"Please, turn off your Blackberries!"
"It's not mine."
"OK, everybody switched off their Blackberries?"
When speakers from Fortune 500 companies and a number of prominent organizations come to discuss the future of the online technologies and their impact to the world of politics, what do they speak about? Blackberries, among others. But also about Hillary, Obama, Edwards and Monty The Talking Cat.
Who will win the vote of the millions of bloggers of the US online community is a tough predictions. All candidates use the tools of the web to attract potential voters and to preach to the choir of already converted. Edwards used YouTube for his campaign, Clinton her website and Obama hired internet-TV services provider Brightcove to seed his video onto a number of websites. McCain took his ExploreMcCain.com onto the Blackberries of millions and encouraged them to create their own websites promoting the Republican candidate.
Democratic and Republican candidates are pouring more resources than ever into reaching voters, organizing supporters and raising money online. But doubts still remain. As Edwards realized, it was hard to keep a team of volunteer bloggers under political pressure, especially if the position of the candidate is somewhat questionable.
Despite all the Internet focus, candidates know that traditional campaign techniques remain just as, if not more, important to winning. Internet campaigning is not the silver bullet they wanted. Soon candidates will find the bloggosphere over-populated by an infinite number of campaigns, each of them overpowering the others. New ways of delivering information to the public will be needed. Blackberry and the Monty The Talking Cat will find themselves obsolete.