Thursday, March 15, 2007

So You Want to Build a Web Team: discussion quotes and notes

It's looking like "Internet as a service" is going to be a theme for the morning. The panel is discussing how an understanding of it is essential for building a web team for a political campaign.

Chuck: "The Kerry campaign was pretty much a one dimensional one way effort...It was all about raising money."
He discussed how his work on the Bush/Cheney campaign was different and said "we helped turn out the vote significantly, and we helped deliver a message."

Joe: "The top of the campaign has go to buy in that the Internet is going to matter and the field is going to be off and on line and integrated, otherwise the top would turn into a rump group."
"You can tell it's like the Kerry campaign, you don't have the freedom from the top to just let it go."
"As you put the team together, what is it that you want to accomplish, and are you buying in?"
"will that crew be co-equals with the rest of the campaign? If you do that you will have a lot of success."

Chuck: "My job now is to make a platform for conservative voices to be heard on the political platform."
"What I do now is modeled off the Dean campaign...It's about building an online community."
"A platform for multiple voters rather than just a candidates voice is much mroe conducive to experimentation."

Patrick: "I do think what the '08 campaigns have done better than '04 campaigns is leading with the web the important announcements." Mentions Hillary and Obama.
"The internet is main stream enough now that it can encompass even front runing candidates 20-30% ahead in the polls."

Chuck: "I think what the Romney campaign is doing with internet video is very smart."
"The Allen campaign was kind of frozen in place when the macaca video hit."
"I have responded they should have flooded the zone. What does tha tmean, it menas when someone searches for Macaca they would see a bunch of pro-Allen videos and a bunch of anti-Allen videos."
"Romney got a similar situation...he completely overtook the negative message and replaced it with a positive message."
"Youtube didn't exist in 2004."

Joe: "My big complaint for Mitt TV is that it's scripted."
He told a story about the most significant moment of the Dean campaign where his authenticity was put out on the table by refusing to let a college student skip a final to go to his rally.
"Every one of these candidates are going to get caught in a macaca moment. No one can be on 24 hours a day 7 days a week."

Jerome: He talked about how uncomfortable the candidates are at first as they are not used to the mode of one-to-one video conversaton, and usually act like they are talking to 300,000 people at a time.

Chuck: "With youtube you have a huge focus group."

Patrick: "We're moving from an era of message scarcity to an era of message plenty."

Moderator (also named Chuck, we'll refer to him as Moderator): He asked whether or not campaigns would start hiring their own journalists and release all of there information in controlled settings rather than have to deal with independent journalists. The panel agreed that this is already happening.

Patrick: "I do think campagin blogging is fundmentally different than regular political blogging."
Discussing the Edwards blogger issue and mistakes made.

Jerome: "Whenever I hire a blogger I make sure they don't have a long history...and try to bring them in to within the campaign voice."

Chuck: "It's a platform for conservative voices. There's a lot of disagreement within the conservative movement. Some think we all walk in lockstep but that's just not true (interrupted by Joe saying, "oh come on" then laughter).
"If you look at the conservative web it is considerably larger than the liberal web."
"In the conservatibe blogosophere we are a bunch of individuals."
"What the liberal blogosophere has really been built around is the kos's and talk point memos...and it is much more of a top down approach."

Joe: "You are going to see a broadening of the progressive side with more blogs."
"I think the basic differences are hte different needs of the parties at different times."

Chuck: "On the right there are no voice that dominate the way that KOS does."

Moderator: "I'll be honest, Kos, Rush"
He compared the need for a leader like dailykos to Rush Limbaugh leading the talking points amongst the conservatives.

Chuck: "Ulitmatley, you need to ask...how is it going to get me more voters. How is it going to get me 51% of the vote."
He discussed having a John Kerry game called "the flip-flop olympics" online on Bush's site in '04 because it was "completely on message."

Joe: "The difference this time is none of these campaigns is ever going to give another campaign a lead like that again [like Dean had]."
"If you see any opponent moving into someplace that you haven't thought about, I'd certainly start thinking about it."

Joe: "This year will be a revolutionary year in terms of the money. One of these candidates will reach a moemtn where hundreds of millions of dollars will come in within weeks...The big donors, the pac money, none of it matters any more."
"You're telling me 5 million of those people who voted for Bush wouldn't give him a hundred dollars?"
"The act of that happening is going to totally radically change politics in this country."

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