public Radio, Easter Seals, Farm Aid, KCET Community Television of Southern California, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, National Trust For Historic Preservation and The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. A frequent speaker at conferences addressing issues pertaining to ePhilanthropy, Internet fundraising and online constituency building, Bhagat has addressed events hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Independent Sector. Bhagat also is a published author and his chapter, “The Internet – A Powerful Relationship Management Tool for Fundraisers,” is included in The Nonprofit Handbook: Fund Raising Third Edition 2002 Supplement (John Wiley & Sons, New York). Bhagat currently is writing a chapter on online advocacy and conversion of online advocates to donors for Nonprofit Internet Strategies: Best Practices for Marketing, Communications and Fundraising Success (Wiley & Sons), scheduled for early 2005 publication. Bhagat holds degrees from Harvard Business School (MBA), Stanford University (MS) and Cambridge University (MA) in England. He has worked as a volunteer for a variety of nonprofit organizations including public television stations, an AIDS Hospice in Hong Kong and several Convio clients.
VINAY BHAGAT - Founder, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Convio Inc. Vinay Bhagat founded and heads strategy for Convio, Inc. Convio is the leading provider of software and services to help nonprofit organizations and political campaigns use the Internet to develop a strong base of constituents to donate, advocate, volunteer and provide other forms of mission-critical support. Convio has worked with presidential campaigns, among
MELISSA BOASBERG - Deputy Director, Internet Operations, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Melissa Boasberg served as Deputy Director, Internet Operations for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. Her dozen years of work experience have been exclusively focused on business, management and operations, starting divisions and improving the efficiency of existing organizations. Ms. Boasberg’s strong business background includes several executive-level positions.
Prior to her work on the Kerry-Edwards campaign, she served as Vice President, New Operations for In2Books, a children’s literacy non-profit in Washington, DC. Before that, she was CEO of Amazing Media, an online advertising software company; her success there included negotiating and closing the biggest deal in company history. Prior to that, she served as Vice President, Business Development for Opion and before that as Senior Vice President, Online for Women’s Consumer Network, where she was responsible for creating and leading new divisions for these technology companies. Previously, she was at the Walt Disney Company, heading its international online efforts and managing domestic Web properties. Ms. Boasberg co-led a non-profit business training and development program in East Palo Alto. She serves on the board of a public charter school in DC; she has also been involved in an adult literacy program and has tutored extensively in local public schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, summa cum laude and a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
with the launch of the online Public Policy Network in 1993. As a graduate intern in the U.S. House in 1993 he was among the first users of their e-mail gateway to the Internet. He graduated from Winona State University, a state college in his hometown, with a B.A. in Political Science in 1990.
MIKE CONNORS - Sales Manager, The New York Times Michael Connors was named Sales Manager for NYTimes.com in April of 2000. He is responsible for leading advertising sales in the financial services, national/local autos, corporate and political/advocacy categories, as well as all international advertising. From 1997 to 2000 Michael was employed as an Account Manager at The Weather Channel / weather.com. Initially he was charged with generating advertising sales revenue for the newly launched Canadian, European and Latin American broadcast networks. In 1998 he transitioned to the online division, where he was responsible for advertising sales on weather.com throughout the northeast region. Prior to working at The Weather Channel Michael spent 4 years in the national advertising division of Discovery Communications. Michael began his career in 1992 as a Media Buyer for Rapp Collins Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi Direct. Michael earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University in 1992.
STEVEN CLIFT - Strategist, Publicus.Net Steven Clift is an online strategist and public speaker focused on the use of the Internet in democracy, governance and community. One of world’s leading experts on e-democracy, he is actively networking people around the world determined to make a difference with this new media. Through Democracies Online, he shares knowledge and practical advice directly to thousands of subscribers on his DO-WIRE email announcement list. His Publicus.Net Web site contains dozens of original articles and presentations, including his E-Democracy EBook. Behind the scenes, he supports peer-topeer online networks for parliamentary online leaders, civic online consultation facilitators and others. After a session working in the Minnesota Legislature, he attended graduate school at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. He worked for their Center for Democracy and Citizenship from 1991 to 1993 and built his online experience
CHERYL CONTEE - Senior Consultant, IDI Cheryl comes to IDI with extensive non-profit and business online content development, marketing, communications and fundraising experience. From 2001-2004, Cheryl was Webmaster and Brand Manager at Oceana, a start-up international ocean advocacy organization. Cheryl has been widely credited with creating a credible, trusted brand identity for the now-prospering non-profit. Oceana Web sites, Oceana.org and OceansAtRisk.com, won nine awards under Contee’s leadership, including Cool Site of the Day for Earth Day 2002, Webbie World’s Hot Pick and User’s Choice
awards and the Democracy Online Project’s Golden Dot Award for Innovation and Civic Excellence in Online Campaigning. Cheryl’s work helped Oceana recruit more than 100,000 e-activists and over 25,000 paying members to donate their time and money on behalf of the world’s oceans. Prior to joining Oceana, Cheryl was a Senior Producer at Discovery Communications and oversaw creative operations and marketing for all of Discovery’s interactive media outside of the US in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Her team of over 40 creative professionals worldwide extended international cable TV brands online including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Health Channel, Travel Channel through a multilingual network of Web sites, e-commerce partnerships, interactive TV projects and wireless platforms. Page views during Cheryl’s tenure rose from 70,000 monthly to 4.3 million per month at peak levels within one year resulting in two industry awards and profitable advertising sales for Discovery’s TV and online sales.
through numerous national issue campaigns combined with a solid grounding in US foreign policy and a highly effective speaking and writing style. His special knack is reducing complex issues to comprehensible and attractive images and phrases in ways that change public perceptions and motivate target audiences to act, a skill that has been demonstrated from the halls of the US Congress in Washington to the campaign “war room” of the pro-democracy coalition in Kiev, Ukraine. For nearly two decades, Michael Colopy has guided and assisted a broad mix of American business, corporate executives and foreign clients. In 1988 he co-founded International Commerce Consultants Incorporated (ICCI) in McLean Virginia with affiliates in six countries, specializing in communications, foreign policy and trade issues in East Asia, with special focus on China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, logging more than fifty extended visits to the region. He has advised major US corporations such as GE, BellSouth, ECI, Corning and many smaller enterprises, notably Aristotle International, the leading political software and voter data company in the US, helping them build brand and effective message and positioning them to advance their success. In November 2004, Aristotle International’s CEO, John Phillips, recruited Mr. Colopy to extend his communications work for the company to a project with the pro-democracy Ukraine coalition, Nasha Ukraina, in its struggle to install a validly elected government and upend the quasi-dictatorship of Moscow-backed Leonid Kuchma. Michael Colopy designed and managed the highly effective communications functions of Aristotle International’s fraud monitoring effort as part of the “Orange Revolution”, the results of which contributed to the invalidation of the fraudulent election in a dramatic drawn out struggle witnessed on television worldwide.
HENRY COPELAND - Founder, Blogads.com Believing that bloggers are the vanguard of publishing, Henry Copeland in March of 2002 started building Blogads.com, a network to connect bloggers and advertisers. Though the first $32 blogad didn’t sell until nearly one month after site launch, today blogads are used by equally by corporate behemoths and mom & mom T-shirt peddlers. Blogads.com ” makes blogs possible,” says mega-blogger Atrios. Copeland, 43, grew up in Wooster, Ohio and in 1984 received a BA in history from Yale University after nearly flunking econ and compsci. After selling bonds on Wall Street (‘8491) and reporting on post-Soviet economies (‘91’98), Copeland founded Blogads.com’s corporate parent in 1998.
MICHAEL COLOPY - Aristotle International Michael Colopy combines robust background in advocacy communications, legislative experience on Capitol Hill, firsthand familiarity with the mechanisms of civic engagement
PETER DAOU - Online Communications Advisor, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Peter Daou publishes The Daou Report, a Web site that tracks leading blogs, message boards, online magazines and independent sites from across the political spectrum. Peter was the online communications advisor to John Kerry’s campaign, where he was responsible for outreach
to the blog community. In addition to blogging for the campaign and editing the johnkerry.com homepage, Peter launched and managed the DBunker, a fact-checking and rapid response section of johnkerry.com. His daily blog survey, the Blog Buzz, was the campaign staff’s primary source for online news and opinion.
KEN DEUTSCH - Executive Vice President, IDI Ken Deutsch serves as Executive Vice President at Issue Dynamics Inc. (IDI). In this role Mr. Deutsch leads the development of online campaign strategies for public relations and public affairs. As an early innovator of the use of the Internet as a public affairs tool, Deutsch oversaw the development of the first corporate public affairs Internet site (1993 - Bell Atlantic www.ba.com), the first major political party committee and candidate Internet sites (1994 Democratic Senate Campaign Committee www.dscc.org), the first independent Congressional site (1994 policy.net/congress.org), and the first Internet to phone gateway to Congress (1998 - Washington Call Manager). Mr. Deutsch has served as a public affairs/relations Internet consultant for a wide variety of clients including: BellSouth; GunFreeKids.org, the NAACP, Verizon, THE MARCH: Coming Together to Conquer Cancer, the National Association of the Deaf, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Environmental Trust, BlueCross BlueShield Association and many others. Prior to joining IDI in 1993, Mr. Deutsch served as Field Director for Public Citizen. Mr. Deutsch worked as Organizing Director for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) for six years. In his position at NYPIRG he served as field director for the New York City Charter ballot initiative in 1988, Election Day coordinator for the 1990 New York State Environmental Bond Act and coordinator for all the “Earth Day New York City 1990” field activities.
CHUCK DEFEO - eCampaign Manager, Bush-Cheney ‘04
CAROL C. DARR – Director, Institute for Politics Democracy & The Internet Carol C. Darr became the Director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet on November 1, 2001. She is an associate research professor at the Graduate School of Political Management of The George Washington University. Darr has spent most of her career in national politics and government. During the ClintonGore Administration, she served as the Acting General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce and as Associate Administrator of the Office of International Affairs in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. She also chaired the International Telecommunications Working Group of the interagency Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF) and was part of the U.S. delegation to the G7 Information Society Conference in Brussels. In the 1992 election, Darr served as General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee. Previously, she had served as the Chief Counsel to the Dukakis/Bentsen Presidential Committee in 1988 and as the Deputy Counsel to the Carter/Mondale Presidential Committee in 1980. She was an associate at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the Deputy Counsel for Elections at the U.S. Senate Committee for Rules and Elections and worked as a staff attorney at the Federal Election Commission. Darr was the vice president of two high-tech trade associations. She received an M.Litt in History from Christ’s College, Cambridge University and a J.D. and a B.A. from the University of Memphis.
TIM ERICKSON - E-Democracy.Org Tim Erickson is the founder and president of Politalk, an online forum for facilitated discussions on important social and political topics, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Politalk discussions are interactive e-mail events that generally include policy makers, academic experts, community activists and concerned citizens.
Tim also works with Minnesota E-Democracy to facilitate local online candidate debates and ongoing policy discussions in his hometown of St. Paul.
are the cornerstones to equitable, long-term solutions to social issues. Ms. Fine currently serves on the board of directors of Just Vision, a nonprofit organization that increases awareness about Palestinian and Israeli non-violent, civilian-led efforts to build a base for peace in the Middle East. Ms. Fine also serves on the Ethics and Accountability Committee of Independent Sector, on the advisory boards of Boardroom Books and the Jacob Burns Film Center. She has been published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the NIDR Forum and Foundation News and Commentary and has co-authored studies for the Aspen Institute Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Ms. Fine has a Masters in public administration from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from Vanderbilt University. From 1987-1989, Ms. Fine served as an elected trustee of the Village of Sleepy Hollow, NY and was appointed the Fire and Police Commissioner.
PAM FIELDING - President, e-advocates Pam Fielding is nationally recognized as one of the leading pioneers in the field of cyberadvocacy. A policy writer, Internet strategist and author, she has successfully leveraged the Internet as a tool for political action and activism in numerous online campaigns over the last five years. Before starting e-advocates, Fielding spent more than 10 years working in the association arena and launched one of the top online advocacy programs in the country for the National Education Association. The program delivers tens of thousands of e-mails annually to Congress and state legislatures in support of public education. Fielding’s work in the field of Internet politics and her successful cyberadvocacy campaigns have garnered extensive press coverage including ABC’s “Nightline,” CNN Headline News, Fortune, Business Week, Reuters, Associated Press and more. She is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer who has conducted presentations on Internet advocacy for American University, George Washington University and the American Society of Association Executives, among others. Fielding is the co-author of The Net Effect: How Cyberadvocacy is Changing the Political Landscape, the first published book on Internet advocacy.
MINDY FINN - eCampaign E-mail, BushCheney ‘04 Mindy Finn recently joined the Republican National Committee as Deputy eCampaign Director to help foster the Republican Party’s goals through the use of e-mail and the Internet. Before working at the RNC, Mindy served as Deputy Webmaster for Bush-Cheney ‘04, where she facilitated the message, voter turnout and finance e-mail programs, promoted volunteer action on GeorgeWBush.com and directed the online chat series with key surrogates and campaign staff. With a background in online media and political affairs, Mindy pioneered her first big political effort online as a staffer for Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21). She developed and implemented strategy for reaching diverse audiences through the Congressman’s new and improved public Web site, which went on to receive Pollie award honors.
ALLISON H. FINE - Chief Executive Officer, The E-Volve Foundation Ms. Fine currently serves as the C.E.O. of The E-Volve Foundation. The mission of the EVolve Foundation is to identify, support and promote open source technology efforts aimed at providing information and access to citizens for participation in democratic processes. In so doing, it uses technology to create or augment and leverage social networks to encourage widespread involvement and participation that
BRAD FITCH - Congressional Management Foundation
Brad Fitch is Deputy Director of the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), the author of Media Relations Handbook for Agencies, Associations, Nonprofits and Congress and an adjunct associate professor at American University. Fitch has spent 20 years in Washington as a journalist, congressional aide, consultant, college instructor and writer. After working as a radio and television reporter in the mid-1980’s, Fitch began working on Capitol Hill in 1988. During his 13 years on Capitol Hill, he served in a variety of positions for four Members of Congress in the House and Senate, including press secretary, legislative director and chief of staff. Fitch left Congress in 2001 to work for the Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that advises congressional offices on how to improve operations. As Deputy Director of CMF, he serves as a management consultant for Members of Congress, offering confidential guidance, conducting staff training programs and writing publications on enhancing the performance of individual congressional offices and the institution. He served as editor of Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide for the 108th Congress and 109th Congress editions. He currently is overseeing a two-year project to improve communications between grassroots organizations and Congress. Since 1995, Fitch has taught journalism and public communications at American University in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. degree in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and his M.A. degree in Journalism and Public Affairs at American University.
The New York Times took note of Germany’s editing and shooting style, describing a movie he filmed and edited for the President’s rallies as, “the video stands out…edgy, unpresidential style, with grainy pictures, speeded-up-action and off kilter camera angles shouting out ‘You got a problem with this?’ to anyone under 25.” Footage he shot was also used for TV ads and convention videos, additionally he won two Pollie awards for videos he shot and edited for the campaign. Germany graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University in 2002 and a Masters of Arts in Political Management from The George Washington University in 2003.
ANDY GOLODNY - Director of Internet Operations, Tom Daschle for Senate Andy Golodny oversaw all aspects of Internet strategy including the Web site, e-mail list, fundraising and advertising for the Tom Daschle campaign. Under his leadership, the campaign took in over a million dollars in fundraising and had dramatic e-mail list growth. The campaign’s Web site was a multi-hundred page site with a wide variety of supporter action tools and informative pages including a daily blog, constituent areas and multimedia content. Andy also ran a successful online advertising program through blog ads and paid search words. Before joining the Daschle campaign, Golodny was the Iowa database manager for the John Edwards for President campaign where he ran the database for the field program and oversaw the IT program for the campaign’s caucus operation. Golodny holds a BA in political science from Brown University.
JUSTIN GERMANY - Web Video, BushCheney ‘04 Justin Germany is an Account Executive with Campaign Solutions specializing in Web-video. He joins campaign solutions after serving as the videographer and editor for the Bush-Cheney eCampaign. His work served as a nexus between digital documentary and political message that showcased the President on the campaign trail. That work resulted in over twenty videos seen by more than a million people on the BushCheney’04 Web site.
WILLIAM GREENE - Founder and Director, RightMarch.com Dr. William Greene is founder and president of RightMarch.com, an online conservative organization formed as a “rapid response force” to enable its members to take effective action against activities by online liberal groups like MoveOn.org. He heads up the RightMarch.com
PAC as well, which targets federal races where they can support staunch movement conservatives against liberal Republicans and Democrats. Greene is also president of Strategic Internet Campaign Management, Inc. (SICM.com - pronounced “sick ‘em”), an online political consulting firm that enables organizations and candidates to harness the power of the Internet for fundraising and grassroots activism; in 2004, Greene’s firm was instrumental in raising nearly half a million dollars online in less than three months for the upstart U.S. Senate candidacy of Dr. Alan Keyes in Illinois SICM manages the ConservativeAlerts.com e-mail and postal list, which has been responsible for over three million activist messages sent from conservatives to Congress, the President and other leaders. In its April, 2002 issue, Campaigns and Elections magazine, the trade publication for political professionals, featured Greene as one of its “Rising Stars In Politics;” he is also listed in the 2003, 2004 and 2005 editions of Who’s Who In America. Greene was formerly VP Internet Marketing & Development at ConservativeHQ.com Inc., a conservative online activism and fundraising company headed by political direct mail legend Richard A. Viguerie; prior to his work there, he was the Director of Internet Marketing at The Grizzard Agency of Atlanta, a top ten direct marketing agency, as well as Internet Manager at Jesus Fellowship, Inc., in Miami, which was in the vanguard of Internet use for religious nonprofits, with sites like Churches dot Net and the Christian Internet Broadcast Network (citv.com). Initially, Greene was in academia, teaching political science and international relations at Florida International University (fiu.edu) in Miami for a number of years; he still takes time out to teach political science college classes at Verity in Flint, Michigan (verityeducation. org). Greene has presented many seminars on fundraising and activism online, including the Campaigns & Elections Magazine Annual Conference, George Washington University’s annual Politics Online conference, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, the Direct Marketing Association of Washington, the DC Ad Club, the American Marketing Association of Lincoln and others. He has appeared on Bill Moyers’ NOW, NPR’s “Fresh Air” and “Morning Edition,” CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now,” MSNBC Live, the CBS
Sunday Morning News and dozens of radio talk shows around the country; the Washington Times called Greene a “conservative Internet guru.”
ROBERT HAHN - Executive Director, Free Republic Network Mr. Hahn is the owner of Concinnate Systems, an Internet technology provider to many conservative organizations and causes. Mr. Hahn’s firm provided the technology platform for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, one of the most effective political efforts in decades. Prior to devoting his efforts to conservative politics, Mr. Hahn spent 20 years as a sales and marketing executive in the computer industry. He holds a degree in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
NEIL HARE - Vice President, Corporate Communications U.S. Chamber of Commerce Neil Hare is vice president of Corporate Communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million companies. In this capacity he manages a team of writers, graphic artists, Web designers and photographers who keep Chamber members informed of lobbying efforts on their behalf and membership benefits. The group produces a variety of publications including uschamber.com, a monthly publication with a circulation of 250,000 and uschamber.com weekly, an e-mail newsletter and maintains a vast, interactive Web site for small businesses that receives more than 350,000 visitors per month. Previously, Mr. Hare served as vice president of the National Chamber Foundation, the Chamber’s educational research arm, where he oversaw public policy events and publications. Before joining the Chamber, Mr. Hare was the content director of USLaw.com, the nation’s leading Web site offering legal information and services to consumers and small businesses. Mr. Hare, an attorney, also worked in a Washington, D.C., law firm, specializing in litigation and as a legal editor for the Bureau of
National Affairs (BNA), covering America’s securities markets. He appeared regularly on CNBC, MSNBC and FoxNews as an expert on day trading and wrote columns on securities regulations for financial publications. Mr. Hare received a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1995; a diploma in European law from Nanterre University, Paris, France, in 1994; and a B.A. in international relations from Tufts University in 1991. He is a member of the New York Bar and the District of Columbia Bar and is on the board of directors of D.C. Scores, a nonprofit organization that provides after-school writing and soccer programs to elementary school children in Washington, D.C.
JOHN HINDERAKER – powerlineblog John H. Hinderaker is a lawyer with the Minneapolis law firm Faegre & Benson. For more than ten years Hinderaker has written with his former law partner Scott Johnson on public policy issues including income inequality, income taxes, campaign finance reform, affirmative action, welfare reform and race in the criminal justice system. Both Hinderaker and Johnson are fellows of the Claremont Institute. Their articles have appeared in National Review, The American Enterprise, American Experiment Quarterly and newspapers from Florida to California.
HEATHER HOLDRIDGE - Partner, CTSG SCOTT HEIFERMAN - CEO, Meetup.com Scott Heiferman is CEO of Meetup.com, revolutionizing how people organize local realworld community groups. Meetup.com first became well known for powering the grassroots presidential campaign of Howard Dean. Now, over 2 million people (and growing) have started or signed up for local self-organized Meetup Groups in over 50 countries about knitting, chihuauhas, conservative politics and most every other cause or interest that brings groups together. The company’s Board of Directors includes Esther Dyson, Pierre Omidyar (Founder/Chairman, eBay) and Andreas Stavropoulos (DFJ). In 2002, Scott co-founded Fotolog.net, now the world’s largest online photo community. In 1995, Scott founded i-traffic, the pioneering online ad agency now owned by Omnicom. Previously, Scott was “Interactive Marketing Frontiersman” at Sony, where he created Sony’s first consumer online presence. In 2004, Scott was given a Rave Award by Wired Magazine for “Electrifying The Grassroots” and he was named the 2004 M.I.T. Technology Review “Innovator of the Year”. Scott sits on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet at The George Washington University and the National Conference on Citizenship. He graduated from The University of Iowa and has posted a photo on his personal Fotolog every day since 2001 (http://www.fotolog.net/heif ). A CTSG Partner, Heather Holdridge is company’s Director of Online Organizing and Campaigns. She brings years of experience working with online and grassroots campaigns across the progressive spectrum. Heather specializes creative campaigns with deliberate impact. She works with our clients and campaigners to develop viral interactive media with punch to find and engage new activists through campaign sites, online marketing and flash action campaigns for clients as diverse as SEIU’s Justice for Janitors, Planned Parenthood, Oregon Death with Dignity, Amnesty USA, Campaign for America’s Future and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). She was also on the ground as a member of the Democratic Truth Squad/Rolling Donkey Crew at the Republican Convention in 2000. Heather also leads the creative multimedia unit at CTSG, which has been honored with five Pollies in the past two years, including three in January for the DCCC’s Republican Survivor, the firstever interactive political Web series. Prior to CTSG, Heather ran the Reporter’s Resource Center and acted as Legislative Services Director for Project Vote Smart. Heather is happily exploiting her lifelong status as political junkie in DC after three years in CTSG’s Eugene office.
JOY HOWELL - Cambridge Strategic Partners
KAREN JAGODA - President and Founder, E-Voter Institute Karen Jagoda is Founder and President of EVoter Institute, a trade association representing Web publishers and political and advocacy solution providers. This initiative grew out of work on E-Voter 98, a case study measuring the impact of online advertising for political candidates produced in cooperation with the New York Times during the race for governor of New York in 1998. The Institute has since published research every year on the subject of the intersection of politics and the Internet and has brought together a wide range of experts and insiders to consider the implications of changes in the political landscape. Crossing the River: The Coming of Age of the Internet in Politics and Advocacy, edited by Karen Jagoda, will be published in late spring 2005. This book contains essays and analyses about the 2004 election as well as research and commentary on the development of the Internet for persuasion, fundraising and mobilization. Ms. Jagoda is also the founder of Turtleback Interactive, a company specializing in strategic research and consulting on e-business development and use of the Internet for costeffective marketing and communications. Turtleback was the creator and architect of MarylandB2B.com, an Internet site that promoted business growth and development in Maryland. As co-founder of Turtlesnap Ventures, Karen Jagoda has developed and produced the Turtlesnap Investment Symposia series now in its fourth year. Topics have included Infotech, Biotech, Nanotech, E-Learning, Homeland Security and Global Trends in Technology.
Democrats and a leading provider of all types of civic Web sites. Jonathan worked in many high profile races in 2004 including Denise Majette (GA-Senate), Ken Salazar (CO-Senate), John Salazar (CO-3), Richard Romero (NM-1), Joe Driscoll (PA-15) and Bill Gluba (IA-1). Jonathan received the Golden Dot Award in 2003 for best congressional campaign site in the 2002 election cycle for Congressman Mike Michaud (ME-02). Liberty also consults to state parties, PAC’s, 527’s, unions, state and local candidates and universities. In 2000, Jonathan co-founded letnaderdebate.org, one of the infamous ‘nader-trader’ vote swapping Web sites. Jonathan is a former editor at the NetElection project and a Sagner Fellow. He was awarded first prize in Ohio State University’s annual public policy essay competition for his piece on the ‘Internet and the Future of Democracy.’ He has written extensively on the role of the Internet in American elections and online voting. Jonathan has been frequent speaker and correspondent on the Internet in civic life, including as a former political correspondent to RAI (Royal Italian Television). Jonathan has a B.A. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with distinction in political science
MIKE KREMPASKY - Political Director, American Target Advertising Mike Krempasky is the Political Director at American Target Advertising, a Virginia firm run by Richard Viguerie, the conservative strategist widely credited with inventing political direct mail and helping Ronald Reagan and numerous other Republicans get elected. He helps to build technology solutions for political and charitable clients as well as works with public policy groups to start and use blogs as an effective communication and membership development tool. He has helped to train conservative grassroots activists across the country as a part of the Leadership Institute (1999-2003). And more recently, he helped to co-found RedState.org: a conservative collaborative Weblog that has transformed into a 527 organization. CYRUS KROHN - Executive Producer, MSN Video
MICHAEL JANOFSKY - Washington DC Bureau, New York Times
JONATHAN KARUSH - President, Liberty Concepts LLC Jonathan Karush is the founder and President of Liberty Concepts, the nation’s largest provider of campaign Web sites to House and Senate
Cyrus Krohn is publisher of Slate magazine. He directed the political advertising division for MSN.com, the Microsoft Network, for the 2000 presidential election cycle. Prior to joining Microsoft, Krohn produced programs for CNN’s Crossfire and Larry King Live. Previously, Krohn served in the White House as an intern to Vice President Dan Quayle. JO LEE - Co-founder, CitizenSpeak Jo Lee co-founded and directs CitizenSpeak: a free e-mail advocacy service for grassroots organizations. She is responsible for managing all functional areas of the organization including; sales, marketing, business development, public relations and finance. Jo is also a public relations consultant for VoIP equipment developers and service providers.
taught Internet history, law and policy in the Communications, Culture and Technology program at Georgetown University. As a scholar his work has been published in Réalité Industrielles, Médiaspouvoirs, Political Communication, Géopolitique, Contemporary French Civilization, The Information Society and others. Dr. Lytel was honored by Federal Computing magazine in 1995 as one of the 100 most influential people in the technology community. He is a Fellow of the Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM) in Tokyo and a member of the Centre d’Etude de Prospective Stratégique (CEPS) in Paris.
ELLEN MALCOLM - President, EMILY’s List Ellen R. Malcolm is the founder and president of EMILY’s List. An acronym for “Early Money Is Like Yeast” because it “makes the dough rise,” EMILY’s List is a political network for prochoice Democratic women candidates that raises early money to make women credible contenders. Malcolm has been active in public service in Washington, D.C., for 30 years. She worked at Common Cause in the early 1970s and later served as press secretary for the National Women’s Political Caucus. She continued her career in politics by joining the White House staff in 1980 as press secretary for Esther Peterson, President Carter’s special assistant for consumer affairs. In 1985, determined to break down the barriers faced by women seeking elected office, Malcolm and a group of friends created EMILY’s List, which supports pro-choice Democratic women campaigning for governor, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Since its founding, EMILY’s List has helped send 11 pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. Senate, 60 to the U.S. House of Representatives and to elect eight governors. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Malcolm was named one of America’s most influential women in 1998 by Vanity Fair magazine and, in 1999, one of the 100 Most Important Women in America by Ladies’ Home Journal. In 1992, Malcolm was among Glamour
DAVID LYTEL - left.org David Lytel is a former Democratic elected official who runs Left.org, a community site for the nation’s political majority and Majority Media, LLC, a producer of Web sites, videos and mobilization campaigns for candidates and causes. In the political arena, Lytel is one of the opposition industry’s most experienced online organizers. He was the co-developer and managing editor of the White House Web site in the first Clinton Administration, ran the first Internet-based Federal PAC (Democrats Online) in 1996, the first major community site for Democrats (Democrats.com) in 2000 and the first PAC to finance its operation from the online sale of merchandise (ReDefeatBush.com) in 2004. He has provided Internet campaign support for Senators Wellstone, Corzine and Edwards, for about 3 dozen candidates for the House of Representatives and a number of associations. Lytel served in the White House Office of Science and Technology in President Clinton’s first term. Dr. Lytel holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Cornell University. His dissertation concerned the popularization of interactive media in France. He held a postdoctoral position at the Information Infrastructure Project of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has
magazine’s Women of the Year and was also named Most Valuable Player by the American Association of Political Consultants.
DANIEL MANATT - Principal, manatt.net/Web Video for Politics Producer/consultant Daniel Manatt has been at the cutting edge of Web Video since 1999 and founded the first ever Web Video firm in 2003. His groundbreaking work for clients including EMILY’s List, DCCC, the Center for American Progress and Debt Aids Trade Africa (DATA), the advocacy organization founded by U2’s Bono, made him the first ever Pollie award winner for a Web Video. His work has earned him honors from the American Association of Political Consultants, Campaigns & Elections Magazine, MoveOn.org and the Institute for Politics, Democracy & The Internet. Prior to entering media, Manatt worked as a congressional aide, Senate campaign press secretary and attorney. Manatt’s latest venture is DemsTV.com, a Web Show/video blog that is part game show, part political show. It debuts this month. NICCO MELE - CEO, EchoDitto Nicco Mele was Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign Webmaster and a leading Internet strategist. Nicco has broad experience working with NGOs and non-profits, including as Webmaster at Common Cause and at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, in addition to his time as producer of the Shadow Conventions Web site and live streaming Webcasts during the 2000 presidential election cycle. Nicco joined the Dean campaign during the last week of April 2003 and worked as the Webmaster managing the technical and design details of the Dean Web site through March 2004. He was named one of America ‘s “best and brightest” by Esquire magazine in December 2003.
EVAN COYNE MALONEY - Editor, BrainTerminal.com & Documentary Filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney is a documentary filmmaker and political commentator based in New York City. In August of 2001, Evan launched the Web site Brain-Terminal.com as a platform for his commentary and in February 2003, he posted his first short video “Protesting the Protesters” to the site. Within a day, Fox News Channel featured clips of the video and one day later, Rush Limbaugh played audio clips and plugged Evan’s site online. Brain-Terminal.com now features a dozen of Maloney’s short videos, including an ambush interview with Michael Moore that occurred after a four-day stakeout. In 2003, Maloney’s site recorded over 5 million hits and in 2004, it topped 6.2 million hits. Maloney’s current project - slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2005 - is a feature-length documentary film analyzing political correctness on college campuses. Last fall, a preview release of that film, entitled “Brainwashing 101,” premiered to standing ovations at the American Film Renaissance festival in Dallas and the Liberty Film Festival in Los Angeles. At the end of the year, “Brainwashing 101” was named as one of the Ten Best Documentaries of 2004 by the Liberty Film Festival and the follow-up to “Brainwashing 101” was named the Most Anticipated Documentary of 2005 by the American Film Renaissance. Prior to his career as a documentary filmmaker, Maloney wrote Internet software for several start-ups and worked on various political campaigns, serving as Chief of Staff for a New York State Assembly race, Campaign Manager for two judicial races and Communications Director for a New York State Senate race. In 1994, Maloney posted the first known political fundraising solicitation on the Internet in the UseNet newsgroups.
KEN MEHLMAN - Chairman, Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman was asked by President Bush to serve as the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC).
Ken previously served as the campaign manager for Bush/Cheney ‘04 which political pundit Charlie Cook referred to as, “the best planned, best executed presidential campaign ever.” Prior to joining the campaign, Mehlman served as White House Political Director for President Bush’s first two and a half years, where he oversaw and executed all aspects of the President and the Administration’s political strategy, working with state parties, national committees, candidates and state and local elected officials in support of the President’s agenda. Mehlman served as National Field Director for Bush-Cheney 2000, where he worked with the campaign leadership in all fifty states and the Republican National Committee to execute winning political plans and mobilize strong grassroots efforts. Before joining President Bush, Ken was Congresswoman Kay Granger’s (TX-12) Chief of Staff and Congressman Lamar Smith’s (TX21) Legislative Director. He practiced environmental law in Washington and assisted campaigns in Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Texas and Georgia, as well as the 1992 and 1996 Presidential campaigns. Ken is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.
politics, public affairs, government and media. Noble is the founder of PoliticsOnline and its affiliated company Phil Noble & Associates, an international public affairs consulting firm. PoliticsOnline is responsible for over a dozen major innovations and industry first. Noble is a veteran of over 350 political campaigns and public affairs projects in 40 states and 30 countries and he has worked to elect the head of state in 15 countries. He and his companies have received numerous awards and recognitions for their work in the US and internationally. Noble has held teaching and advisory positions with the Institute of Politics of the Kennedy School at Harvard, University of Amsterdam, The George Washington University and University of Southern California.
COSTAS PANAGOPOLOUS - Executive Director, Political Campaign Management, New York University Mr. Panagopoulos is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics at New York University. His academic research focuses on American Politics, with an emphasis on campaigns and elections, voting behavior and public opinion. He also serves as Executive Director of the Political Campaign Management Program in the Department, an initiative he founded that trains students in the art of practical electioneering. A former candidate for the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1992, Mr. Panagopoulos offers courses in the program that focus on campaign strategy and message development, political advertising and media strategy. Panagopoulos was elected President of the American Association of Political Consultants’ Mid-Atlantic chapter in 2003. He has also developed expertise in international political consulting and has worked as a consultant in the Electoral Assistance Division at the United Nations. A native of Lowell, Massachusetts and the son of immigrants from Greece, Mr. Panagopoulos received his undergraduate degree in Government, magna cum laude, from Harvard University. He earned his Master’s degree in Politics from New York University. Panagopoulos has authored several scholarly works, including articles that have appeared in Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has provided political analysis for such media outlets
BRIAN MICHAEL - Account Representative, Mindshare Brian Michael works with several Mindshare clients to implement effective interactive campaign strategies. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Brian’s prior experience includes stints as a paralegal, a research assistant and a volunteer at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. A former lacrosse player and member of the Penn crew team, Brian lives in Washington, DC. An avid baseball fan, Brian is following the location of the next Major League Baseball franchise with more than casual interest.
PHIL NOBLE - President, PoliticsOnline Phil Noble is one of the top experts in the US and internationally on the use of the Internet in
as the New York Times , CNN, Fox News and BBC Television.
NATHANIEL PEARLMAN - Founder, NGP Software Nathaniel Pearlman, 39, has over a decade and a half of experience in technology and politics. He earned a degree in computer science from Yale and taught American Politics and Statistics while a doctoral student at MIT. Before founding NGP Software, Inc. in 1997, he designed several nationally known software packages for other DC-based political technology firms. NGP Software, Inc. has become a go-to firm for help in on-line fundraising and Web site integration, campaign and political databases, federal and state election commission reporting and technological infrastructure. NGP worked for six presidential primary campaigns in 2004, including U.S. Senator John Kerry’s, providing list management, fund-raising operations and software used to file FEC reports. NGP is the software of choice for a majority of federal Democrats, as well as many Democratic fundraising firms and for allies such as America Coming Together, AFL-CIO, SEIU and CWA. In Spring, 2004, Nathaniel was named a “Rising Star of Politics” by Campaigns & Elections Magazine. Nathaniel lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Connie and daughter, Ella.
communications for the American Gas Association (AGA), a major trade association representing natural gas distribution companies. He has authored numerous articles for trade and professional magazines around the world and is a frequent speaker on public affairs issues, politics, Internet advocacy, communications and corporate management. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Pinkham graduated with honors from the College of Wooster in Ohio. While at Wooster, he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa society. Mr. Pinkham is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. He serves on the boards of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, the European Centre for Public Affairs, the Institute for Public Relations and the Center for Ethics in Government. He is also a judge in the Points of Light Foundation’s Awards of Excellence in Corporate Community Service.
JUAN PROANO - President and Co-Founder, Plus Three Juan M. Proaño is co-founder and President of Plus Three, which was formed in 2001 to improve the way progressive organizations build constituent groups and fundraise by giving them immediate access to the widest array of contributors. Over the last 10 years Juan has developed a level of expertise in the areas of product development, strategic marketing and software integration that have produced industry leading technologies and best practices in the fields of database marketing, e-mail delivery technologies and one-to-one communications tactics for GOTV and fundraising efforts. Juan¹s extensive work with Plus Three customers, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, John Kerry for President and the AFL-CIO has established him as an expert in online fundraising, constituency management and the political landscape. His leadership was instrumental to the creation of the DNC Demzilla database that enabled the Democrats to raise over $85 online in 2004 and match the Republican National Committee’s fundraising efforts for the first time. Juan frequently shares his expertise in using the Internet to drive voter turnout at national events, such as the Democratic National Convention and the DNC
DOUG PINKHAM - President, Public Affairs Council Doug Pinkham is president of the Public Affairs Council, the leading international association for public affairs professionals. Founded in 1954, the Council is a non-partisan, non-political organization that provides training and development, “best practice” information and benchmarking services to the public affairs profession. Members include executives and managers working in government relations, corporate communications and community involvement positions. Over 500 corporations, associations and consulting firms belong to the Council. Mr. Pinkham was elected to head the Public Affairs Council in 1997. Prior to joining the Council, Mr. Pinkham was vice president of
Latino Leadership Conference and in national publications like TIME magazine. In addition, Juan has developed strategic and technological solutions for the financial, publishing, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals industries that set the standard in the areas of data management and customer communications. Successful software solutions implemented under Juan’s leadership include Capital One, Barclays Global Investments, MCI WorldCom, AT&T, Glaxo Smith Kline, The Washington Post, IBM, World Wildlife Fund, Disney, Time, Newsweek, Planned Parenthood, Green Peace, Ocean Conservancy and The National Resource Defense Fund.
the largest business association (US Chamber) and over 100 GOP Members of Congress. He is a graduate of Drew University and received his Juris Doctorate degree from Seton Hall University Law School.
ARI RABIN-HAVT - Internet Communications Director, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Ari Rabin-Havt currently serves as Director of Internet Comuncation for the Senate Democratic Leader. Previously Rabin-Havt worked on the Internet team at John Kerry’s Presidential campaign, as Executive Director of Click Back America, doing market research and polling at Penn Schoen and Berland Associated and in Representative Ted Strickland’s (OH-6) office.
LARRY PURPURO - Rightclick Strategies Larry Purpuro is nationally recognized as one of the leading experts in the field of cyber advocacy. As a Web strategist, he has successfully leveraged the Web as a tool for political activism in online advocacy projects. Mr. Purpuro has spent more than 20 years working in the political arena, providing communications consulting and management services to over 150 federal and state candidates. Purpuro has served as chief of staff for a US Senator, communications director for the NRCC and deputy chief of staff for the Republican National Committee (RNC). Before founding Rightclick Strategies, he launched one of the country’s most innovative Web programs for the RNC. As the RNC’s deputy chief of staff, Larry directed the national party’s “ e.GOP Project,” which was credited by US News & World Report as being a key factor in Bush’s 2000 election victory. Mr. Purpuro’s work in the field of Internet politics has garnered him extensive press coverage in TheIndustry Standard, Wired, Investor’s Daily, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Washington Post, CNN and USA Today. An adjunct professor at GWU’s Graduate School of Political Management, he is a frequent lecturer on Internet advocacy at colleges across the country. Rightclick Strategies’ clients include the largest member based association in America (AARP),
GRANT REEHER - Associate Professor of Political Science, Syracuse University Grant Reeher is Associate Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Research, both at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is also adjunct faculty at the Federal Executive Institute, the U. S. Government’s premier institution for professional development. In addition, during 2004-2005 he is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at The George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy, & the Internet. His research and teaching interests are primarily in American politics and political theory. He is the author of First Person Political: Legislative Life and the Meaning of Public Service (2005); Narratives of Justice: Legislators’ Beliefs about Distributive Fairness (1996), co-author of Click on Democracy: The Internet’s Power to Change Political Apathy into Civic Action (2002) and co-editor of Education for Citizenship (1997) and The Insider’s Guide to Political Internships (2002). His academic journal publications include pieces in Health Affairs; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; The Responsive Community; Polity; and PS: Political Science and Politics. He has also published many editorial essays on various political topics, including pieces in The
New York Times, The Ottawa Citizen, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and pieces that have been distributed through Knight-Ridder. He has been quoted in many published stories, including pieces appearing in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Newsday and The Detroit News. He is a former chair of the American Political Science Association’s Organized Section on Undergraduate Education and a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. He is a 1982 graduate of Dartmouth College and earned his Ph.D. in 1992 from Yale University. In 1993, his Ph.D. dissertation was awarded the William Anderson Prize by the American Political Science Association. His community activities include ongoing sponsorship of Syracuse’s Inner City Little League and service as Corporate Secretary for The Social Capital Development Corporation, a non-profit organization based in Albany, New York.
column for National Journal’s The Hotline and is a contributing editor to Personal Democracy Forum (www.personaldemocracy.com). He was credentialed to blog the Democratic and Republican Conventions, as well as the Presidential Debates. And, Brian delivered the keynote address at the Online Social Networking Conference in 2005 and is currently writing “New Rules for Radical Communication” (working title), an update of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals for the Internet age. Brian attended the University of Michigan and is a graduate of Columbia University. He and his wife, Karen Dahl, live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
ZACH ROSEN - Founder and Director, CivicSpace Labs Zack Rosen is the founder and director of CivicSpace Labs, a non-profit tech shop building open-source civic engagement, participation and organizing tools. He kicked off the “DeanSpace” volunteer open-source development project for the Dean campaign last year during his summer break from the University of Illinois. He then took a job at the Dean campaign headquarters to work as a Web developer and technical volunteer coordinator. He was responsible for servicing the Web-technology needs of the state campaign offices, constituency groups and grassroots Web developers. After the campaign ended he moved out to San Francisco and received funding to continue the project on and create CivicSpace.
BRIAN REICH - Strategic Consultant, Mindshare Brian runs the Boston office for Mindshare Interactive Campaigns and coordinates the company’s efforts in the Northeast. Brian has spent much of his life working with campaigns and political organizations. He has helped direct dozens of campaigns across the country ranging from student elections in Michigan to local initiatives and statewide campaigns in Seattle. During the 1996 cycle, Brian was the youngest campaign manager in the nation, leading a U.S. Congress challenger-race in Connecticut. Prior to joining Mindshare, Brian served as Vice President Gore’s Briefing Director, both in the White House and during his 2000 presidential campaign. Brian is a regular writer and speaker on the issues involving the impact of the Internet on politics. He is the editor of Campaign Web Review (www.campaignWebreview.com): a blog examining the use of the Internet by candidates, campaigns and organizations, activists and the media. He writes a weekly
JOSH ROSS - Director, Internet Strategy, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Josh Ross most recently served a Director of Internet Strategy for Kerry-Edwards 2004. There he supervised all online activities including fundraising, advocacy, communications and field support. Before joining the campaign, Josh worked as a technology executive in Silicon Valley. He has served as COO of V2 Group, Vice President of USWeb Corp. and CEO of NetWORKERS. Josh is currently President of Mayfield Strategy Group, a California and Washington D.C. based consulting firm.
PATRICK RUFFINI - Webmaster, BushCheney ‘04 Ruffini was Webmaster for the Bush-Cheney ‘04 presidential campaign, where he was responsible for day-to-day Web site operations, designing creatives to crisply communicate the President’s message and developing special features surrounding major events like the Conventions and Presidential debates. Ruffini also designed and served as chief writer for the campaign’s official blog and managed the campaign’s outreach to the blog community. Prior to arriving at the campaign, Ruffini maintained a political blog which launched in July 2001, back when such sites were still known as “me-zines.” His commentary has appeared on Web sites ranging from National Review Online to FoxNews.com. Ruffini graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 with a B.A. in Diplomatic History and Political Science.
Honours in Philosophy and Political Science from Carleton University, Ottawa (1992).
JONAH SEIGER - Founder, Connections Media LLC Jonah Seiger is one of the country’s most recognized political and public affairs Internet strategists. For over a decade, Seiger has led winning Internet-centered communications programs for some of America’s most influential associations, issue groups, candidates and Fortune 500 companies. At Connections Media, Seiger and his professional team provide strategic counsel, integrated cross-media planning and placement, customized technology development and graphic design services to select political and public affairs campaigns. Seiger serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet at The George Washington University and is a member of the Board of the New Democrat Network and the Media Access Project. Seiger is also a member of the adjunct faculty at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. Seiger has deep roots in the Internet world. In 1997 Seiger co-founded Mindshare Internet Campaigns, LLC and built the company into one of the country’s leading providers of Internet services for public affairs. Seiger previously worked on Internet-related policy issues with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and with Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-MA) on the House Subcommittee for Telecommunications and Finance from 1993 to 1994. In 1994, he helped found and served as Communications Director for the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a leading non-profit organization focusing on civil liberties and democratic values online. While at CDT, The New York Times described him as “a trench warrior in the battle to democratize cyberspace,” in reference to his role in the landmark Supreme Court case establishing broad First Amendment protection for the Internet. A native of Palo Alto, California, Seiger holds a B.A. in psychology and religion from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He currently resides in Washington DC.
FRANCIS SCHILLER - Owner/Publisher of politicswatch.com Frank has 15 years experience working in Canadian politics and government. Since 1990, Francis has worked on staff for some of Canada’s leading federal politicians, including the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien, the Right Hon. Herb Gray and the Hon. Jim Peterson. Francis also served as a key member of election readiness units, instrumental in the election of Liberal majority governments in 1993 and 1997. Since 1996, he has operated his own research and communications enterprise, which owns PoliticsWatch.com, as well as having holdings in the Industry Government Relations Group, a leading government relations firm in Ottawa. Francis currently services a diverse client base across industrial sectors and public policy areas, including marine and aviation transportation, forestry and international trade, information technology and online news services, retail, intellectual property regulations and more. Francis was a British Chevening Scholar and graduated from the London School of Economics with a Master of Science in Comparative Politics (1996) and received a Bachelor of Arts, High
PHIL SHELDON - Media Director, RightMarch.com Phil Sheldon is the Media Director at RightMarch.com, an umbrella site of many conservative organizations coming together to enable their members to take effective action against activities by online liberal groups. Phil is also president of Response Enterprises (2001present); president (1983-present), Diener Consultants; president (1988-present), Pennsylvania Republican Assembly; alternative delegate (1996), Republican National Convention; B.A. (1983), Johns Hopkins University.
Prior to his run for public office, Ravi worked as an administrative assistant for the Illinois Lt. Governor and State Treasurer. In 1995, Ravi taught citizens at the Illinois State Fair “how to use the Internet and surf Yahoo!™.” In 1997, he was promoted to Director of Community Relations for the State Treasurer. During this time, he was asked to serve on Bob Dole’s National Asian American Planning Committee collecting “Internet e-mail addresses” for the 1996 Presidential Election. In 1999, Ravi founded a first political vortal on the Web, electionmall.com. In 2000, he filed for international patents related to online fundraising and political e-mails, eYardsigns™ under ElectionMall.com, also known as Election Mall Technologies (EMT). EMT is a non-partisan company that offers campaign technology services via the World Wide Web. EMT has advised and assisted several campaigns including the 2000 presidential campaign for George W. Bush and has sent e-mails for members of the Democratic National Committee. EMT won the prestigious “Pollie Award” for technology in 2002 from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) with strategic partner Chicago Kent College of Law for the online project “electionelaw.com.” In 2004, he made history launching electionmall.tv, a live daily broadcast of animated campaign and election coverage that was displayed on CNN internationally and PC Magazine. Ravi has lectured on online politics and been a guest on MSNBC™ “Power Lunch Asia.” Recently he was featured in an article for USA Weekend magazine in which he was named one of the “five new powerbrokers whose sites and bytes may well influence how you cast your ballot come November.” Ravi is an active member in the IAPC (international), EAPC (European) and AAPC (American) political associations. Ravi Singh is currently the CEO of Election Mall Technologies which has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Ravi graduated as a United States 2nd Lieutenant from Marmion Military Academy and has a Bachelors of Science from Valparaiso University. He has a Masters degree in Political Science from Northwestern University. Ravi Singh has authored two books
MICHAEL SILBERMAN - Vice President of Online Organizing, EchoDitto Michael Silberman serves as VP for Online Organizing at EchoDitto (www.echoditto.com), a progressive Internet strategy firm in Washington, DC that he co-founded with other core members of Howard Dean’s Internet team. As the National Meetup Director for Dean’s presidential campaign, Michael managed grassroots field organizing and leadership development programs for Dean’s activist base. He oversaw the successful growth of Dean’s monthly “meetup” program in 1,200 neighborhoods worldwide and developed a multi-faceted online communications and organizing strategy that kept over 2,000 grassroots leaders and 189,000 supporters engaged and connected to the national campaign. Prior to joining the Dean campaign, Michael gained valuable organizing and political experience at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and in the Clinton White House at the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).
RAVI SINGH - CEO ElectionMall Technologies, Inc. An Internet pioneer, Ravi Singh was politically savvy at an early age. At 25, Ravi’s passion for politics became obvious when he ran for public office as the first Asian American for the 42nd District Illinois General Assembly. During his 1997 campaign, he made history by launching the first “online chat - town hall meeting” and www.ravisingh.com
LeadershipByTurban.com and 101 Secrets on Winning Political Campaigns Online both available on Amazon.com. Currently Ravi Singh resides in Los Angeles and Washington DC.
CLIFF SLOAN - VP, Business Affairs & General Counsel, Washington Post Newsweek Interactive Clifford M. Sloan is Vice President, Business Development and General Counsel of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, The Washington Post Company’s Internet and new media subsidiary. Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive publishes washingtonpost.com and Newsweek.com. Mr. Sloan oversees all legal matters and business development for the company. He has served in various government positions, including Associate Counsel to the President of the United States (1993-95), Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice (1989-91), Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel (Iran-Contra) (1987-88) and Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Skelly Wright. Mr. Sloan also has taught the law of cyberspace as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, The George Washington University Law School and American University’s Washington College of Law. BRADLEY SMITH - Commissioner, Federal Election Commission Bradley Smith was appointed to a Republican seat on the Federal Election Commission in 2000 by President Clinton and served as Commission Chairman in 2004. One of the nation’s leading experts on campaign finance law, constitutional protection of political speech and the effect of money in politics, Smith is the author of Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform, published by Princeton University Press in 2001. An academic best-seller, Unfree Speech was released in paperback in 2003. His articles have appeared in such academic journals as the Yale Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, Pennsylvania Law Review, Harvard Journal of Legislation and the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and in popular journals such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Review and Commentary. In 1999, the Brennan Center for Justice called him, “the most sought
after witness in Congress” when the subject is campaign finance. His work has been cited both in briefs to and opinions by the Supreme Court. As Chairman of the FEC, Smith was praised by Roll Call as “an honest man” and by the Wall Street Journal as, “about the only honorable man in this political bordello [the campaign finance reform debates].” Commissioner Smith is a member of the Advisory Board to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Election Law, the Board of Advisors of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Election Law Journal. While serving as a Commissioner, Smith has been on leave from his position as Professor of Law at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He has also taught at George Mason University School of Law and has lectured at nearly 50 law schools, including Yale, Columbia, Michigan, Chicago, Stanford, NYU and his alma mater, Harvard Law School, where he was recognized as a Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus. A native of the Detroit area, Commissioner Smith received his B.A. in Political Science from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan and holds an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Augustana (Ill.) College.
GREGG SPIRIDELLIS - Co-Founder, JibJab Media Gregg Spiridellis co-founded JibJab Media Inc. with his brother Evan in 1999 to create and distribute original entertainment to a worldwide audience using the Internet. Since then, he has developed a reputation as a pioneer in digital entertainment, leveraging new technologies to produce innovative and compelling JibJab branded content to a worldwide audience. In addition to his business duties, Gregg is also JibJab’s writer. In 2004, his lyrics helped spark an international sensation with the release of JibJab’s election parody, ‘This Land’. ”This Land” and its follow up, ‘Good To Be in DC!’ were viewed over eighty million times online on every continent, including Antarctica. JibJab’s productions have screened at the top industry festivals including Sundance, the Palm Springs International Film Festival, SXSW and many others. They have also won awards at the
Ottawa International Film Festival, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and D&AD. Gregg has assembled a client list that includes the world’s biggest entertainment and consumer product companies including Disney, Cartoon Network, USA Networks, Sony, Kraft, Revlon and many others. Prior to JibJab, Gregg worked as an investment banker with Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs in New York City. He graduated with distinction from the MBA program at The Wharton School of Business in 1999 and received his BS, magna cum laude, from Rutgers University.
Rob Stuart is the Senior Vice President of @DVOCACY, INC. and the President of the EVolve Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm. Rob is a senior Internet media advisor and strategist for numerous political and advocacy organization. Dedicated to building the achievement capacity of nonprofit organizations, over the last ten years, Rob has worked in the Philanthropic sector, establishing programs to increase organizational effectiveness through the strategic use of technology. A resident of Philadelphia, Rob helped spearheaded the establishment of NPower PA and now serves as its Board President. A national leader in the non-profit technology sector, Rob was the Founder and President of TechRocks, a supporting organization to the Rockefeller Family Fund, which pioneered the use of the Internet for advocacy campaigns and software tools for e-organizing. Rob founded TechRocks (formerly the Rockefeller Technology Project) while serving as a Program Associate at the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) in 1996. At the same time, he was one of the founders of the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) and spearheaded the National Strategy for Nonprofit Technology (NSNT). He serves on the Board of the GreenMedia Toolshed, PennEnvironment and as Chair of Taxpayers for Common Sense. Prior to joining RFF, Rob had a career as a public interest advocate and led successful campaigns for several landmark pieces of environmental and consumer protection legislation in New Jersey. Rob was a Paul Robeson Scholar at Livingston College and graduated with Honors in Political Science from Rutgers University.
ANDREW STOCKING - VP, Business Development, Care2.com Andrew Stocking is the Vice President of Business Development at Care2.com (www.Care2.com). Andrew joined Care2 five years ago and has since played an active role in strategic planning, developing new online organizing tools and building partnerships with nonprofit organizations. Today Care2 is the largest online progressive network, bringing together consumers, non-profit organizations and socially responsible businesses. With more than 3 million members and activists, Care2.com is the premier site on the Internet for people who care to help environmental and social causes and lead a healthier lifestyle. As a result, most of the nation’s large nonprofit organizations turn to the Care2 audience to recruit new activists, increase the volume of letters they can generate to policy makers and educate/engage a large community. In addition, Care2 just launched Care2 Connect: a large progressive social networking tool for nonprofits and affinity groups. Andrew leads Care2’s business development team and campaign team, which specialize in online activism, environmental education, election turnout and education and fundraising. Prior to joining Care2 Andrew worked as an environmental engineer at the consulting firm Malcolm Pirnie and an analyst for The Mellman Group. Andrew has an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a BS in Chemical Engineering, both from Stanford University.
ALEX TREADWAY - Senior Associate Director, National Journal Group, Inc. Alex Treadway heads online advertising for NationalJournal.com. Voted the number one news site by political journalists in the 2002 Institute for Politics Democracy & the Internet’s The Virtual Trail: NationalJournal.com is one of the leading Web sites for people with a professional interest in politics, policy and government. For the past six years Treadway has
ROB STUART - Senior Vice President, Strategic Relations
been working with corporate and advocacy advertisers and their ad agencies to successfully implement inside Washington, DC communications goals via online advertising. Treadway has been speaking about online advertising since 1999 and has participated in several Politics Online Conferences and E-Voter Institute seminars. Treadway has been quoted in numerous publications about the use of online advertising as a medium for political and advocacy communication. Treadway has been marketing online products and services for years. Prior to working with the National Journal Group, his experience includes marketing federal and state legislative intelligence services for LEGI-SLATE, Inc (formerly a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company) and online banking services with First Union National Bank. Treadway earned a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in English, History and Speech from Louisiana State University. He currently resides in Alexandria with his wife Cecily and daughters Helen and Louisa. JOE TRIPPI - Former Campaign Manager, Dean For America Joe Trippi: heralded on the cover of The New Republic as the man who “reinvent[ed] campaigning”, was born in California and began his political career working on Edward M. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980. His work in presidential politics continued with the campaigns of Walter Mondale, Gary Hart, Richard Gephardt and Howard Dean. As a campaign manager, Trippi has run presidential, Senate, gubernatorial and mayoral campaigns. He was selected by former Vice President Walter Mondale to manage Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses in 1984 and later went on to run several key states for the Mondale for President campaign. In 1988, Trippi was the Deputy National Campaign Manager for Richard Gephardt’s presidential campaign. In 2004, he was National Campaign Manager for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, pioneering the use of online technology to organize what became the largest grassroots movement in presidential politics. Through
Trippi’s innovative use of the Internet for smalldonor fundraising, Dean for America ended up raising more money than any Democratic presidential campaign in history, all with donations averaging less than $100 each. Trippi’s innovations have brought fundamental change to the political system and will be the model for how all future campaigns will be run. Trippi began his work in media consulting at the Democratic media firm of Doak, Shrum and Associates, where he was involved in developing the strategy and producing the media for the successful campaigns of Jerry Baliles for governor of Virginia and Bob Casey for governor of Pennsylvania. Trippi was also instrumental in the re-election campaigns of U.S. Senator Alan Cranston of California and Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles. In 1990, he was a founding member of the media firm Trippi, McMahon and Squier.
MICHAEL TURK - eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, previously eCampaign Director, Bush-Cheney 04 As eCamapign Director for the Republican National Committee, Michael Turk oversees the Internet Operations for the Republican Party. Prior to his position at the Committee, Turk was the eCampaign Director for BushCheney 04 and oversaw the most sophisticated online campaign in history, marshalling the resources of 7.5 million Internet activists to communicate the President’s message and turn out the largest vote for President in generations. Turk has spent more than 10 years in politics and technology crossing from the political, to the commercial and into government. beginning in 1994 with the creation of one of the first state party Web sites on the Internet. He has served as the e-Government Portfolio Manager for Government to Citizen projects at the Office of Management and Budget and as a technology and activism consultant to Grassroots Enterprise: an Internet focused public affairs firm.
ANNIE WEBER - Senior Vice President, Roper Public Affairs & Media Annie Weber is a Senior Vice President and Director of the Roper Public Affairs office in
Washington DC. Annie specializes in public opinion polls, strategic communications and market research. Since joining Roper in 1999, she has worked on a wide variety of projects including public release and strategic communication research investigating public understanding of a range of topics from learning disabilities, health literacy and service learning to organic foods and farming practices; New York Times Digital study on Influentials® AARP’s multicultural studies about work and working past traditional retirement age; Bankrate.com’s tracking of American’s financial literacy; Randstad North America’s ongoing research program investigating work attitudes and experiences among the North American labor pool; People magazine’s study of women, word of mouth and product recommendations; Money magazine’s study of affluent Americans & Their Money; the Fast Company-Roper Surveys on work/life balance. Annie came to Roper from the CBS News Election & Survey Unit, where she assisted in the writing, fielding and reporting of national public opinion surveys for the joint CBS News/New York Times Poll. Prior to joining CBS, Annie was a Research Assistant in the Social and Behavioral Unit in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. Before pursuing a career in opinion and marketing research, Annie was an instructor in Broadcasting and Journalism at the Art Institute in Fort Lauderdale and an award-winning investigative reporter for KMIZ-TV in Columbia, Missouri. Annie is currently working on her Ph.D. in Communication at Cornell University. She has a Master of Science with Distinction in Broadcast Journalism, as well as a B.S. in Radio, Television and Film from Northwestern University. Annie is a past Treasurer for the New York chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).
to joining TechNet, Rick White was a partner in the Perkins Coie law firm in Seattle, where he practiced in the electronic commerce group. White also served as the U.S. Representative from the First District of Washington State from 1995-1999. As a member of Congress, White served on the House Commerce Committee and was assigned to subcommittees on Telecommunications, Trade, Finance and Energy. In 1995, as the founder of the Congressional Internet Caucus, White gained national attention through his work on the Internet and high-technology issues. He was one of a handful of members selected to serve on the conference committee that developed the final Telecommunications Act of 1996. Rick White is a member of the Markle Foundation’s Task Force on National Security in the Information Age and serves on the Council of American Politics at the Graduate School of Political Management of George Washington University.
DAVID WICKENDEN - Senior Vice President and Senior Partner, FleishmanHillard David Wickenden is a senior partner with Fleishman-Hillard directing the firm’s Interactive Practice Group. Mr. Wickenden is responsible for the strategic development of Internet-based and new media communications services worldwide. He also serves as senior counselor and strategist for clients in the areas of corporate reputation, branding, positioning and strategic planning. Mr. Wickenden has more than 18 years’ experience in designing, managing and implementing large-scale integrated strategic communications programs. He has led numerous corporate-positioning programs for organizations including Sprint, PBS, Bell Atlantic (Verizon), AARP and America Online, where he led an agency team in developing a wide-ranging corporate brand and reputation program from 1995 – 2000. As a result of his work in helping to establish and develop programs for the AOL Foundation, Fleishman-Hillard received a PRSA Silver Anvil Award for outstanding achievement in the nonprofit sector.
RICK WHITE - President and CEO, TechNet Rick White is President and CEO of TechNet, the leading public policy and political service organization for the Innovation Economy. Prior
Mr. Wickenden has led agency teams in the creation and implementation of several consumer behavior-change and public education programs, including MasterCard (combating credit card fraud) and the Vision Council of America (proper eye care for children), both of which also won Silver Anvil Awards. An accomplished seminar leader, Mr. Wickenden conducts workshops in the area of strategic communications and serves as an adjunct professor of branding and new media marketing for the M.B.A. program at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Wickenden was the lead author and project director of the book, We’ve Got Light!, a history of the building of the nation’s first coastto-coast fiber-optic network. Mr. Wickenden is a graduate of Kenyon College, Gambier, OH, with a Bachelor of Arts in English (cum laude, graduating with distinction). CHRISTINE WILLIAMS - Professor of Government, Bentley College Christine Williams is a published scholar whose research explores the role and impact of the Internet on American politics. A grant from the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy supported her studies of the ecampaign for U.S. Senate, which appeared in the Journal of Political Marketing. Other work includes a comparative study of Web based issue advocacy by corporations and nonprofits and an analysis of corporate Web site response to September 11th. Currently, she is conducting national surveys to understand Meetup as a political organizing tool in the 2004 presidential election (http://www.MeetupSurvey.com). Her report on that research appeared in the July issue of Campaigns & Elections. During academic year 2004-5 Dr. Williams will be a visiting fellow at the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet at The George Washington University. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of E-Government and has been a peer reviewer for the Social Science Computer Review and the Journal of Political Marketing, among others. Interviews by Dr. Williams have appeared in national and regional media outlets. Print media credits include USA Today, The Nation, The
Chronicle of Philanthropy, Federal Computer Week, TheBoston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and Hartford Courant. CNN and New England Cable News (NECN) have run stories about her current Meetup research and she has been a guest on programs for Wisconsin public radio and Denver’s KHOW. Electronic media citations include CBS MarketWatch, PoliticsOnline and AlterNet. A Professor of Government at Bentley College since 1986, Dr. Williams teaches a course on Media and Politics. She holds a B.A. from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and her M.A. and Ph.D from Indiana University. Dr. Williams currently resides in Chelmsford, MA.
ANN YODERS - Founder & CEO, The Bronx Cash Register Consulting Company Ann E. Yoders is the CEO and Founder of Bronx Cash Register Consulting Company (www.bronxconsulting.com). Bronx Consulting is an innovative new progressive strategy firm based on socially-responsible business practices. Recently Bronx Consulting organized the 2004 Roundtable on Progressive Politics and Technology, bringing together influentials in progressive politics to talk about ways to move the progressive agenda forward with the use of technology. Early next year, Bronx Consulting will spearhead an effort entitled The Progressive Project that will look at innovative ways to support technology and online engagement efforts for progressives. Prior to the starting Bronx Consulting, Ann worked for the Carol/Trevelyan Strategy Group (www.ctsg.com): the company responsible for the first campaign Web site (Diane Fienstein in 1994). With CTSG, Ann worked as Founder and Partner Dan Carol’s chief assistant on strategy and online engagement. Ann consulted for such clients as The Turner Foundation, former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Global AIDS Alliance, Union of Concerned Scientists, Jim Hightower, the Progressive Government Institute and many others. Ann has over 10 years of experience working with non-profit, political organizations and campaigns. She started her professional career in 1994 as a National Intern for Project Vote Smart. Soon after her internship she was hired as the
Director of Project Vote Smart’s National Internship Program. Ann lead 60 interns in building from scratch the Vote Smart Web
(www.vote-smart.org), the nationallyrecognized, award-winning clearinghouse on non-partisan, political information.
Grassroots Advocacy and The Internet
New Online Tools Transform How Nonprofits Reach, Motivate and Retain Advocates
The primary goal of advocacy is to drive positive change in support of an organization’s mission. This change may involve impacting legislation, securing funding or affecting a corporate policy. Grassroots advocacy involves influencing large groups of people to agree with an opinion or objective and getting them to help influence policy makers through media coverage, personal contact, phone calls and letters.
The Internet—specifically the advent of online advocacy and constituent relationship management tools—has had a profound impact on grassroots advocacy. In 2001, 42 million Americans used the Internet to research public policy issues;1 23 million sent comments to public officials about policy choices; and 13 million participated in an online lobbying campaign. Key developments include: 1. Easy, low cost mobilization through e-mail E-mail has enabled advocacy groups to mobilize constituents very quickly and costeffectively. Organizations, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The Rise of the E-Citizen: How People Use Government Agencies’ Web Sites, Pew Internet and American Life Project, 3 March 2002.
Vinay Bhagat Vinay Bhagat is the founder, Chief Strategy Officer and chairman of Austin-based Convio, Inc.
(ASPCA), that used to send letters to advocates have moved to a completely e-mail-based mobilization approach. Newer cause-driven groups have started their advocacy programs with an online-only approach. 2. Increased response rates through easy response mechanisms and personalization Online response forms on Web sites recognize returning advocates, pre-fill their personal information and map legislative targets based upon each constituent’s ZIP code. These forms allow a constituent to personalize the message and can automate message delivery via email or fax. Targeting messages by geography generates higher 35
2005 Politics Online Conference – Grassroots Advocacy and the Internet response rates. Mothers Against Drunk Driving ran a test sending a generic e-mail appeal to one group of constituents and a personalized appeal with a specific state grade for drunk driving regulation to another accepting e-mails and requiring submission of information through Web forms. Today’s leading Internet tools enable automatic posting of advocate messages on these Web forms.
Fig 1. Personalization of advocacy appeal by recipient’s state group. The personalized message achieved a 155 percent higher response rate. 3. Increased message delivery rate through multiple channels With advanced tools such as Convio, an organization can send messages via e-mail, fax, mail or Web form submission on a legislator’s Web site. Multichannel message delivery options increase the message delivery rate. Increasingly, legislative offices are moving away from 4. Reach more activists Advocacy campaigns are “viral” by nature, spreading from person to person. The Internet makes it significantly easier for activists to forward messages to others. 5. Improved tracking Traditionally, tracking the number of people taking action in a grassroots campaign has been difficult. It has also been almost impossible to know who specifically takes action, which is key for identifying the best 36
2005 Politics Online Conference – Grassroots Advocacy and the Internet activists. Tracking both total and individual response is much easier with new online tools. 6. Better relationships, stronger loyalty The Internet makes it easier for an organization to keep advocates apprised of the impacts of their lobbying efforts. It is very easy and cost-effective to send a targeted e-mail to people who have taken action. 7. Integrated approach to managing constituent relationships Integrated tools like Convio enable a more congruent approach to managing relationships with new subscribers, volunteers, clients, donors, advocates and the media. For example, an organization can reach out to a constituent who is a donor but not yet an activist, “inviting” him to join the advocacy network operations, in particular, fundraising. A grassroots advocacy program can: 1. Develop strong prospects for participation in other activities A grassroots advocacy program can be a great source of prospects for fundraising, volunteering, event participation and more. By advocating, a person shows interest and support. Advocates frequently are more receptive to additional requests for support (e.g., fundraising appeals) than “cold prospects.” In a recent campaign, the Million Mom March United with the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence found that e-advocates (people who had signed an online petition) responded to two consecutive -email fundraising solicitations at a rate of approximately three percent.2 In contrast, a reasonable response rate for a direct mail donor acquisition campaign using
Fig. 2 – Example of profile-based relationship management by the ASPCA
The Importance of Online Advocacy for Fundraisers
Advocacy can play a strong role in supporting other areas of nonprofit
rented lists is one percent. At this response rate, it costs $1.151.50 to raise a dollar. However, using a grassroots advocacy campaign to develop a prospect
Brady Campaign/Million Mom March, Convio client data analysis.
2005 Politics Online Conference – Grassroots Advocacy and the Internet list then converting that list through mail drives down the cost per dollar raised to $0.380.50. Converting some or all of the prospects via e-mail instead yields an even greater cost reduction. An organization can use online grassroots advocacy campaigns to build large prospect lists. Advocacy campaigns are “viral” by nature—advocates generally
Many groups, however, must overcome philosophical barriers. Fundraising and advocacy functions historically have been hesitant to share lists, fearing that advocates would be turned off by being asked for money and donors would be turned off by being asked to advocate. Convio’s work with advocacy groups suggests this is not the case. We have seldom seen
Fig. 3 – Million Mom March/ Brady Campaign petition initiative
forward messages to friends. The Million Mom March/Brady Campaign asked people to sign a petition and then forward a message to 10 others (see fig. 3). In just two months, the group nearly tripled its email list from 39,000 to 117,000 constituents. (see fig. 4).
alienation of advocates when asked to donate, or alienation of donors when offered the opportunity to advocate. Casein-point: when a national women’s advocacy group made an e-mail-based fundraising appeal to activists and nonactivists (e-mail newsletter 38
2005 Politics Online Conference – Grassroots Advocacy and the Internet subscribers), the activists responded at a 15 percent higher rate than non-activists, and very few activists unsubscribed (a measure of alienation).3 Another example: 50 percent of new online donors were initially supports retention. Advocacy can be a great way to get supporters more involved; most donors can and will only give one to two times a year, but they can advocate for an organization multiple times a year.
140,000 120,000 Email File 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 10/1/03 10/8/03 10/15/03 10/22/03 10/29/03 11/5/03 11/12/03 11/19/03 11/26/03 39
Fig. 4 – Growth in e-mail list during petition campaign advocates who converted to donor advocates4. Furthermore, many nonprofit groups seek to reach younger donors. Advocacy, by its nature, often attracts younger constituents who, over time, can become good prospects for development, volunteering and more. 2. Grow donor/member loyalty Nonprofits struggle with retention. Donors/members have many groups to choose from and contribute more to those with whom they have the strongest affinity. Any tactic that builds involvement or affinity also
Convio client data analysis. Regional Advocacy/Social Services Organization, Convio client data analysis.
3. Reinforce the organization’s brand Branding is an important factor in driving donor preference.5 Older constituents, in particular, are influenced by brand.6 An organization can build its brand through grassroots campaigns that reach many people, including prospective and current donors and the media. Such contact helps increase awareness
Michael Birkin, Non-Profit Brands: Friend or Foe?, OnPhilanthropy.com newsletter, 7 February 2003. 6 Sarah Durst, Target Analysis Group – Benchmarking Trends in Nonprofit Giving, Target Analysis Year 2000 Cross-Industry Study.
2005 Politics Online Conference – Grassroots Advocacy and the Internet integrate efforts for maximizing the synergy between Using the Internet to develop functions. Organizations also Summary and convert prospect lists should take advantage lowers the cost per dollar of new online tools The Internet has already raised from $1.15-$1.50 for that make it possible transformed online to measure and direct mail to $0.38-$0.50 advocacy for many manage constituent nonprofit organizations, for e-mail. relationships in an and advancements in integrated fashion. online technology are pushing the potential further. Nonprofit The views in this article are the views of the professionals in functions other than contributors only and do not reflect the views of the advocacy should not only support the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. advocacy role within the organization, but also determine how to effectively and reinforce the organization’s message.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents a federation of local chambers, trade associations, large corporations, and small businesses. When you add it up, the Chamber federation totals more than 3 million businesses throughout the United States and the world. These pro-business advocates make the U.S. Chamber the most powerful lobbying group in Washington, D.C.
Prior to the advent of the Internet, it was difficult and expensive to communicate with federation members and to mobilize them strategically. Today, through advanced electronic communications and widespread access to broadband connections, the Chamber has reached a new level of political action facilitated by the Internet. Not only is an electronic communications strategy more versatile and cost-effective than conventional means but also as an added benefit, it keeps Chamber members more engaged and much more likely to retain their membership. The Chamber’s online program provides four advantages that either were logistically impossible or far too expensive in the past. First, it provides a “destination”—uschamber.com—for federation members to attain information on their time schedule. Second, it provides two-way communications between the Chamber and its members to identify specific areas of interest to the diverse business community. Third, it provides Chamber members with the targeted information they have requested. And, fourth, it provides a seamless mechanism for them to contact their members of Congress and to learn
Neil Hare is the vice president for corporate communications at the U.S. Chambers of Commerce.
more about pro-business candidates and issues.
The Virtual Chamber— Providing a Destination for Our Members
A chamber of commerce by definition is a meeting place and an open forum for ideas. In the past, U.S. Chamber members were invited to Washington once a year for an annual meeting, which typically drew 2,000–3,000 business owners. For the majority of U.S. Chamber members, though, a trip to Washington to obtain news and information was unachievable. So the Chamber disseminated news in hard copy in the form of a monthly magazine. For a long period, the magazine was called Nation’s Business. In 1999, it became the tabloid uschamber.com—so named to drive members to the Chamber’s Web site. Over time, members clamored for a greater level of engagement with the Chamber. The Web has answered their call. Members can now make virtual visits to the Chamber every day by 41
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Chamber visiting uschamber.com. They can watch cybercasts of Chamber events, participate in chats with Chamber policy experts, receive answers to specific questions and find information on a policy issue or business question. And through our weekly e-mail, we alert members to the latest information relevant to their business and invite them to click back to the Web site. so that we know which topics are of greatest importance to our members.
The Chamber also leverages the one-toone marketing opportunities offered by the Internet. While the Chamber has not yet risen to the capabilities of an Amazon.com, it is using information gathered from members to provide targeted information in return.
As more and more members logged onto uschamber.com and participated online, we noticed that they tend to renew their Now when our members tell us what membership at significantly higher rates there interests are, we can respond. We than those who did not regularly visit the survey our new members to learn their Web site. Therefore, the areas of interest and In the 28 House races targeted Chamber’s Web site has give existing by the Chamber in 2004, the become an extremely members multiple effective and pro-business candidate won in opportunities to tell inexpensive us what they want 20 of them. membership retention to know. Based on In the Senate, the Chambertool. these surveys, the favored candidate won in 7 out top issue for most of of 9 targeted races. Two-Way our members is providing health Communications care benefits for their employees. In Channel response to this concern, the Chamber has empowered its members to push for Before the Internet, we kept tabs on our health care reform. For example, we members’ interests through surveys, notified our members about health direct mail pieces, phone calls and faxes savings accounts (HSAs) legislation, and focus groups. However, these explained the bill and tracked it for them mechanisms did not provide us with the and asked them to contact their level of detail needed to service our representatives at the appropriate times. members. We knew, for instance, that Since HSAs became available at the business owners wanted lower taxes, but beginning of last year, we have we didn’t know the specific areas of the continued to explain their benefits and tax code they found most onerous. how to use them. Now we know. Through our electronic communications channels, we hear daily from our members through questions, comments and feedback on appearances and quotes by Chamber representatives in the media. We track this information Once again, those members who sign up for specific information through our grassroots network feel more engaged with the Chamber and renew at much higher rates than those members who have not done so. 42
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Chamber As a result of this high level of engagement, more Chamber members are renewing their memberships. And as our membership base grows, so does our influence. In short, the Chamber has discovered a formula for success—in member satisfaction and in renewal rates—that will carry it in the years ahead.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
Hotline to Capitol Hill and to the Polls
Taking advantage of the Internet’s democratizing powers, the Chamber has created an electronic grassroots lobbying and voter education program called VoteForBusiness. This program, which can be accessed at VoteForBusiness.com, enables the business community to contact a member of Congress from a specific district to lobby on a specific issue—all at the push of a button and at the speed of light. It also serves as a valuable resource for employers and employees as they study issues and candidates, especially at election time. VoteforBusiness had an unmistakable impact on the most recent elections. In the 28 House races targeted by the Chamber, the pro-business candidate won in 20 of them. In the Senate, the Chamber-favored candidate won in 7 out of 9 targeted races. While the Chamber can’t take all the credit for these results, we can claim that the pro-business message was clear and targeted in the districts where it mattered most. And, once again, those members who use VoteforBusiness.com feel engaged and renew at much higher rates.
The Internet allows the Chamber to engage its pro-business constituents in a way that was never before possible. The Chamber’s electronic communications strategy gauges its members’ interests, gives them the information they want, enables them to make their voice heard on issues, and motivates them to vote. 43
Can Internet Journalism Survive Campaign Finance Law? Some Possible Issues at the FEC
One of the more interesting developments in politics is the role of political Internet journalism. The popular focus has been on the “blogs,” which is shorthand for “Web log.” But Internet journalism takes many forms. I see a continuum in this area, from journalism that resembles what we are accustomed to treating as institutional press, to efforts that look more like those of an individual hobbyist. A major goal, if not the major goal, of campaign finance regulation is to empower individual citizens. Yet, it appears that the more Internet journalism seems to be that of an individual rather than an established corporate press entity, the greater the likelihood that the activity could come under federal campaign finance regulations.
Some Internet-only publications look like conventional magazines, such as Slate, and others are adjuncts of established print (or “dead tree”) publications, such as The Daily Standard and National Review Online. This category might also include the influential and very substantive Note, written by staff at ABC News and distributed through ABC News.com. It should probably also include Opinionjournal.com, which provides
Commissioner Bradley A. Smith Bradley Smith is the Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission. He is the author of Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform.
daily original analysis and opinion from The Wall Street Journal. In a similar vein, there are Web logs written by individuals associated with periodicals, like Mickey Kaus’s Kausfiles, which he writes through the Internet’s Slate, Tapped, which is the Web log of the “paper” magazine The American Prospect, and National Review’s “The Corner.” Then there are Web logs written by individuals who also write regular columns in the 44
2005 Politics Online Conference – Can Internet Journalism Survive Campaign Finance Law? Some Possible Issues at the FEC conventional press, such as James Lilek’s Daily Bleat or Michelle Malkin’s Web log. Some Web logs are associated with academics, like The Volokh Conspiracy, Glenn Reynold’s Instapundit and No Left Turns, which is operated by the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University. comments in response. Just as with conventional paper-and-broadcast journalism, talk of politics invariably leads to talk of campaigns and elections, and discussion of specific candidates and political actors. In the world of campaign finance regulation, then, there is the potential that these efforts will be treated as political contributions if done in coordination with a candidate, or The huge growth in blogging, as I independent expenditures, subject understand it, has come as individuals potentially to limits, take advantage of inexpensive highThe more Internet journalism reporting requirements and the prohibition powered computers and seems to be that of an against using corporate access to bandwidth to individual rather than an or labor funds. blog. Some established corporate press individual’s sites have entity, the greater the But Internet journalism become quite likelihood that the activity presents challenges influential, among them when we try to apply Powerline, Little Green could come under federal the rules that were used Footballs, Talking campaign finance when political Points Memo, Atrios regulations. communications were and Daily Kos. in conventional newspapers and RealClearPolitics, a site that gathers magazines, on broadcast or through the together an amazing assortment of mail. All of these methods required the political news and editorial links each author to vault expensive barriers to day, is regularly relied upon and has entry and were conducted in familiar become influential among journalists, venues for detection and regulation. Not scholars and political aides. Individual so in the world of blogs, e-mail blog authors who attract public attention publications and virtual magazines. can earn the support of a media company, like the law blog How When faced with the challenge of Appealing or, just to make sure we touch regulating Internet communications as every base in the blogosphere, the campaign contributions or expenditures, intriguing if off-color Wonkette. By the Federal Election Commission (FEC) contrast, Andrew Sullivan, who was a in 2002 took the approach that Internet very successful conventional journalist communications should be excluded as editor of the New Republic, became a from treatment as “public full time independent blogger at communications.”7 It wrote a regulation AndrewSullivan.com. to that effect, which meant that even Internet journalism takes many forms, were an Internet communication but in terms of content it is generally “coordinated” with a candidate, a party devoted to reporting news, summarizing or an agent of a candidate or party, it news reports and expressing opinions. would not be treated as an in-kind Many Web logs allow readers to post
11 C.F.R. § 100.26.
2005 Politics Online Conference – Can Internet Journalism Survive Campaign Finance Law? Some Possible Issues at the FEC contribution, just as a newspaper interview or endorsement could be “coordinated” with a candidate without becoming a prohibited contribution. Such coordination could also involve a journalist talking with a source within the campaign and the campaign’s plans. The classification of “public communications” is not explicitly limited to advertising, so contrary to what some have contended, the exception was not merely one for paid Internet ads. A federal district court, however, recently rejected that regulation in Shays v. FEC.8 The FEC decided not to appeal the court’s holding, so the Commission will begin working on a new regulation that will probably sweep Internet communications into the mix. There are other exemptions in the law that could apply to Internet journalism, but their scope and application are today also unclear. As you may know, conventional media activity enjoys an exemption in the law. Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, the term expenditure does not include “any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate.”9 The FEC’s regulation on the point tracks the statute, and adds that bona fide news accounts that give reasonably equal coverage to all candidates are exempt even when run my media outlets that are owned or controlled by a party, committee or candidate.10 The question for Internet journalists is whether they are included in the media entitled to the exemption or not. If the Internet activity itself is a “publication” then it would seem that all Internet speech, possibly except for paid thirdparty advertising, is exempt. Would that conclusion rest well with the district court judge who determined that Internet exclusion in the “coordination” context violated the statute? It is hard to say. Since all Web-based journalists aren’t alike, it could be tempting to engage in regulatory line drawing. Maybe sites affiliated with newspapers, magazines and broadcasting get to enjoy the exemption but independent sites offered by individuals do not. Reviewing the sites I discussed before, that could mean that Mickey Kaus and The Corner enjoy the protection of this exemption, but Josh Marshall and Powerline do not. Does this mean that Andrew Sullivan’s pieces in the New Republic were exempt, but his Daily Dish on his site is not? Should we treat the comments posted by readers as the speech of the site, since the site publishes those views? Wouldn’t protecting sites affiliated with media companies, while enforcing expenditure rules and regulations against individuals, go against one of the avowed purposes of our campaign finance laws, which is to prevent corporations from taking over political speech? My own position has been that opinions and editorials, whether expressed in books, movies, blogs or conventional periodicals, are exempt under the law. I
Shays v. FEC, 337 F. Supp. 2d 28 (D.D.C. 2004). 9 2 U.S.C. § 431(9)(B)(i).
11 C.F.R. § 100.132.
2005 Politics Online Conference – Can Internet Journalism Survive Campaign Finance Law? Some Possible Issues at the FEC remain uncomfortable with evaluating case-by-case whether activity is “bona fide” press activity or not. But it is by no means clear to me that this is a pervasive view or that it will carry the day at the Commission over time.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
The Internet Election 2004: Lessons from Advocacy Organizations
With so much attention focused on innovations by the presidential campaigns, it is far too easy to overlook the online successes of advocacy organizations during the 2004 elections.
While the candidate campaigns were getting some of their first big bites of the power of the Internet, advocacy organizations were honing their longtested Internet strategies for educating and mobilizing citizens. And, while the campaigns sent out their final thank you notes to email advocates in the days following the election, advocacy organizations were gearing up their organizations for the ongoing policy battles that always follow the vote.
Advocacy organizations in 2004 pioneered and refined techniques for using the Internet to influence the elections and build their grassroots networks at the same time. By leveraging the opportunity of the election to win campaigns and build their long-term capacity, these organizations are winning votes, growing their base and boosting member loyalty. All types of organizations, whether they are allowed by the IRS to endorse candidates and conduct electioneering campaigns or not, were
Pam Fielding and Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. Pam Fielding is the principal of e-advocates. She is the co-author of The Net Effect: How Cyberadvocacy is Changing the Political Landscape, the first published book on Internet advocacy. She is a speaker at the 2005 Politics Online Conference. Alan Rosenblatt is the director of training programs at eadvocates.
able to pursue some variation of these strategies. Even if they cannot endorse candidates, advocacy organizations can promote their issues positions and provide nonpartisan summaries of all candidate positions on those issues. All organizations, whether restricted by the IRS on electioneering or not, can mount voter education, voter registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns. And in doing so, these organizations create stronger bonds with their activists 48
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Internet Election 2004: Lessons from Advocacy Organizations and demonstrate that the organization is committed to advancing their priorities. campaign tools, like tell-a-friend functions embedded in HTML e-mail and on the TeamEMILY.org Web site, helped EMILY’s activists spread the word to their friends and family. And all communications and Web pages on the site made it easy for supporters to donate money to EMILY’s List to support its endorsed candidates. The Counter Convention campaign lasted four days, corresponding to the days of the Republican Convention. Participants were asked to form their own Counter Convention team and download a GOTR Convention Kit, including “Counter Convention Credentials” and other tools for hosting a GOTR convention watching party. The GOTR convention party that raised the most money was awarded posters signed by EMILY’s List founder Ellen Malcolm. As a result of all of EMILY’s List’s campaign, which included both online and offline strategies and tactics, five of the eight newly elected women in the House of Representatives were supported by EMILY’s List and every one of its endorsed incumbents in both chambers were re-elected. Its fundraising efforts were wildly successful, as an organization record of more than 100,000 people contributed approximately $10.6 million, an average of $98 per contributor. To see more of TeamEMILY.org’s online tools and creative, visit www.teamemily.org.
There are many examples among corporations, non-profits and trade associations from which we can draw lessons. Let us begin with an organization that is no stranger to pioneering strategies: EMILY’s List. EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest political action committee (PAC) that pioneered bundling campaign contributions, wanted to reach out to younger, pro-choice, Democratic women and men and engage them in the political process. The group’s traditional members are 40-plus women already established in their careers and lives, and a new approach was needed to introduce EMILY’s list to the next generation of activists. During the Republican National Convention, Team EMILY, a new grassroots network and Web site launched in 2004 to reach out and engage younger women and capitalize on new viral campaigning strategies and tools, launched the Get Out the Republicans (GOTR) Counter Convention. The goals of the GOTR Counter Convention were to engage younger pro-choice Democrats, educate them about the stakes of the election, encourage them to volunteer for the candidates and to contribute money to the campaigns. To make GOTR a success, Team EMILY used a variety of tools, such as online surveys and a blog, to create an interactive environment for Counter Convention participants. Viral
In the months leading up to Election 2004, the American Federation of 49
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Internet Election 2004: Lessons from Advocacy Organizations Government Employees (AFGE)—the nation’s largest federal employee union representing 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers—seized the opportunity to energize and rally its traditionally older membership to fight for workers’ rights to elect a President and a Congress that would work for America’s federal workers. AFGE launched an election Web site— WeMakeAmericaWork.org—to do just that. As a result of this campaign, AFGE expanded its e-mail list of home addresses by 46 percent, with many coming from battleground states. This is crucial, since AFGE needed to communicate with members at home to comply with laws governing political communications with union members. Visit WeMakeAmericaWork.org to learn more.
The goals of WeMakeAmericaWork.org Harrah’s Winning Together were to educate, persuade and activate AFGE members to participate and Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., one of the advance the cause of federal workers in world’s largest casino operators, saw the 2004 elections. The Web site was 2004 election cycle as an opportunity to designed to educate and mobilize three reach out to its employees, vendors and target audiences—workers, voters and allied organizations to get them involved the media—about the in its Winning Together issues facing federal In 2004, 1500 groups program. The Winning workers and mobilize used online technology Together program includes them for immediate strong state and local political to help register over action in the final grassroots elements. 500,000 people to vote weeks and days leading in the election. up to Election Day. Harrah’s used the excitement They viewed 51 million of the elections to introduce On the site members pages of election its innovative program to were asked to sign up demonstrate and content in the weeks on AFGE’s e-mail list communicate the depth of the prior to Election Day. to “Make America company’s community Work,” register to volunteer in involvement and the breadth of its battleground states, contribute to political impact. The program seeks to AFGE’s PAC, identify and research educate Harrah’s employees and vendors candidates in their states, tell others about the importance of the gaming about the campaign, register to vote industry, community involvement and online and download a members-only grassroots activism in order to build an action kit. Voters were provided legally effective grassroots network of activists. permissible information and Winning Together organizes these opportunities to join the list, volunteer activists to become politically active and and register to vote. Members of the positively affect the outcome of the media were invited to “cover our beat,” legislative process. This is with opportunities to meet America’s accomplished by encouraging grassroots workers, join AFGE on the campaign political involvement through various trail and cover workers’ stories. community projects that foster 50
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Internet Election 2004: Lessons from Advocacy Organizations relationship-building activities with the communities in which Harrah’s operates. Winning Together sought to educate Harrah’s 48,000 employees about the importance of voting, as well as the importance of proposed legislation that could impact its business so they would cast informed ballots. It also mobilized its grassroots activists through Harrah’s Employee Action Team (HEAT) rooms, which are rooms in Harrah’s casino properties that provide employees with access to computers, phones, and educational materials to help them register to vote and advocate for key issues facing the gaming industry. The program also serves to educate legislators and citizens about the economic benefits of the gaming industry to state and local communities, providing a forum for Harrah’s to counter the misconceptions abut the gaming industry and to create good will among its communities. Across the nation, literally millions of citizens used advocacy organization Web sites to identify and learn about candidates for local to national races, find their polling places, and register to vote. In fact, looking only at organizations using Capitol Advantage’s Capwiz technology, some 1500 organizations helped register over 500,000 people to vote in Election 2004, and there were more than 51 million page views of election content in the few weeks prior to the election. It is difficult to underestimate the powerful role played by advocacy organizations in Election 2004. The impact of their efforts to register voters, educate online citizens about candidates and issues and push voters to the polls on Election Day is still being felt. Long after the campaigns closed their doors, these organizations will be connecting voters with issues and the tools to make a difference, from their house to the White House.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
E-Voter 2004 Study: Crossing the River
From the perspective of the convergence of the Internet and politics, what were the main themes of the 2004 election season?
A dozen areas of interest emerged from the research and essays that are contained in the EVoter 2004 Study:
1. Use of the Internet Explodes Voters used the Internet to research candidates and issues, contribute money and have their own voices heard— individually and in groups. Generally all candidates were expected to have at least a Web site, if not a way to contribute online. Not only were potential voters looking for position papers, they were looking to be entertained with repurposed television commercials, games, clever animation, opportunities to buy campaign related items and ways to interact with the campaign. In particular, interactive games, while often humorous, were also used to register new voters, raise funds and turn out the vote. Journalists used candidate sites, as did the competition, to stay current with campaign activities. Geography mattered less as virtual communities formed to support and debate candidates and causes. 2. The Media Evolves Media habits are clearly changing, and the dependence on traditional media as the primary method to communicate with voters has been challenged. Fragmentation created by multiple media
Karen A. B. Jagoda
Karen Jagoda is the president of the E-Voter Institute.
sources, convergence of media typified by online radio and multi-tasking have changed the landscape, making media buyers more uncertain about where to get the most bang for the buck. Interest in printed political signs and bumper stickers was at an all time high in states with tight races, as individuals took to ordering signs online in addition to downloading and printing material themselves. Polling is becoming less accurate in part because of the diverse media and the dramatic increase in the number of people with only a cell phone. Extensive implementation of Internet broadband access changes the expectations of voters for audio and video messages. 3. Online Fundraising Expands Campaigns and committees found that online fundraising was effective and cheaper than traditional models of outreach. Though the average amount might have been less than the top contributors would traditionally send by check, many new contributors found the Internet a convenient way to participate. It is uncertain how much of this participation turned into votes. What is 52
2005 Politics Online Conference – E-Voter 2004 Study: Crossing the River known is that online ads were very persuasive for increasing intention to donate, especially when the ads were seen on popular Web sites and at times when voters were most receptive to the message. audio and video increase awareness by 10 percent over standard online ad formats. Traditional television ads were shown on candidate Web sites for the benefit of journalists and voters but never shown on broadcast or cable television.
4. The Growth of Money in Politics We predicted in 2003 that despite 6. Political Online Advertising Lags campaign finance reform that banned Behind Ad Industry Average Of the estimated $1.75 billion spent on corporations and unions from giving political advertising in 2004, “soft money” to national political approximately $15 million (0.9 percent) parties, big money would find a way into was spent for online advertising as the political system. In 2004, an measured by TNS Media estimated $386 million was poured into Intelligence/CMAG. A total $3.9 billion Federal elections by 527s, partisan was spent overall for the presidential and organizations named after the tax code congressional races of 2004 according to under which they fall. Another $384 the Center for Responsive million was contributed Internet advertising is Politics. to political action expected to grow by 25 committees—33 percent in 2005, while Total online advertising percent more than four in 2004 was $9.4 billion, years ago, according to network television is the Center for expected to grown by only representing approximately three to Responsive Politics. two percent. five percent of all Not only was this the advertising budgets. most expensive election Internet advertising is expected to grow cycle in our history, new channels were by 25 percent in 2005, while network created for giving. Many of these television is expected to grow by two organizations used online ads for percent according to Universal McCann. persuasion and raising money, as well as Political online advertising has grown e-mail appeals. significantly from just eight years ago but with only one percent of the political 5. The Rules of Engagement Are ad budgets going to online ads, there is Changing further evidence that political strategists The nature of advertising is changing— and media planners are lagging behind Internet ads have broken the rules of their counterparts in the communications engagement and television ads have field. become more Internet-like. Does humor work better than negative ads? This year The slow acceptance of political and saw plenty of both online. There is also advocacy online ads is due in part to the ample evidence that Internet ads are complexity of the media buy. Ads are persuasive even if viewers do not click required in multiple formats, and it is a through to the candidate’s Web site. challenge to determine the best According to December 2004 research placement for them. At the same time, from Dynamic Logic, online ads using 53
2005 Politics Online Conference – E-Voter 2004 Study: Crossing the River prime advertising inventory on leading sites continues to go up in price and down in availability as more traditional advertisers with big ad budgets switch their ad dollars to online. There is convincing evidence that the online ads were persuasive and could significantly influence voters to feel more favorable about a candidate. 7. Increase in Early Voting Across the country, nearly 20 percent of the votes were cast before November 2, 2004. The majority used voting machines set up at convenient locations weeks before the election, while hundreds of thousands used absentee mail-in ballots that are increasingly being encouraged in many states. Money spent reaching those voters after they had voted was wasted. The idea of the election being a one-day event is morphing into a season for voting, which severely challenges a media buyer’s plan and increases the value of data mining, tracking, and targeting. 8. Blogging Goes Mainstream Blog—nerds in pajamas or the new journalism? Bloggers created a new class of engaged citizens and a way for the like-minded to find each other online in personality driven Web sites. Celebrity commentator blogs were promoted on broadcast and cable news shows. People found blogs often by using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) that also allowed them to create their own blogs. While blogs have been developing for years as provocative places on the Internet, this year the political scene inspired new uses for the technology. Just as MeetUp.com was originally intended to bring together Chihuahua owners, so were blogs first used for underground rants on popular culture. Traditional marketers did learn a great deal from the growth of political blogs in 2004, particularly the need to monitor them for propaganda and about the potential for advertising on them. This was the year blogs went from edgy to mainstream. 9. E-Mail Use Expands and Faces New Challenges E-mail newsletters, spam messages and other direct mail-like activities were targeted to likely voters based on geographic and lifestyle characteristics The cost effective nature of the online world convinced the direct mail people to at least spend part of the budget on Internet appeals. Many attempted to mix e-mails with phone calls and direct mail to re-enforce the message. Rich media messages with color, animation, sound, and invitations to enter data were increasingly the norm, a direct result of the proliferation of broadband across America. Voters spent more time engaged with rich media online ads, further eroding the unique position of television for sound and motion. Many of these messages were sent to others in what became strong viral campaigns beyond the control of the candidate. Privacy issues and concerns about spam rose to new levels, while at the same time techniques were introduced to combat the abuses and citizens became more comfortable with privacy invasions in the name of security protection. 10. Database Mining Targets Likely Voters Convergence of database tools, handheld devices, the Internet and wireless 54
2005 Politics Online Conference – E-Voter 2004 Study: Crossing the River communications created the first truly useful virtual campaign headquarters with tools for volunteers, campaign managers, contributors and journalists. Many bells and whistles were part of the emerging solutions. The most interesting perhaps allowed for matching voter files with other data and getting that information into the hands of people who went door to door showing electronic ads to voters on their handheld devices. 11. Targeting Becomes More Sophisticated Which brings us to the larger matter of targeting messages. Micro-targeting and behavioral targeting became the name of the game. In an effort to find relevancy for the ad message, many campaigns turned to ads on search engines and blogs as ways to find a narrow but loyal base of voters. In the advertising world, data shows that relevancy to the mindset of the viewer in large part determines the effectiveness of the message. Increasingly, the Internet illustrates the inefficiencies of television advertising, in addition to the mass reach and frequency that makes it so powerful. Neuroscientists even began studying how different images can stimulate the brain in ways that might be useful in a political context for targeting specific messages to the most receptive people. 12. The Good Guys and the Bad Guys All Have Access to the Internet Both the Republicans and Democrats used online advertising, blogs, e-mail alerts and wireless messaging to raise money, mobilize the base, recruit new voters and win races. While the Internet was becoming a key element in electoral politics, it was also increasingly used by terrorists, freedom fighters, insurgents and assorted bad guys to recruit and mobilize followers and to post horrific pictures for worldwide consumption to persuade and gain support. The technology is a tool for good and evil and like all media can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
The E-Voter 2004 Study is not intended to be a complete survey of all online political and advocacy activities but rather provide an historical view and guide to the key emerging elements in the political and public affairs landscape. Our goal is to stimulate debate, promote the use of the Internet, encourage experimentation with cross media optimization strategies, and help those who are crossing the frontier to better convince the uninitiated. We all hope to stimulate an interest in using Internet tools for fundraising, persuasion, and mobilization in order to promote a more robust and inclusive democracy.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
Increasing Activism Through Community Engagement
Introduction to Member Activism Models
The Internet has greatly expanded the capacity for nonprofit organizations to engage their membership in campaigns, and as a result, nonprofits all seem to be running online campaigns and growing their e-mail lists. But how has this rise in online campaigns affected the ways activists are involved in issues and advocacy? Do individuals develop an allegiance to one organization or are they involved in numerous organizations? And how does this increased access to information and issues affect their members’ involvement in the organization?
There appear to be two schools of thought: a) Individuals who are active for nonprofits are likely to be active for multiple nonprofits with which they are involved; b) Individuals may devote a lot of time to one or two nonprofits but are unlikely to be active in multiple organizations. Increasingly, data has been presented anecdotally at conferences and in other forums that suggests the former—once someone becomes active in a nonprofit organization, that person becomes increasingly active for all or most nonprofits that cross their path. This idea is succinctly summarized by Jed
Andrew Stocking, Randy Paynter, Lisa Sock and Rebecca Young Andrew Stocking is the vice president for Business development at Care2.com. He is a speaker at the 2005 Politics Online Conference. Randy Paynter is the founder and CEO of Care2.com. Lisa Sock is the campaigns manager of Care2.com. Rebecca Young works at Care2.com.
Miller and Rob Stuart in their paper on Network-Centric Advocacy: “the evidence shows that citizens are more active in the process of governance when they are members of more than one group devoted to a particular issue. They vote more regularly, participate in email campaigns, and engage in lobbying.” In early 2004, Care2 launched Care2 Connect, an online social network of nonprofits, affinity groups and several million members who want to help people and the planet. Nonprofits can easily set up a personalized network within Care2 Connect to enable their members to interact with and relay advocacy alerts to any members network-wide with whom they are connected. Members benefit 56
2005 Politics Online Conference – Increasing Activism through Community Engagement between the Care2 community and most from Care2 Connect by sharing and nonprofit online communities facilitates learning about issues and organizations the transferability of the results offered they care about, meeting and engaging below to many with other members and Table 1. Care2’s Audience Demographic nonprofit organizations. learning about events Total Care2 Membership >4 million registered and activities near Monthly Visitors >1 million unique Education 65% college education A final useful piece of them. Taken together, Annual Household Inc. 65% greater than $75k information in Care2 Connect offers Age 30-35 average age Gender 75-80% women understanding the the unique opportunity Party Affiliation (self-ID) 50% Dem; 42% Indp. Care2 audience and to analyze a member’s how to identify and activism level as they mobilize parallel audiences within other engage with more nonprofit groups and a communities is understanding how larger progressive community. Care2 builds community to engage and empower its visitors. The following Community Building on three techniques have proven useful on Care2.com Care2 for mobilized community: Care2 launched in 1998 as an online 1. Provide integrated educational consumer portal that gives people the messaging to change members’ attitudes opportunity to help the world and live a toward a particular action. healthier lifestyle while doing things • Over 7 million educational they normally do on Internet. To this content newsletters are delivered end, Care2 offers a full suite of portal each month about easy things and community building features such as one can do to live healthier, free e-cards, free e-mail, discussion reduce one’s impact on the world boards, social and support networking, free Table 2. Care2 Audience sustainable Psychographics: content newsletters, Educated, affluent consumers • businesses and photo albums, click-toSocially/environmentally conscious (85%) • products. donate sites, news feeds Busy professional juggling many activities • Supportive of non-profit causes • • Over 4 million and much more. Health and natural living enthusiasts • activist e-mails, Family-oriented • in addition to Vegetarians (24%) • Today Care2 is the Gardeners (45%) • many supportive home to over 4 million Pet Owners (79%) • Web site Athletic, outdoor enthusiasts (45%) • politically progressive placements are consumers who care delivered each about environmental month to allow our 2 million and social causes and leading a healthier activists to engage with current lifestyle (see Table 1 and Table 2). The progressive campaigns. Care2 audience tends to be female (75 percent), 30-something, educated and 2. Create an atmosphere where fairly affluent. As such, this progressive activism has become part of demographic parallels almost perfectly a the social norm. typical online community of most • Micro-sites for nonprofit advocacy-centered nonprofits. The organizations, such as click-tosimilarities in the demographic makeup 57
2005 Politics Online Conference – Increasing Activism through Community Engagement donate sites, (i.e., http://oceans.care2.com/) bring together over 10,000 activists every day on Care2 to support the mission of the partner nonprofit. In addition, these micro-sites demonstrate to individuals the value of inviting and engaging their friends. Care2’s PetitionSite demonstrates to every participating activist that he or she is not alone in taking action on important issues. The social proof in seeing previous signatures and individual comments demonstrates the value of participation (i.e., any of the Most Popular petitions at: http://www.ThePetitionSite.com) and inviting friends to also take action. While each technical system described above helps to empower community involvement, it is the consistent, meaningful and thoughtful communication with members that helps to keep the community engaged. In addition, this type of communication heightens the level of member contribution and feedback, which makes the community self-sustaining.
Statistical Analysis of Community and Nonprofit Activity
To better understand how our members’ increased involvement with multiple nonprofits and groups on Care2 Connect affects their level of activism, we selected a sample of active members from the Care2 Connect community and aggregated data on community and nonprofit activity for these members. We measured online community activity through individual members’ discussion posts, discussion group memberships, size of friend networks and number of groups each member hosts. We measured nonprofit activism through the number of actions each member took through ThePetitionSite, Daily Action site and Care2’s click-to-donate sites. We found overwhelmingly that as Care2 members’ activity within the community increased, their nonprofit activism level also increased. Specifically, as a member’s group memberships and discussion board posts increased, so did the number of petitions they sign and the number of actions they take. In fact, the average number of petitions signed over a six-month period by the selected sample group doubled following the launch of Care2 Connect. And between 58
3. Promote a sense of self-efficacy, whereby members know that they can personally make a difference. • Tools on Care2, such as GetLocal and Green Thumbs Up, aggregate personalized and localized environmental information to demonstrate to members how they can help the environment in a specific location or when they are shopping online. • Care2 provides several community tools and online calculators, such as the Daily Action Site, which ask individuals to change their behavior and then aggregate the results of many individuals to show the cumulative outcome. This has proven to be a valuable tool to demonstrate the magnified power of a single voice.
2005 Politics Online Conference – Increasing Activism through Community Engagement Sam has been a member of Care2 since 2002, but never signed a petition until becoming active on the Care2 Connect social network. He is now one of the most active members on the network and has participated in many nonprofit advocacy campaigns. Motivated by the results of the presidential election, Sam mobilized his network to participate in a boycott of companies that profited from Our analysis showed an interesting trend the war in Iraq and to protest the for those members who host online presidential inauguration through the discussion groups—their activism tends “Not One Damn Dime” campaign. He to decrease as they host more and more started his own group called “Reforming groups. This result is not entirely Our Democracy” to continue the unexpected for anyone who has hosted momentum on the network around an online community forum. Good hosts furthering progressive values in put a tremendous amount of energy into American politics. Through this group, their groups, and may focus more on he recruited four other retaining and engaging As Care2 members’ activity active community their group members within the community members to co-host, rather than taking action increased, their nonprofit compiled an extensive in as many campaigns as possible. So while the activism level also increased. list of progressive site links for members and activism of these select It doubled following the started ongoing individuals decreases, launch of Care2Connect. threads, such as “The their impact on the Tools of Democracy” community is enormous and “You Can Make a Difference.” The and can greatly increase the advocacy group has been remarkably dynamic— and reach of their group members. over 25 percent of the group members has started discussion threads, and an Case Studies of Increased even greater percentage has posted Community and Nonprofit responses. the first six months of Care2 Connect and the second six months, the members in the selected sample have experienced a quadrupling of their numbers of groups and number of friend connections. The results affirm the benefit of online community engagement for fostering a greater degree of progressive activism.
Further strengthening these statistical results are a number of anecdotal case studies, demonstrating how members increasingly engage with the broader community as their activity level has increased. These illustrate why it is natural to see increased community involvement leading to increased activism for like-minded nonprofits. • Sam H. exemplifies the power of a social network to engage and motivate.
• John H. was looking for a way to support the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, a group he learned about on Care2 Connect. He shared the idea of organizing a motorcycle run for the Sanctuary with his network of friends on Care2 Connect. The network jumped into action and buzzed with ideas on how to organize effective fundraisers. Feeling empowered, John contacted the Sanctuary and coordinated with its staff to plan the fundraiser on his own. 59
2005 Politics Online Conference – Increasing Activism through Community Engagement • When the Asia tsunami hit, Care2 Connect members joined forces to raise more than $110,000 through the Care2 Connect Web site; significantly more was likely donated (though not trackable) directly to on-the-ground organizations. Discussion boards lit up with an outpouring of compassion and messages of hope, which helped to support surviving families and friends. Members sent information about what they were learning, how they were processing the tragedy and shared other ways to help survivors in addition to giving money. This included holding a bake sale, hosting a potluck to discuss the tragedy and posting ways to get in touch with local chapters of the Red Cross. • Raven D. helps take care of abandoned animals. When she came down with lung cancer, she turned to her Care2 Connect network to help her find a caring home for the animals. Within 24 hours, nearly 50 people responded to Raven’s post, offering support and ideas on how to find the best home for the pets. Dozens of people recommended animal welfare organizations that they had worked with in the past to find suitable homes for their pets. Others contacted her at home to offer to help her with her pets until she can find a home. • When Lisa J. decided to attend a “Progress for All” event in the San Francisco Bay area to mark the 2005 presidential inauguration, she shared the party information with the Care2 Connect community through the event system. She promoted the event to five of her groups on Care2 Connect. Of the many members who likely attended, at least one contacted Lisa for details and then brought her young son to the event. She had been looking for a way to mark the inauguration but didn’t want to go to a protest and told Lisa how grateful she was to have learned about the “Progress for All” party. The Care2 Connect community has produced hundreds of examples such as these. Each demonstrates the empowering nature of a strong community to offer support, accomplish one’s goals and meet like-minded people. And it is not difficult to understand that members, once empowered, are more willing to take action for other members and nonprofit campaigns with which they come into contact.
Conclusion About Engaging a Progressive Community
What does this mean for a political or advocacy nonprofit organization? Don’t be afraid of your members being involved in like-minded organizations. While it is natural for everyone to want to closely guard their members and cultivate their donors, our experience with the 4 million Care2 members suggests that our members are happy to receive information from and be active in campaigns with multiple nonprofits. In any given week, a Care2 member may get three, four, five or more e-mails from nonprofit organizations and/or Care2. But our analysis suggests that these members continue to respond to these alerts and share them with their networks. As a final example of this, Harry Q. has been a Care2 member for just over five years and is a very active member on 60
2005 Politics Online Conference – Increasing Activism through Community Engagement Care2 Connect. Harry belongs to over 40 groups on Care2 Connect and is a member of numerous nonprofits, ranging from Planned Parenthood to NARAL to Oceana to NRDC. Harry consistently shares the nonprofit action alerts he receives from all of these organizations with his network and with his discussion groups through posts and personal messages. He hosts over ten groups himself, and so is in a position to educate, organize and engage thousands. As Harry builds his portfolio of relevant nonprofits, he becomes more active for each nonprofit through direct action and through mobilizing friends who have come to see him as an activism maven. So, what do you do if you don’t have a compelling action on your site for this week’s e-mail newsletter? Consider sharing content from another group’s site with your members, or report the results of a study commissioned by another nonprofit with your members. Use your event calendar to post events not only from your own organization but also from like-minded organizations. Encourage your members to participate in partner-nonprofit discussions and campaigns when they compliment your own. Your members will ultimately appreciate the information, share it with their friends, and most importantly, become increasingly engaged with your own community.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
Co-Creation and Open Source Politics: Meetup Communities in the 2004 Presidential Campaign
The Internet has facilitated and accelerated a change in the relationship between producers and customers that represents a profound shift in power and ideology (Vargo and Lusch, 2004; Watson, Berthon, Pitt and Zinkan, 2004). Rather than passive consumers simply choosing among a range of competing firm offerings, they have become co-producers of value (e.g., see Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2004a; Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2004b; Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2003).
The open source software movement illustrates this paradigm shift. As defined by Webopedia, open source is a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge and where the collaborative effort typically results in the changes being shared within the community. It is premised on a philosophy that the more who have access to the code, the more there are to freely make improvements to it or come up with new ideas for new software built from the code.
Christine B. Williams and Bruce D. Weinberg Christine Williams is a professor of government at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. She is a speaker at the 2005 Politics Online Conference. Bruce Weinberg is an associate professor marketing at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The transition of consumer to coproducer, and of closed source to open source, is increasingly mirrored in politics. Rather than simply choosing among competing candidates, voters have become co-producers in the candidate’s (or cause’s) campaign experience due to the power of electronic networks and the associated consumer behavior they enable, such as word-of-Web (Weinberg and Davis 2005). The Internet and a variety of associated Web-based tools have been instrumental in facilitating this 62
2005 Politics Online Conference – Co-Creation and Open Source Politics: Meetup Communities in the 2004 Presidential Campaign Our findings demonstrate that Meetup is an effective campaign tool: frequent participants donate more, volunteer more, express stronger support for the candidate and are more likely to advocate that others work for the candidate. Meetup attendance correlates with other forms of political activity as well and with some demographic characteristics we typically associate with greater political participation— older age and stronger (Democratic) party identification—but not with gender, race or income. To investigate A meetup is an Internet organized whether and how the Meetup community volunteer run meeting of people who is unique, we compared those whose share a common interest, arranged campaign involvement began through through the organization, Meetup—see Meetup with those who already were www.Meetup.com. The potential of involved in the campaign before Meetup was demonstrated in the 2004 attending any Meetups. presidential campaign, People whose campaign They are younger, less where it was adopted by active politically and all of the leading involvement began through have weaker candidates, most Meetup.com are younger, Democratic Party prominently by Howard less active politically and affiliation but a stronger Dean. The technology have weaker Democratic positive reaction to the facilitated people Party affiliation than those Meetup experience. finding each other who were already involved This finding lends online, so that they support to the Dean could get together or in the campaign prior to campaign claim that it “meet up” offline, attending a Meetup. They brought new people into resulting in a new type also had a strong positive political process and of hybrid people and reaction to the Meetup energized them. (Just technology-based experience. over half our sample phenomenon, which has had attended Dean’s been classified as an e2f Meetups.) (electronic to face) community (Williams, Weinberg and Gordon 2004). These data show some similarities to the We surveyed attendees of all presidential profile of Online Political Influentials candidates’ Meetups between January 22 reported in a recent study by the Institute and March 10, 2004, with a final sample for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. of 820 valid responses, to assess the Like online political Influentials, both campaign effectiveness of Meetup and our frequent and first time Meetup differences between Meetup attendees attendees are predominantly white, and traditional political activists. middle aged and above average income. A major difference is that 62 percent of transition. Indeed, Micah Sifry (2004) writes for The Nation, “anyone with a few resources but a compelling message can be a community organizer, an admaker, a reporter, a publisher, a theorist, a money-raiser or a leader.” Like consumers, citizens in this model become co-producers, in this case, of democracy. Meetup is representative of this paradigm shift from traditional models of representative democracy to an open source politics. 63
2005 Politics Online Conference – Co-Creation and Open Source Politics: Meetup Communities in the 2004 Presidential Campaign online political Influentials were male, whereas all of our Meetup surveys found the reverse gender division. In at least this respect, the Meetup community is indeed unique. We need further analysis of their demographic and behavioral attributes relative to political Influentials and to the general public to understand the full extent to which Meetup represents not only a new political tool, but also a new kind of political activist. Clearly, Meetup adds incremental value to a campaign in the form of contributions, volunteers, committed supporters and advocates. An intriguing question is whether meetups can change the playing field, though perhaps not level it, by bringing new and different people—e.g., the grassroots in the case of Howard Dean— into the political process. Further, can these participants, in turn, significantly impact the long-term direction of a political organization or body? Given Howard Dean’s rise to Chair of the Democratic National Committee (e.g., see Kornblutt 2005) and the pronounced strength of his connection to the grassroots, our tentative hypotheses, for consideration in future research, is that the answer to each of these questions is yes.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/13/politics /13dems.html. Prahalad, CK and Venkatram Ramasawamy. 2004a. Co-creating Unique Value With Customers. Strategy and Leadership. 32(3):4-9. Prahalad, CK and Venkatram Ramasawamy. 2004b. Co-creation experiences: The next practice in value creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 18(3):5-14. Prahalad, CK and Venkatram Ramasawamy. 2004b. The New Frontier of Experience Innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review. 44(4):12-18. Sifry, Micah L. 2004. The Rise of OpenSource Politics. The Nation. November 22. 279(17):14-20. Vargo, Stephen L. and Robert F. Lusch. 2004. Evolving to a New Dominant Logic for Marketing. Journal of Marketing. 68(1):1. Watson, Richard T., Pierre Berthon, Leyland F. Pitt and George M. Zinkhan. 2004. Marketing in the age of the Network: From Marketplace to U-space. Business Horizons. Greenwich: Nov/Dec. Vol. 47(6): 33. Williams, Christine B., Bruce D. Weinberg and Jesse Gordon. 2004. When Online and Offline Politics “Meetup:” An Examination of the Phenomenon, Presidential Campaign and its Citizen Activists. American Political Science Association Annual Conference Proceedings, (Editors: Atul Kohli and Anne Norton), Chicago, September. Weinberg, Bruce D. and Lenita Davis. 2005. Exploring the WOW in Online Auction Feedback. Journal of Business Research. Forthcoming.
Notes Kornblutt, Anne. 2005. Democrats Elect Dean as Committee Chairman. New York Times. February 13. Online at
Web Video 2004: A Breakthrough Technology in a Breakthrough Year
“The Revolution will not be televised,” Joe Trippi advised us all in the title of his book on e-politics in 2004.
Joe could not be more wrong.
2004, indeed, will be remembered not just as the year of the blogger, but also as the year campaigns, would-be ad makers and revolutionaries, video satirists and polemicists put Web video squarely on the map. This involved a series of “first”: • The First Major Presidential Web Video Ad Before the Bush-Cheney campaign aired their first TV ads, they e-mailed two notable Web video ads to their six million email subscribers: “Coalition of the Wild Eyed” and “Unprincipled.” The latter garnered tremendous free media for the campaign on news networks and the print media and put the Kerry campaign on the defensive. The First Presidential Debate Rapid Response Web Video The Democrats had their own Web video breakthrough. Following the first presidential
Dan Manatt Dan Manatt is the principal, consultant and producer for DCWebVideo.com, a manatt.net company.
debate, the Democratic National Committee e-mailed reporters and supporters “Faces of Frustration,” a Web video showing President Bush scowling, smirking and grimacing throughout the course of the debate. The video was rebroadcast by NBC and other news media, deepening the perception that Bush had been badly beaten by Kerry. • The First Terrorist Web Videos It is horrific, but necessary, to note the most notorious users of Web video: jihadist terrorists. 2004 brought a succession of Web videos of terrorist messages and videos of acts of violence and murder of hostages. Previously, Al Qaeda and terrorist groups sent videotapes or audio recordings to television networks, such as Al Jazeera. Starting in 2004, the terrorists began webcasting their videos, 65
2005 Politics Online Conference – Web Video 2004: A Breakthrough Technology in a Breakthrough Year and international news organizations rebroadcasting the Web videos—an infamous milestone in Internet history. And the list goes on: MoveOn.org’s groundbreaking political advertisementmaking contest, “Bush in 30 Seconds,” and JibJab.com’s breakthrough satire, the first political flash animation to generate true national attention and more. • planning the first-ever Video Town Hall, with constituents emailing questions and the congressman answering them via live webcast, in March. Non-Profits & Think Tanks Non-profits and think tanks are increasingly turning to Web video—indeed, have led the way in the political arena—to get their message out, via event webcasts, online documentaries and video news releases.
If 2004’s revolutions were not televised at least they were webcast. As television and computers converge via technology, • Public Relations Firms such as on demand Many PR firms are video, digital video The news media have and will advising clients to use recorders and wired Web video as direct continue to lead the way home networks, they public communications towards putting more video on and in some cases as a are becoming the Web. increasingly the same Web video news thing. Their Web video content is release. One famous recent example is attracting advertising, Beyond 2004 including more Web video and Michael Jackson’s Web video message to rich media ads. supporters on the eve What does the future of his trial, which was hold for political Web rebroadcast by several network video? Its use will continue to spread by and cable newscasts. groups including: • Members of Congress Members of Congress are increasingly using the medium to reach constituents. In addition to basic Web site welcome and issue videos, many are using videos to reach constituents for special events and targeted messages. Democrats Bob Menendez and Pete Stark both webcast responses to the President’s State of the Union. Stark’s video was viewed by some 5400 constituents. And Congressman Earl Blumenauer is • The News Media The news media have and will continue to lead the way—by fits and starts—at putting video on the Web. From C-SPAN, which has been providing live simultaneous webcasts since 1997, to MSNBC.com, which is increasingly is living up to its original goal of being a true multimedia news site, to the washingtonpost.com and nytimes.com, the giants of the print media world who are increasingly Web video media 66
2005 Politics Online Conference – Web Video 2004: A Breakthrough Technology in a Breakthrough Year outlets, the news media continue to break new ground. And increasingly, their Web video content is attracting advertising, including Web video/rich media ads. And what about candidates and campaigns? Unfortunately for them, the Web video revolution will come about only when the campaign’s consultants, senior and communications staff or candidates themselves view the technology as worthwhile and make it happen. Logistical concerns—the everscarce campaign manpower, fears of complicating campaign message and the lack of Web video/videography skills and capacity—are barriers to the new technology. But the biggest barrier is the resistance of the campaign’s traditional consultants. Most traditional media consultants see the Internet only as a fundraising tool and Web video as a distraction. (For some campaigns—ones with extremely undynamic candidates or ones that do not garner any TV coverage—they’re right). And when traditional TV or Internet firms have offered Web services, it has rarely been successful because either Internet firms have not had the capacity in-house (since Web videography requires a unique mix of political, video and Web skills) or TV firms expect TV fees for Web video services—making it cost-prohibitive. So long as that is the case, campaigns will not put this tool to work for them. The good news is that some consulting firms increasingly understand the need to offer integrated media services including messaging, content production and delivery across many different media—TV, mail, e-mail, Internet and Web video. They understand that even if Web video is not the moneymaker in the same way TV and other media are, bundling the services of professional, cost-effective Web video producers gives them a tremendous marketing advantage, if not an enormous source of new revenue. These firms will have a comparative advantage in dealing with clients as they add Web video to their services. Perhaps the most likely scenarios where Web video services will go from a presidential bell-and-whistle to a downballot mainstay are the campaign committees. Just as the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee already produce Web video, the day is coming when the Senate, Congressional and other committees will have in-house videographers who regularly post their parties’ candidates TV coverage on the Web, who coordinate with campaign consultants to get content from TV shoots and who even travel periodically to tape candidates around the country. And because digital video and Web media is so cheap, the committees could easily implement such a plan without exceeding FEC coordinated contribution limits. So stay tuned. The Web video explosion—and the webcast of the revolution—has just begun.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
At the Touch of a Button: Maximizing an E-mail List to Mobilize Millions
Who would have predicted that with the touch of a button, millions of people could be spurred to action? The Bush-Cheney ’04 e-mail list provided the opportunity to do just that. Throughout the campaign, an e-mail sent to as many as seven million eActivists would be followed by immediate action. The e-mail was simple, one-page worth of motivation, but the actions that followed were key. And although our ultimate goal of winning votes remained constant and the end to which most every message was the means, the specific purposes of our communications varied, thereby providing several positive test cases for future e-ail marketing.
In March we started our e-mail campaign to promote the first National Party for the President Day, where the goal was to organize 2004 “Parties for the President” across the nation. Although, the Party tool had been announced a few weeks earlier and a fair number of Parties had sprouted up, this message was our first national campaign to unite supporters behind the same cause on a single day. In many respects, this was a test case for future campaigns within the campaign to mobilize our grassroots, including get-out-the-vote (GOTV).
Mindy Finn Mindy Finn is the Deputy eCampaign Director at the Republican National Committee. She was a member of the eCampaign team at Bush-Cheney ’04.
With the rallying cry of standing with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, the send button was clicked and the message started landing in e-mail boxes from coast to coast. Within minutes, our first Parties were set up— complete with host, venue and list of invitees. And within the first post-email hours, hundreds of Parties had been created, events that earlier that day didn’t consume a single thought in our Party hosts’ minds. By Thursday, April 29, the National Party Day, we had not only surpassed our goal of 2004 parties, we motivated more than 5,000 party hosts to hold 68
2005 Politics Online Conference – At the Touch of a Button: Maximizing an E-mail List to Mobilize Millions parties. That Thursday night, nearly 100,000 participants joined in a conference call with the Vice President. Even something as simple as recommending a good book to our list became a major event. Occasionally, the campaign would suggest a new publication that To keep activists engaged, captured the compassionate vary your messages. Asking them to sign repeated conservatism of the petitions does not encourage President.
After Party Day reports came back with 5,245 Parties held in all 50 states for our first National Day, we upped the ante for the next a sense of community. round. In July, we In August, we sent an eHowever, sharing drove voter registration mail highlighting information or news relevant journalist Ronald instead of volunteer signups. We used the Kessler’s new book, A to a political community conference call with our Matter of Character: goes further to motivate the special guest, Mrs. Inside the White House grassroots. Laura Bush, and of George W. Bush. testimonials from those who hosted Parties the first round to sell the tool to The impact was dramatic. Before the new hosts. Again, the program was touch of the button, A Matter of promoted via e-mail and the success was Character’s sales ranking on undeniable. More than 7,500 people Amazon.com was 161, driven by Kessler hosted Parties resulting in tens of and his publisher’s own marketing. thousands of new registered voters. Twelve hours later, overnight I might President Bush jumped on the call to say add, the ranking jumped to number thanks to those participating. three. By the end of the campaign, e-mail promotion for Parties for the President had led to 30,000 Parties hosted, 53 percent in targeted swing states, with over 470,000 people attending. In the closing days of the campaign, phone and walk lists were provided to hosts and hundreds of thousands of voters were driven to the polls through Walk the Vote parties. To keep activists engaged, we varied our calls to action. Asking activists to sign repeated petitions or make repeated donations does not encourage a sense of community. Sharing information or news relevant to a political community goes further to motivate the grassroots. A month later, an e-mail promoting Kessler’s book along with six others from the “Bush-Cheney ’04 Suggested Reading List” produced results that were just as notable. We watched books rocket up the Amazon charts based on that simple e-mail—a book ranked 21,042 before the click of a button jumped to 2,221; others moved from 8,709 to 1,896 and from 367 to 97. We had our e-mail marketing down to a science by crunch time, the final GOTV push Election Week. For this most important effort, we built on a technique we tested out during the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary.
2005 Politics Online Conference – At the Touch of a Button: Maximizing an E-mail List to Mobilize Millions Targeted e-mails, based on the recipient’s street address, included maps and driving directions to the voter’s polling location. During the Iowa Caucus pilot, we received reports of Iowans carrying their e-mail with the map and directions into their polling place, having used it as their guide to get out and vote. For the November election, the e-mail messages came from the President’s parents, President George H.W. and Barbara Bush, Mrs. Laura Bush, and the President himself—all e-mail senders sure to incite voters to open them. The GOTV e-mail campaign helped us claim victory, but another effort—one that had nothing to do with the campaign operations—had perhaps a more profound effect than any other. When President Ronald Reagan passed away suddenly, countless numbers of Americans were seeking an outlet to express their emotions. Our inbox was flooded with e-mails expressing great sadness. The campaign shifted all online activities to pay tribute to Reagan’s memory and sent an e-mail to eActivists encouraging them to post comments on a living memorial. Tens of thousands responded to pay their respects. The outpouring of grief brought to light how the power of a list can be channeled for cathartic purposes. Access to lists and the power of e-mail now allow political campaigns to accomplish goals faster, more effectively, more efficiently and with less relative manpower. The touch of a button can send millions into action. To 70 keep them engaged and active, sharpen your message, think outside the box and make your activists feel that they’re a vital part of the team.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
Peaking around the Curtain
“Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile.” - Phil Noble
Last year I worked for a local Web developmentconsulting firm whose goal for the year was to become more visible in the field of non-profit & political technology. I suggested the company hold a series of roundtables (we scheduled 10 for the year although only 2 took place): it would cost the company little, allowed for lots of soft marketing and would illustrate to the community that the company was a thought leader in the industry. It was not only a great way for my client to gain some indirect PR, but it also added value to the sector we’ve been engaged in for years.
The series turned out to be only two events (I moved on to other contracts and the company failed to follow through with the other roundtables). The two events were a success, bringing together over 40 influentials (from groups such as the DCCC, AARP, RightClick Strategies, Grassroots Enterprise, CTSG/Kintera, Republican Communications Association, Youth Vote, ACLU, NGP Software, etc.) in the sector for an engaging back and forth discussion on what we’ve learned and what’s ahead. The client received some much needed face time and contacts, and the series influenced the sector in beginning to engage stakeholders on broader, more vision-orientated topics. What stands out from those sessions? For me one comment specifically: “It’s
Ann Yoders is the CEO and founder of The Bronx Cash Register Consulting Company and a founding member of The Progressive Project.
10:00am on the first day of the revolution.” Phil Noble said this at our second roundtable and nothing could be further from the truth. And, this coming from the man who saw the impact of online technologies on politics before most people. With the success of raising money online, blogs, open source software, etc. this year, I say we still have not scratched the service. And frankly, folks, (here comes the wet blanket) we have not seen much that is new. And that is an exciting thing. Why? Because check out what we have to look forward to: 1. New Energy 71
2005 Politics Online Conference – Peaking around the Curtain in ways unprecedented for all the There is some serious new energy being reasons (and more) listed above. pumped into the field. Look at the fabulous work of The Progressive By the time Politics Online Conference Project, and Personal Democracy Forum 2006 rolls around we should at least be as new thought leaders in the field. New getting ready for firms and consultants lunch. are popping up—both “Echo Boomers” were born on the left and right. between 1982 and 1995.
There are nearly 80 million of 2. Big Bucks for Big them, and as they age, they The views in this article are Thoughts of will become the next dominant the viewsdo the contributors Some serious cash is only and not reflect the now available to smart, views of the Politics Online generation of Americans. Conference or the Institute promising ideas in for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. Democratic politics. We’re building our 30-year machine and technology is a big part of that.
3. Babies of Baby Boomers “Echo boomers” are the largest generation of young people since the sixties. And they’re plugged in. They’re the first generation to have grown up with a computer at home (likely). They were born between 1982 and 1995 and there are nearly 80 million of them. And as they age, they will be become the next dominant generation of Americans. 4. Cheaper Technology, More Strategy Technology is becoming more and more affordable. No longer do organizations need to invest $40K in a Web site and then be financially tapped to do much else like grow e-mail lists. It is time to start thinking creatively about online communications again and that opens the door for smart, innovative strategists to help campaigns and organizations reach beyond the long-hanging fruit. I predict that this year will be the year of innovation—big ideas coming to fruition
The Missing Element for a Happy Medium: Partisanship
The glory days of state-run media had to be the years of DeGaulle’s rule over France, when neither voices critical of the government nor commercials advertising products could be broadcast on radio or television. Not surprisingly, this produced a ring of transmitters around the periphery of France that broadcast both commercials and the latest news the government did not want French citizens to know about. Control of the airwaves in such a heavyhanded manner was both economically and politically untenable, although Gaullist France surely tried.
What is now happening in the U.S. is remarkably similar, although rather than being state-run the mechanisms used to ban dangerous facts and ideas have been privatized. The more than 50 controlling corporate players of 20 years ago have been reduced to just nine today, and in television, our dominant medium, it is down to just six. With the narrowing base of corporate ownership comes an ever-shrinking window of acceptable political discourse. It isn’t just breasts that are outlawed; increasingly it is dissent, too. Anything that can possibly be construed as bad for Bush is banned and truths too bold to be handled in print are quietly distributed via the Internet, where there impact is muted because, the tautology complete, they never appeared in the paper.
David Lytel David Lytel is the founder of Left.org, a community site for progressive activists, and Majority Media, LLC.
Look at just three examples of the news that is now unfit to publish. By the admission of Daniel Okrent, the public editor of the New York Times, the Times had a story revealing that Bush wore a wireless transmitter during his debates with Senator Kerry to help him answer the questions posed to him. He has written that it was not published because the story arose too close to the election and the proof failed to convince top-level executives. But, of course, not only were the photos, and the story widely disseminated on the Internet, but numerous witnesses who had worked with Bush as translators and other aides corroborated the essential truthfulness of the story. Another example of the narrowness of acceptable discourse in the commercial news media can be seen in coverage of 73
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Missing Element for a Happy Medium: Partisanship the implosion of Riggs Bank in Washington. Riggs has admitted to charges of money laundering, a service it provided for a number of archconservative dictators with deplorable records on human rights. The commercial news media cover the story as if the central challenge is finding a buyer for this enterprise rather than bringing the miscreants to justice, permitting the bank’s owners, the Albritten family, to remain unchallenged and unquestioned. Only in Nevada can you read about the investigation of the Republican contractor who obtained voter registrations from citizens and then discarded all but those who registered Republican. This contractor is under investigation there, under indictment in Oregon and operated in six other states as well. In all likelihood an order of magnitude more registrations were trashed than Bush’s narrow 21,000-vote margin of “victory” in Nevada. As many as hundreds of thousands of Nevada Democrats could have been Where has news and prevented from voting discussion of these topics this way. gone?
The final example, the one that has pushed the paranoid left, the nonpartisan clean elections The only place left for them And then there is Ohio. activists, the third party to go—onto the Internet. Maybe the irregularities wannabees and the were random and on a Democratic wing of the minor scale but few African Americans Democratic Party into a very or college students in Ohio believe this. uncomfortable alliance is the dubious On Election Day they faced off against claim by Republicans that Bush’s Republicans dispatched to suppress the victory in the 2004 presidential election vote totals of the opposition and inflate was accomplished without fraud or the totals for the party in power, which deception. According to public opinion are crimes in Columbus just as they are polls there are more than 30 million crimes in Kiev. The videotape of whites Americans who do not believe the (Republicans) trying to prevent blacks sanitized version of history. (Democrats) from voting is almost as repulsive as anything filmed in a polling Yet, only the press in Florida has written place Alabama or Mississippi during the about Florida Congressman Tom civil rights era. Feeney’s role in directing a NASA contractor to create software to change These are but three current topics that the results on electronic voting cannot be talked about in the commercial machines, charges the contractor in news media. Where has news and question admits are true. discussion of these topics gone? The only place left for them to go—onto the Only the press in New Mexico has Internet. There are also stories highly written about the astronomically high salient to a right-leaning audience that number of “undervotes” there, well go unpublished for similar reasons. In beyond the 6,000-vote margin between fact, everyone who wishes to speak Bush and Kerry. freely and openly about political issues fights the tremendously powerful forces 74
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Missing Element for a Happy Medium: Partisanship of homogenization. The commercial news media only wants mild controversies because their goal is to create inoffensive products that are first and foremost commercial vehicles with near-monopoly status in their markets. Just as newspapers and magazines campaigned strenuously but futilely in the 1950s and 1960s against the loss of their audience to television, calling it superficial and ephemeral and other names, the old media now disparage the new as being unfiltered or partisan or unprincipled. The new incumbents are afraid of just what happened to the old incumbents. Controlled news is boring and the audience is gradually moving away from the privatized state-run media and into the only space available where robust democratic discussion can take place. If we are to remain a democracy we urgently need to use the protections of the First Amendment to force the truth out into the open. But few of the businesses protected by the First Amendment care to use it for that anymore, hence the rise of citizen blogging and non-commercial Web publishing. In the face of an evershrinking range of topics that are acceptable to our corporate overseers, the Net is the only open, democratic medium that reaches a mass audience but has yet to be captured and neutered by big money. How long that remains true depends on how clever we are at defending the First Amendment rights that the community of licensed public communicators has abandoned. This commercial self-censorship of stories that could trouble the officials of our hyper-partisan one party government is more effective than anything the censors of an earlier time could devise. But it also presents an opportunity to reintroduce one of the main differentiating elements of an earlier era. At the turn of the 20th century when newspaper competition was at its height, partisanship was one of the central ways the papers distinguished themselves from one another and secured the loyalty of their readers. It has only been in the relatively brief period so far of the broadcast era that politically charged material has been unwelcome. In a multichannel environment with intense competition for attention, there is every reason to believe that partisanship can be successfully reintroduced as a way of gaining and holding an audience. Partisanship isn’t a substitute for good writing, clean presentation and adequate promotion. But it can help build trust and allegiance among the audience, particularly in the Internet era in which online services with a great deal of usergenerated content (eBay, Yahoo, and AOL are all examples) are some of the most commercially successful. Getting it right involves offering site visitors the right combination of information and mobilization. Operating a successful political Web site in this new era means understanding both how to lead and how to follow and when to choose one over the other, which of course is learned only by experience. Like other Web-based publishers on both the left and the right, we continue to experiment with the right mixture of fuel and air and study the effects of moisture, season, temperature and other elements so we can get just the right amount of controversy to yield measured, active engagement.
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Missing Element for a Happy Medium: Partisanship campaign has been raised and spent. Remember, the central difference The best campaign sites are those that do between an interactive medium like the not have undecided voters in mind as Internet and a broadcast medium like their principle audience but rather the television is that the only people we campaign’s own partisans. When they reach have a non-zero level of interest in are good they succeed at pulling them politics. Those who are not at least a into the campaign and getting them to little bit interested in politics just don’t give some of their time, money and point their browsers in our direction. energies. Television was, is, and will remain the medium campaigns will use to frighten And this may be seem perverse at first, undecided voters because only by but if you think about it is entirely lobbing a commercial into the middle of rational: most visitors to political Web a popular television program faster than sites don’t want to the viewer can reach the debate people who are remote can political Most visitors to political committed to voting for communicators get past Web sites don’t want to the other candidate. the strong perceptual debate people who are They see it as a waste barriers the audience committed to voting for the of time. They are puts up. When you ask their candidate. They see it online to do something whether you want to as a waste of time. They are with their very limited receive more news about politics—which online to do something with free time to help their is what we are asking their very limited free time to candidate win. Mostly that means they want to them whenever we offer help candidates win. participate in a up another Web site— conversation about tactics and strategies the overwhelming majority of the with people who they already agree with citizenry say no. on goals and become more effective organizers and advocates for their I think this is the main reason that candidate. PoliticsNow, Grassroots, Speakout and a dozen other commercial endeavors in the Interactive media that is too cold is just online politics arena have failed. No one plain boring and people won’t consult it. cheers for the league; they cheer for Make it too hot and you get threats and teams and especially for the star players. flame wars rather than structured debate There is just no way for anyone to and meaningful interaction. But when become the central place that people go you manage user-to-user interaction to debate about politics. The Internet is successfully the Internet can be what it far too open and diffuse for that. But should be—a happy medium. people are drawn very strongly to candidates and campaigns if we can move quickly enough to take advantage The views in this article are the views of the of the mass public’s fleeting interest in contributors only and do not reflect the views of the politics, most of which comes in the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, final weeks, long after all the money in a Democracy & the Internet.
The New Digital Divide: What It Means for Grassroots Going Forward
The term “digital divide” was originally coined to define the gap between white and non-white use of online technology, particularly during the Internet boom in the mid-late 1990s. Since the turn of the century, however, recent studies show that the digital divide is shifting dramatically. The new digital dividing line is not race or ethnicity but education and income. In short, Internet use is becoming a class-based activity. Organizations must take notice if they wish to maximize their advocacy and fundraising efforts. Below, this article examines current patterns of Internet use in America and also draws conclusions for political parties, non-profit organizations and corporations that are planning active outreach campaigns. The Facts about AfricanAmericans and HispanicAmericans Online Today
The digital divide is swiftly closing. Latinos, African-Americans other minorities are online in stronger numbers than ever before. In fact, as the level of education increases, Hispanic online usage actually tends to match or exceed that of Whites in America.
Cheryl Contee is a senior consultant at Issue Dynamics Inc., a Washington D.C. based public affairs and strategic alliances firm.
Furthermore, their rate of adoption of the latest Internet technologies is increasing at a higher rate than many other groups. For Internet Penetration by example, AfricanU.S. Americans and EnglishHousehold Ethnicity speaking Hispanics are 2001 2007 more likely than Whites Caucasian and other 62% 81% to use instant messaging African-American 45% 69% and participate in online chat rooms and Hispanic 45% 68% discussion groups, Asian-American 63% 82% according to the Pew Source: Jupiter Research Internet and American 77
2005 Politics Online Conference – The New Digital Divide: What It Means for Grassroots Going Forward Life Project. The Pew Internet and American Life Center found that 62 percent of Englishspeaking Hispanics were online in August 2003. This represents a potential maximum online audience for outreach efforts of 24.4 million people. The U.S. Census reports that out of 28.8 million who speak Spanish at home in 2002, over half say they speak English very well. Another 10 million speak English only. rising Internet penetration to create a significant cultural shift in how Black Americans communicate with each other. The African-American community is becoming a strong online presence and is creating its own unique identity in the space.
Last Feb 2003, ComScore Networks estimated that there was an online audience of 15 million Latinos for 2002, growing at a rate of 20 percent per year. That far eclipses African-American usage, which was pegged at 10 million (Nielsen//NetRatings) for 2002. So the online Hispanic audience today is somewhere between 20 and 24 million people. It’s a safe assumption that report found that 27.7 the Black online Source: Pew Internet & American Life percent of Hispanics audience has also Project, March-May 2002 Survey. N-3553. online will make at Margin of error +/- 2% increased least one purchase dramatically by a using the Internet this year, edging out factor of millions during the same blacks by 0.6 percent. That is behind period. Caucasians (45.5 percent) and AsianAmericans (55.8 percent), but it shows Black and Latino Online $$$ promise. Fifty-eight percent of Hispanics have engaged in e-commerce at least The surge of African-Americans online once in their online history. combines phenomenal increases in buying power, a growing population and 78
Research from Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, The University of Georgia indicates that the nation’s Black buying power will surge from $688 billion in 2002 Race, ethnicity and to $921 billion in education 2008 when almost nine cents of every Goes dollar spent will be Online from an AfricanWhites, education level American consumer. Less than High School 24% High School 46 Comparatively, White Some College 73 buying power is College + 83 expected to reach Blacks, education level $8.50 trillion by 2008, Less than high school 15% representing a 25.9 High School 40 increase over 2003, Some College 61 while AfricanCollege + 76 Americans will see a Hispanics, education level 34 percent increase Less than High School 26% over the same period. High School 42 Some College 71 A recent (Mar 2004) College + 87 Jupiter Research
2005 Politics Online Conference – The New Digital Divide: What It Means for Grassroots Going Forward
Implications for Advocacy and Fundraising
Now more than ever, the time is right to reach out to minorities that may have been overlooked before using online Race, ethnicity and income technology. The old stereotypes of who’s Goes online and who is not Online just don’t apply Whites, household income anymore. Almost any Less than $20,000 32% organization stands to annual* gain from more $20,000-$50,000 57 careful, targeted More than $50,000 82 outreach to those who Blacks, household income can both support the Less than $20,000 annual 25% organization and $20,000-$50,000 55 benefit from its More than $50,000 65 programs. Hispanics, household income Less than $20,000 annual 28% Mainline political $20,000-$50,000 60 parties and civil rights More than $50,000 82 organizations in
* The correct way to read the first line particular risk losing is: 32 percent of Whites living in valuable, active and households earning less than $20,000 affluent audiences to upstarts if they do not build serious online programs targeted to welleducated, high income minorities—a group of people numbering in the tens of millions. Yet, there is a danger that overemphasis on online organizing will generate a class-based backlash if online activity becomes associated with elitism. Efforts must be made to bridge the digital divide opening among those Americans making $35,000 or less and those who have a high school education or lower.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
With Dean Now at the DNC, an Extreme Makeover Is Required of the GOP!
With Howard Dean’s recent election as chairman of the DNC, it’s a perfect opportunity for the Grand Old Party to give itself a rigorous self-exam of its own online activities. While Dean is frequently cast as unscripted and volatile, he is also the world champion of the Web, the candidate who mastered the Internet like no politician before him. While some pundits may be predicting another “I have a Scream” meltdown from the new DNC chairman, there are warning signs from the last election cycle that the turbo-powered, bottom up success of Web activism fits the Democrat like a glove.
Yes, the Democrats are struggling nationally with an identity crisis and a failure to respond to shifts in voter interests. But Dean brings to his new job a potential knock out blow to the Republicans: the ability and the experience to harness the power of the Internet. It is worth noting Dean’s asterisk ranked candidacy raised over $50 million, more than two-thirds of which came through online donations. The former Vermont governor also enlisted online 400,000 volunteers nationally, turning an unknown software, Meetup.com into a “can’t do without” Web tool. His entire campaign, it could be argued, grew exponentially from his team’s mastery of the Internet.
Larry Purpuro Larry Purpuro is the founder of Rightclick Strategies, an Internet consulting firm, and is a former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee.
The 2004 record shows that in addition to Dean, the eventual nominee John Kerry and several Democrat groups all successfully tapped into what is now called the “Fifth Network.” Because President Bush won, no one has paid much attention to fact that the Democrats outraised the GOP in online support by $145 million to $15 million. What’s worse is that the Kerry campaign raised $26 million in the first 90 days of the election year, more than BushCheney did in the whole cycle. Many Web experts would also suggest the GOP was also out hustled in online communications. One illustration of the creative deficit was the fact that the most-viewed piece of political media during the campaign cycle was not from 80
2005 Politics Online Conference – With Dean Now at the DNC, an Extreme Makeover Is Required of the GOP Here are some areas the GOP needs to the campaign’s hired experts but from fold into their online strategy: two amateurs. According to Net Nielsen, the animated online video “This Land,” produced by the Spiridellis Use the studio model to tap a Brothers, was seen by more than 50 wide source of creative million Americans, proof positive of the messaging powerful surge the Internet has taken in political wars. Finally, there is the Broadband growth spells the end of advent of MoveOn.org, a media and static content. A recent Pew study Web savvy left of center group that rose suggested 80 percent of Internet users from the Clinton impeachment trial and now have broadband access, either at has continued to grow in strength. With home or work. The more than two million sharp increase in The challenge for members, MoveOn is broadband means Web Republicans now, however, an online 800-pound surfers will no longer gorilla that dwarfs is to compete in an be satisfied with static anything on the GOP entertainment-saturated HTML pages. For any side. society with a much more online communications advanced e-strategy—a skills strategy to succeed, the Frankly speaking, the savvy organization will set that must emulate to a online trend line is not be required to draw on certain extent the creativity all that encouraging to the GOP. The of Pixar and the e-commerce Web artists skilled in Flash animation, video challenge for sophistication of Amazon. and Rich Media. To an Republicans now, ironic degree, the GOP however, is to compete needs to refashion itself after a in an entertainment-saturated society Hollywood studio. The Committee itself with a much more advanced e-strategy— cannot expect to be the sole source of a skills set that must emulate to a certain creativity; rather it should be looking to extent the creativity of Pixar and the econtract with a diverse group of creative commerce sophistication of Amazon. artists, from verbal pugilists like Anne Coulter to the right wing version of the Gone are the days when the rank and file Spiridellis. With a minimal amount of (now daily surfing the World Wide guidance, these outside developers could Web) will be appeased with another stale be a fabulous communications resource news release announcing state co-chairs. to the RNC. The task at hand requires more than simply creating animation e-mails and selling donor subscriptions online. With a captive, loyal audience of more than 5 million online activists, the RNC must undergo an extreme makeover if it is to have truly groundbreaking digital outreach.
Treat online fundraising with the respect it deserves
To catch the Democrats in online fundraising, the RNC needs a dedicated e-commerce department. It needs to be on equal footing with direct mail and event fundraising. As it stands, online 81
2005 Politics Online Conference – With Dean Now at the DNC, an Extreme Makeover Is Required of the GOP fundraising seems to be an afterthought as evidence by the RNC failure to upgrade its five-year-old contribution software. Moreover, the RNC would be better served by a focused online fundraising group of Web specialists dedicated to tapping the vast potential 5 million e-mail activists. Do the math: Just a ½ percent response to an offer to buy the $19.95 GOP coffee mug would gross almost $500,000 per pitch. With focused experts at the helm and improved technology those numbers would grow exponentially. everything from order an absentee ballot online to feeding private websites with a pro-Bush news stream. To keep pace with technology, the RNC should consider open-source solutions for organization tools. This would allow the ingenuity of a 10,000 independent programmers to be harnessed rather than one or two contract vendors. Less centralization begets more innovation. It’s the Republican way. The value of the Web in politics cannot be overstated when one takes note a recent Pew Study of the Internet behavior. That study showed that more people went online to search political information (21 percent) than bank online or search the web for driving directions. Dean will surely bring to his new DNC spot an emphasis on strengthening the party’s Internet efforts. No one is proposing the RNC plaster its Web site with slapstick and jest. But the fact is, despite the vast amount of money spent in 2004—on testing, on focus groups, on production costs—the seasoned pros were bested by grassroots outsiders. A good case can be made that a failure to act now, with a bottom-up, creative centered approach will be a cause for future election losses. If the GOP does not act aggressively, the Web is likely to become for the Left’s what talk radio has been for the Right.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
Embrace, don’t ignore, bloggers
The growing blog-o-sphere has an antagonistic relationship with the established political machine. They have evolved from a scattered collection of talking heads to a strong counter-culture alternative to mainstream pundits. The Daily Kos, a left of center blog has a monthly readership of 400,000. Because of their numbers, these new media outlets carry legitimate influence. The GOP should deploy a few communication staffers whose sole focus is bloggers. Like herding cats, the bloggers’ fierce independent streak will prevent them from taking full marching orders from the Party. That does not mean they should be ignored or attacked. They should be embraced and cultivated.
“Open source” online organizing tools
Through your leadership, the BushCheney campaign did A+ work in online organizing, allowing supporters to do
The Internet and Election 2004: Where We Went and Where We Might Go
It was obvious that the electoral terrain in the summer and fall of 2004 would provide fertile ground for advancing the Internet politically. A controversial administration elected on the slimmest of margins (or nonmargins) was running for re-election on a divisive war, which resulted from a generation-defining attack on our soil. Groups had mobilized extensively through the Internet, both for and against the war. A dark-horse candidate for the Democratic nomination had ridden the Internet to frontrunner status in a matter of months and then even more rapidly had collapsed.
By the time John Kerry had clearly emerged as the nominee, both campaigns expected a super close race. And thus they fought with an every-vote-matters intensity that featured not a top-down approach, but a peer-to-peer citizen model. They recruited volunteers, many of them online and asked them to personally press their candidates’ case with others or to encourage other likely volunteers to actually show up at local party headquarters. This was a dramatic and important improvement over 2000, when the major campaigns for the most part simply asked the members of their online communities to “pass this e-mail along to 10 friends.” The Internet teams were integrally involved in the overall
Grant Reeher and Steve Davis Grant Reeher is an associate professor of Political Science at Syracuse University and a visiting fellow at the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. He is a speaker at the 2005 Politics Online Conference. Steve Davis is an associate professor at the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. They are the coauthors of Click on Democracy.
campaign strategy and the day-to-day electoral thrust-and-parry. Internet directors played authentic roles the top echelons of the campaigns. The Bush and Kerry camps provided online tools to facilitate their offline, “get-personal” strategy. Their supporters arranged house parties and invited dozens of friends and strangers to attend by issuing online invitations, and volunteers also downloaded “walk lists” of neighbors whom they canvassed and registered. The Bush camp—in one particularly innovative idea—created online “Virtual Precincts.” This was especially empowering for individuals in non-swing states who felt the election 83
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Internet and Election 2004: Where We Went and Where We Went Wrong participation—“Astroturf”—cookiewas passing them by. College cutter letters and even spam. professors like ourselves, for example, could sit in New York—a Kerry state Of course, every online tool and every from Day One—and create a Virtual online strategy had one goal in mind: to Precinct of teachers in a half-dozen collect money, to turn swing states, lobbying them by e-mail, phone The power of peer-to-peer out votes for the party and to win. If civic call and letter—to vote influence far out-trumps engagement was for Bush. The idea: the spam from the campaign. furthered, it was a power of peer-to-peer happy byproduct. influence, teacher to Almost certainly it was. Turnout overall teacher, far out-trumps spam from the advanced by nine percentage points from campaign. 2000 to 2004, and the figures for young voters improved similarly. Anecdotal Bush online strategist Chuck DeFeo, and evidence of the Internet’s role is Zack Exley, who worked for Kerry, both encouraging, from the citizens who tell stressed in recent interviews that they personal stories to the campaign Web used the Web to break down barriers to organizers who report that many participation. DeFeo noted that citizens volunteers were newcomers. who had never canvassed their neighborhoods before downloaded walk All of this said, there should be no lists of 20 or so names at a time during mistake that the Bush and Kerry this campaign and spread the door-tocampaigns were command-and-control door work over a week or more. In past operations. Each had specific tasks for elections, volunteers had to find and call volunteers to accomplish and each used the phone number for their local the Internet so supporters could report headquarters, inquire about when the back when the job was done. Kerry sent next canvass was scheduled, then set more e-mails than Bush and asked for aside the day dictated by the party to do money more often, but that was more a it (often an already-busy Saturday). In function of the needs of the challenger these new ways, the Internet was versus the incumbent than a difference in embraced by the traditional campaigns online strategy. The Bush campaign as an incredibly efficient way to put the could literally afford to power in the hands of be more creative. But their supporters. Turnout overall advanced nine percentage points from as both camps recognized, it does no Sometimes the Internet 2000-2004. The figures for good to recruit was used in ways that young voters improved volunteers unless were not all that similarly. headquarters can get exciting for them organized and professionals in the unless it can effectively track and direct media, particularly print. Both what the troops are doing. Failing that, campaigns provided easy online tools volunteer efforts are inefficient at best that supporters could use to write letters and worthless at worst. to the editor and to call local talk radio, and this often produced faux grassroots 84
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Internet and Election 2004: Where We Went and Where We Went Wrong that they were the most significant forces The Dean campaign, for all its glamour in bringing people into the political in the online world, was famously process, particularly in a more disorganized (part of this was permanent way. Beyond the traditional intentional, and part of it—no doubt the campaigns, much was happening on the better part of it—was the result of a Internet during the election season, and campaign structure that simply could not much of it was of the true grassroots keep up). Dean volunteers boasted about variety. how decentralized the campaign was; volunteers who sought feedback or There were dozens, if not hundreds, of direction to help channel their energy online initiatives, too many to know, and say they were told, “Don’t tell us what they ranged from the irreverent and you’re doing, just do it.” This produced tongue-in-cheek— a good story in the press It appears that the major fuckthevote but not a victory. political candidates and large (fthevote.com), where Indeed, as the legions of sex was promised to Deaniacs grew, the political organizations were campaign plane seemed the dominant Internet forces partners in exchange for their political support to lose altitude while in Election 2004. But this for anyone but Bush— gaining speed. Dean’s claim is somewhat to a personal favorite, candidacy brought contentious, depending on drivingvotes.org. The many new people to the the dependent variable. founder of drivingvotes process, and many were was Microsoft project very active via online. Beyond the traditional manager Matthew Many vow that they campaigns, much was Lerner, whose Web will stay involved in happening on the Internet, operation was a carpool politics in the future; and much of it was of the site for voters on the some even ran for true grassroots variety. left, most of them in the elective office in 2004. non-swing states ruled Most encouraging, quite by Bush. These folks registered and met a number say that the political system one another online at Lerner’s site, then has been demystified because they have joined up in the flesh and drove to the met local leaders and even become local swing states on weekends to register leaders themselves. It is the best kind of voters, sometimes on their own and bottom-up medicine for a sick system. sometimes connecting in the field with groups such as ACORN and ACT. (One From all this, it thus appears that the Cardinals baseball fan who lives in major political candidates and large Washington, D.C., tells how he used the political organizations were the drivingvotes site to find Kerry dominant Internet forces in Election supporters in Missouri. On vacation 2004. But this claim is somewhat during the last weekend of the baseball contentious, depending on the dependent season, he met them outside Busch variable. Certainly they garnered the Stadium in St. Louis to register voters.) most attention from the traditional media, and perhaps wielded the most Sites such as Lerner’s demonstrate not influence on easily measured indicators, only the unparalleled organizing powers like money raised, but it’s far less clear 85
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Internet and Election 2004: Where We Went and Where We Went Wrong of the Web, but also how it can bring together total strangers who are states apart and would otherwise never meet. Indyvoter, also known as the League of Pissed Off Voters, focused on getting out voters from 17 to 35 years old and encouraged them to create and distribute their own “voter guides.” There is big promise in such sites. While electoral politics drove the League in 2004, its mission is to establish a “sustainable” structure that members will use to remain active in all sorts of civic endeavors in the future, not just elections. It is difficult to say what comes next. Who knows what we’ll be able to do online in 2008. Who knows what broadband capabilities will present themselves, and how quickly high-speed access will spread. The Digital Divide is closing. The demographics show that online users are diversifying, which brings new ideas, new users and new excitement, as well as new threats to the political traditionalists. Innovation and surprise online is a given. But 2004 also shows that political orthodoxy has been irreversibly “infected” as well. The questions we are asking in our current research are centered on the grassroots and the individual level Internet-politics nexus. How does the process of effectively employing the Internet occur? What are the particular mechanisms at work in the way it becomes interwoven with other more traditional political activities in helping to knit together communities and create more active citizens? By answering these questions we will have a better grasp on future possibilities.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
The Mantra of Business Technology in Today’s Campaigns
“Candidate to CEO – Campaign Manger to CTO”
Few would question the importance of strengthening voter relationships in the candidates’ agenda. Regardless of today’s campaign size technology consistently receives considerable attention—and for good reason. Enhancing a campaign’s value by delivering more money and more votes is always a good thing! But how? The same issue is faced by thousands of CEO’s in today’s business world: how can I increase my profitability and my customer base? Consequently, companies embrace a technology concept called Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
As CEO of ElectionMall Technologies Inc., I have found success by applying campaigns to technology rather than technology to campaigns. With rapid changes in the technology world and the nature of the current campaign industry, it is impossible for campaigns to take advantage of all the resources available on the World Wide Web. The ability to do so would turn a Campaign Manager into a full time CTO and a Candidate into a CEO of a technology company. However, to neglect these technological advancements could result in the loss of money and votes that could be crucial for victory in a campaign of any size.
Ravi Singh Ravi Singh is founder and CEO of ElectionMall Technologies (EMT), a campaign technology services copany.
What does CRM mean in the business world? CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Like any hot new technology concept, CRM suffers from a lack of a clear definition. To some in the business world, it is the new data warehouse; to others it is laptops for sales representatives; to still others it means a new call center or Web site. The CRM is a system of managing customers, and early adopters of the system have won by decreasing overhead, streamlining tasks, enhancing communication, targeting customers, increasing profits and increasing brand 87
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Mantra of Business Technology in Today’s Campaigns We know that every campaign has different resources available to it. One campaign may have a large donor base, while another campaign’s strength lies in While candidates (CEO’s) and campaign a block of supporters. Campaigns might managers (CTO’s) might mistake a have name recognition or brand value or CRM as a new campaign software or charisma and so on. So, a campaign, voter data center on the Web, my like a company, must create an inventory consequent objective is to demystify the of its assets and determine a plan of commonly known business technology strategic action. How? First a campaign term, CRM by first, renaming the “C” in must ASSESS the needs and wants of its CRM by calling it Campaign voters, based on records and Relationship Management and second, participation in previous campaigns, illustrating some of the key advantages a demographics and voter history. CRM will have in contemporary Second, is CHANNEL. Campaigns campaign and elections. must determine the most appropriate and effective channels for voter outreach. Strategy First, then CRM Should they use television, e-mail or postal mail? Third, is BRAND. Initially, a Web site became the front Campaigns need to understand how all door of a campaign. Candidates threw up interactions of the candidate with the some images, and “poof,” they were off voters will take place, creating a and running. Slowly but surely we particular image of the moved into a world of With rapid changes in the candidate and online fundraising, technology world and the increasing voter where dollars were nature of the current participation on found in previously Election Day. Where campaign industry, it is untapped donors and customers. Now, impossible for campaigns to will the candidate go? How will he go? What technology has enabled take advantage of all the will be his message? them to contribute and resources available on the And finally, by doing to buy. But obstacles World Wide Web. this we can identify have arisen with the technology tools and integration of both services in the Campaign Relationship strategy and management into today’s Management that will be helpful with campaigns. Because technology is the critical interaction of these point and primarily used for these aforementioned supporting them to reach the chosen functions alone, the understanding of the voters. Internet’s value in campaigns has been equated with other media, such as CRM meets three fundamental needs of television, print and radio advertising. today’s campaigns: This is a flawed understanding in contrast to the CRM model where the 1. Understanding voter and Internet is clearly the centerpiece of a donor behavior for better campaign victory. targeting and maximum results. value. All of this is done simply by embracing the technology. 88
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Mantra of Business Technology in Today’s Campaigns many, this will require developing 2. Spreading candidate’s solutions to avoid placing strains on message to allow contact to campaign managers, forcing these be more efficient with voters, managers to seek technology solutions. staff, consultants, and In doing so these campaign professionals leaders. will determine the nature of the 3. Creating greater operational campaigns that await them in 2005, efficiency within the 2006, 2007 and 2008. campaign The need to centralize office and with fundraising, analytics, voter It is my personal belief that campaigns will committees, information, Web tools, become increasingly coalitions media buys and more into dependent on some and one platform is the challenge form of CRM endorsers. of an industry that has just application. The need begun to define itself to centralize The aforementioned fundraising, analytics, model is based on professionally. voter information, Web finding new ways for tools, media buys and more into one technology to empower the campaign. platform is the challenge of an industry The CRM enables the campaign to that has just begun to define itself determine what different voters are professionally. Companies and worth, treat different voters candidates will grow into the modern appropriately, and improve efficiency. In definition of Campaign Relationship effect, the CRM develops a voter-centric Management by finding voters that will model for running a campaign. This is tell them how much interaction they not new and uncharted territory for many want, when they want it, and what are campaigns, but the use of technology to they willing to do for it. Successfully do so is. meeting this challenge will allow campaigns to unlock the value of CRM CRM requires new ways of thinking for investments and to carry their specific everyone involved with a campaign. It capabilities to higher levels of voter is not something that can happen in a turnout. Effective use of the CRM will vacuum: it will affect the whole change online democracy forever. campaign. As voters demand more relevant and personalized interactions with their candidates and candidates The views in this article are the views of the increase their competition for the vote contributors only and do not reflect the views of the share, campaigns will need to do a better Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, job of using the mounting voter and Democracy & the Internet. transaction data at their disposal. For
The Internet is an Essential Advocacy Tool for the Left and the Right
E-advocacy is now seen as the new cost-effective way to lobby. Both the right and the left are building their databases of e-mail responsive, likeminded activists. Recent experience has shown that consumer groups trying to shape policy have a long way to go to be competitive with pro-business lobbying organizations.
Joy Howell Joy Howell is a managing partner at Cambridge Strategic Partners.
action litigation. Why? Long experience The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent 30 has shown that some elected officials are million e-mails during the 2004 election more sensitive to small business owners cycle, according to The Washington Post politically as a grassroots force of their and The New York Times. Clearly constituents than they are to political corporations have discovered the power messages from corporations of e-advocacy in determining political headquartered thousand of miles away. outcomes. For more than the last decade, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The myth that the Internet is Most consumer groups corporations and their the domain of the young and have traditionally relied on their membership trade associations have progressive is just that—a base to be their used direct mail, myth. Americans of all ages grassroots force. telemarketing and now are increasingly claiming Clearly, with the e-mail to reach out and business community mobilize small business that the print, radio and TV owners to support the media are biased in one way investing heavily in this U.S. Chamber’s or another and they go to the new Internet-recruited and activated grassroots legislative objectives Internet for unbiased news force, consumer groups even when small sources. must become more business owners were sophisticated. While not materially affected. progressive groups have poured millions The recent class action bill fight saw yet into MoveOn.org and 527 non-profit another example in which small groups, a legislative focus that businesses were encouraged to call their corresponds to the priorities of the Members of Congress and urge them to consumer movement seems to be pass a bill championed by big business missing. advocates, even when small business owners are rarely the targets of class 90
2005 Politics Online Conference – The Internet is an Essential Advocacy Tool for the Left and the Right The myth that the Internet is the domain of the young and progressive is just that—a myth. Americans of all ages are increasingly claiming that the print, radio and TV media are biased in one way or another and they go to the Internet for unbiased news sources, according to a recent report by Andy Kohut. By some estimates, 22 percent of Americans 65 and older use the Internet. The percent of seniors who go online has jumped by 47 percent between 2000 and 2004. In a February 2004 survey, 22 percent of Americans age 65 or older reported having access to the Internet, up from 15 percent in 2000. By contrast, 58 percent of Americans age 50-64, 75 percent of 30-49 yearolds, and 77 percent of 18-29 year-olds currently go online, but older Americans are gaining as they discover safety and ease through Internet use. But as the number of elderly using the Internet rises, and the number of rural residents using the net rises, the power on the Internet is shifting to the Republicans and the right. Those e-activists are more likely to act on behalf of business interests and to make it even more challenging for progressive consumer, civil rights, pro-gun control, environmental and labor groups to identify, recruit and mobilize likeminded e-activists to provide the consumer viewpoint in the e-advocacy war shaping public policy on Capitol Hill.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.
Network-Centric Thinking: The Internet’s Challenge to Egocentric Institutions
When advocacy groups embrace digital democracy, the reverberations shake the whole organization.
There is a tension between institutional power that emanates from an organization and the transactional power of its members’ myriad interactions. The former leads to egocentric thinking; the latter an opportunity for networkcentric thinking. Digital democracy can provide activists with new power flexibility and independence. MoveOn.org and the Howard Dean campaign have pioneered new models for democratic, flexible, “network-centric” approaches, but many organizations stick resolutely to traditional “egocentric” methods. People become activists because of their passions, not in response to dictated messages. Online or in person, the best way to mobilize the public has always been to create an effective platform for shared passions to emerge and develop into action. Online tools offer a variety of ways for advocacy groups to reach beyond traditional activities. Egocentric organizations, however, resist taking advantage of these opportunities, while network-centric ones embrace them. What are the benefits of network-driven advocacy, or technology strategy, or online communities? Bottom line: they pass information quickly and pool their resources to make a difference.
Rob Stuart and Jed Miller Rob Stuart is the senior vice president of @dvocacy, Inc. He is the founder of the EVolve Foundation. He is a speaker at the 2005 Politics Online Conference. Jed Miller is a director at the New York nonprofit Web Lab, an advisor to the E-Volve Foundation and web editor of The New York Times Company Foundation’s Institutes for Journalists.
Instead, egocentric environmental advocacy groups often preempt new initiatives at big press conferences, giving opponents time to craft responses. Competition and organizational identity undermine network-centric organizing that relies on information-sharing and distributed power. A scary story told to a five-year old illustrates the worst-case scenario. Imagine a world wracked by environmental devastation. Water tastes bad. The air makes people sick. Species are disappearing. The people on this planet know something is wrong, but the big company that is causing the
2005 Politics Online Conference – Network-Centric Thinking: The Internet’s Challenge to Egocentric Institutions destruction won’t admit they are doing anything bad. The people, whom everyone else trusts to work on the problem, spend most of their time competing with each other instead of looking for solutions. Some of them want money. Some want attention. Some of them aren’t sure what exactly they want. But they all want one thing they want to get the credit for saving the world. These people don’t realize that each one of them has a piece of the answer, and if they work together and tell each other everything they know, the world will be saved. When the planet starts to collapse, they decide to have a race to see who can get noticed the most before the end comes. With the world ending and only one more newspaper, each group wants to get the very first quote in the very last newspaper. The five-year olds response: “That's a silly story about silly people.” Unfortunately a host of organizations on our own planet fall unambiguously into the Silly People category, including many national advocacy groups and the vast majority of charitable foundations. In this changing world, traditional models for organizing, fund-raising, management, marketing and warfare have become ineffectual. We need to develop a deeper understanding of the advantages of both network-centric and egocentric models for business, outreach and mobilization. Warfare has adapted to confront a post9/11, post-dot-com world and the tools of organizing must do the same. Beyond Howard’s End Like the dot-com boom that pre-figured it, the Howard Dean craze made exaggerated claims that were undeliverable. This movement, fueled by unsupervised local initiatives and virally activated small donors, could not reach far enough beyond its loyal, wired base. Politics as we know it did not change overnight, but The Dean campaign’s most-repeated claim, however, was its truest. “You did it!” In critical ways it confirmed a new model for political power, a model that makes secondperson pronouns as important as the first person. The Dean campaign empowered constituents to speak for themselves and to hear themselves speak, using an online platform created by the campaign. The campaign’s use of blogs, e-mail, online donations and grassroots comments were a milestone in presidential politics. For non-profit technologists and online community builders, Dean’s initial success was a glorious affirmation. Dean, the Dean team and the teeming Deaniacs showed that if you build a platform that empowers members to seek affinity, speak effectively and influence strategy, they will come—and they’ll bring their credit cards and their social networks with them. After Howard Dean, the onus is on every political organization to enlist its base not merely as financial contributors but as active participants, if not full campaign partners.
Practical lessons garnered from years of successful grassroots leadership may make it challenging for traditional organizations to adapt and take full advantage of the emerging networkcentric model. However when they 93
2005 Politics Online Conference – Network-Centric Thinking: The Internet’s Challenge to Egocentric Institutions attitude mars the civil society sector is evolve to more transparent, collaborative awe-inspiring. institutions, they will draw strength from a network-centric approach. The characteristics of the “egocentric model” New Power will probably sound familiar. Authority and decision-making are maintained Network-centric organizations allow within the organization, not shared with decision-making authority to spread to membership or Organizations that invest in the membership, affiliates. Power is generating excitement network-centric thinking concentrated at the top. among supporters and attract a large pool of opening a deep well of As a new generation of untapped supporters. creativity and expertise. Web-savvy activists Before the Internet, Of the two million people find their methods to be substantive memberwho joined Moveon.org, detached and involvement in most had not previously uninspiring, many organizational decisionthought of themselves as advocacy organizations making was tough to activists. may stagnate or falter. achieve. It required But the converse is also endless facilitation by true. If these institutions were to invest leadership and countless face-to-face their activities with more networkmeetings. Today the tools exist to make centric thinking, they would attract a member engagement efficient and huge pool of untapped supporters into inexpensive. their campaigns. Of the two million people who joined MoveOn.org, most Our world is growing increasingly had not previously thought of cellular. Our connections to institutions themselves as activists. are more fractured and episodic. Unlike our bowling-league parents, we do not When “messaging” and “key count on intermediary organizations, like differentiators” are primary values for an unions or churches, to facilitate our links organization, a reluctance to share to political candidates or community knowledge with peers is a common and causes. In a cellular world, power is unfortunate consequence. Effective transactional, not institutional. Networkmethods become ways to beat out sibling centric organizations measure their groups. Access to information becomes a effectiveness not by how much money strategic advantage. Most groups do not they raise or how much press they get even publish a calendar of upcoming but by how well they are able to make press events, out of concern that they fruitful connections between their will tip their hands to peers with whom constituents. Interactions are more they compete. So it’s not surprising that important than broadcasts. Campaigns draft reports are rarely shared before are designed to facilitate outreach. Often publication, nor are data sets made easily the point of the campaign is to provide available in order to advance the general members with the opportunity to take knowledge of a sector—let alone to get direct action—to write their timely information to the public as soon Congressperson, organize a vigil or as possible. The extent to which this contribute knowledge to a shared 94
2005 Politics Online Conference – Network-Centric Thinking: The Internet’s Challenge to Egocentric Institutions resource—and to encourage their friends to do so, as well. Like a meme, the campaign spreads. One campaign succeeds the next, and each new effort offers members the chance to participate in shaping the group’s strategy. A major objective for network-centric organizations is information sharing among participants. The better-informed the membership is, the more effective its decision-making will be as new campaigns take shape. New Power invests in relationship building, knowledge management and online community technologies that make it simple for individuals to sign up, contribute and connect to valuable information. Network-centric organizations devote significant resources to expanding the capacity of the group’s membership to perform. Network-conscious groups also devote substantial resources to supporting their peers, not only by sharing information and providing referrals but also by participating in collaborative activities, such as conferences or joint campaigns. Network-centric organizations are more fluid; they can respond quickly to changes in circumstances. By using online tools like polling or threaded discussions, they can get rapid feedback from membership on what position or activities are appropriate in a given situation. As a member, you feel more valued when someone asks your opinion. You get a sense of ownership. So you become more committed to the organization and more likely to take part in it campaigns. You are also more likely to support the group financially, since you have already given it something even more valuable than money: your ideas and opinions. Because of the dynamic nature of the network-centric model, active participation by members can ebb and flow. A member may be deeply involved in one campaign and then sit out the next two. That’s fine; in fact it’s healthy and a reflection of the busy realities of our cellular society. Just because network-centric thinking trusts membership to make decisions does not mean that strong leadership is not important to a group’s success. Without an inspiring leadership vision and capable administration, advocacy groups flounder. But for leadership in the network-centric model, the emphasis is on facilitation, on creating conditions for group participation, rather than on providing comprehensive agendas and issuing detailed action plans. But leaders in a network-centric effort treat their network of members and supporters as peers. They defer to the power of the grassroots organizers, and they do not seek to call attention to themselves.
Listed below are the essential characteristics of egocentric and network-centric organizations: Egocentric Characteristics • Focuses on building organizational moral and internal team cohesion • Key staff evaluated on internal organizational goals • Value placed on raising organizational profile, development and centralizing organizational resources • Leadership focus on goals and managing staff to achieve specific goals • Resistant to information sharing • Hierarchal decision-making structure
2005 Politics Online Conference – Network-Centric Thinking: The Internet’s Challenge to Egocentric Institutions • Members contribute dollars but not ideas • Group defines programs as unique or original Network-Centric Characteristics • Focuses on expanding number of people/organizations reached • Focuses on expanding capacity of network to perform • More attention paid to information sharing • Values social contact between staffs of partner organizations • Facilitates rise of multiple leaders by enabling coordinated action • Distributed power structure • Leverages and shares resources with partners • Leadership provides vision and energy to network requires a loss of control over organizational goals and resources. The approach appears to violate leaders’ years of training about accountability, message discipline and the measurement of outcomes. It carries the threat of chaos. By sharing knowledge, for example, a group risks losing its position as the most valued information source on a particular issue.
Community as Thinking Machine
Emergence theory experts like John Holland and Steven Johnson teach us that connectedness yields accelerated learning within a network and more efficient refinement of ideas and practices. The building blocks of networked learning are the single transactions between individuals or organizations. The higher the number of interactions in a network, the more quickly innovations appear to meet challenges, iterate and become refined.
Networks are increasingly prominent in all aspects of our lives, from the shape of the global economy to the way teenagers play online video games. Remarkably, civil society—the not-forOrganizations that embrace emergence profit, public interest sector—seems to will adopt a network-centric model so only now become aware that information is of this change. Civil shared promiscuously, The network-centric model society groups talk while encouraging its asks each of us to trust that about increasing members and partners the network knows more participation in to do the same. In than we do. democracy. They claim contrast, egocentric to promote individual organizations trap initiative in collective action. They are institutional knowledge inside silos, committed to knowledge sharing, to the withholding that knowledge from the free flow of information. They promote greater community, until the the ideals of community and diversity in organization is tactically positioned to society benefit from releasing it. However, other obstacles remain. There is a fear that the network-centric model
The network-centric model asks each of us to trust that the network knows more 96
2005 Politics Online Conference – Network-Centric Thinking: The Internet’s Challenge to Egocentric Institutions than we do. It is understood that if we feed the network with knowledge, it will repay us with evolution. To take advantage of this approach, networkcentric organizations will push information to the edges of the network as quickly as possible, to increase the number of interactions. Smarter organizations will have a higher “interaction quotient.” The entire, interactive social network becomes a dynamic, creative thinking machine. The people of Planet Earth may or may not be as silly as the people in our fable. The magnetism that draws us naturally into networks is as fundamental to human nature as the narcissism beneath our egocentric habits. At this time, our planet is in grave peril, and we won’t solve the big problems through go-italone, competitive group activities. We must find ways to work together in network-centered organizations or the planet will suffer the consequences. Our own Disney ending is not yet guaranteed.
The views in this article are the views of the contributors only and do not reflect the views of the Politics Online Conference or the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet.