Thursday, July 08, 2004

Internet continues its growth in political importance

As reported earlier, the BBC also announced recently that the Internet is used more and more for political activism.

The quotes, below, are taken from an article about the presidential elections in the US.

The amount of cash needed to compete for the top job in the White House is staggering. By mid-June this year President George Bush had raised about $216m (£123m), and his opponent John Kerry had brought in about $145m (£82m).

Experts watching the race say it is one of the most interesting elections in modern history for one reason - the internet.

"The internet has turned out, for the Democrats, to be a gold mine for campaign financing," said Michael Waldman, who was director of speechwriting for President Clinton between 1995 and 1999. "Nobody was sure that was going to happen, but it's a lot better than relying on big, soft money contributions from corporations and unions."

Howard Dean's team is generally credited with taking the internet to a new level within politics. Dr Dean inspired a huge grass roots network online and then turned the database into a dollar donating machine.

In 2003 his staff had noticed that many of America's leading non-profit organisations had begun reporting significant increases in the amounts and frequency of online donations.

Many of those organisations had redesigned their websites with the aid of a new set of sophisticated web tools, built by Convio, which focused on viral marketing and more personalised interactions.

Howard Dean started breaking records. In June 2003 he raised nearly $820,000 in one day. And in February 2004, after a do or die e-mail appeal, cash flooded into his virtual wallet once again - a total of $475,000 in one day.

But all the experts agree that a brilliantly executed web strategy is no guarantee of an election victory. In a multi-media society, a single moment of TV still has the upper hand, as Howard Dean found out to his cost when an unguarded scream marked the beginning of the end of his campaign.

But many politicians at all levels watched Dr Dean's early success with intense interest, looking closely at features such as blogging, which allowed him to instantly see how his supporters felt about his campaign strategies and suggest several of their own.

This blog also reported earlier about the influence of new politics in the race to the White House last month.

Comments-[ comments.]

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?