Monday, June 23

PDF2008 - Inside the Presidential Campaigns: What Worked, What Didn't

Peter Daou, Mindy Finn, Justine Lam, Tracy Russo, Joe Rospars, Mark Soohoo Moderators: Micha Sifry and Andrew Rasiej

MSifry: Are people just following the Obama methods now? Why did they not connect with the typical tech community?
JRospars: We did and do have terrific partnerships and relationships.
TRusso: We did do deliberate outreach.
JRospars: Sam reached out to blogs - great readership at the reader level and diaries.
TRusso: community is incredible - while insular - it is very active, incredible.

ARasiej: Obama hit 1MM FB friends. What is the Right doing?
MSoohoo: Just because you do not have equal number of FB followers, dos not mean there is not a community of active followers. We are working our eCampaign to improve the campaign. Just launched two applications on Facebook.
MFinn: 2004 part of the credit was the steller grassroots organizing. We used the web to organize and mobilize. Props to the campaigns 2008 - they have tapped in to the grassroots network in 2008 much sooner. The Right catching up is not about tools and tactics, it is about the message aligning up well with supporters.

ARasiej: How does John McCain to create enough momentum to lay out the infrastructure with the time had?
MSoohoo: McCain is about putting a lot of effort on the ground organizing. Distributed organizing - share data, share information.
MFinn: Campaigns are less powerful than previous campaigns, individuals and groups outside have the real power [Ed Note: from Dave Weinberger]. The Right got very complacient after 96 and 2000. It is time (for the Right) to kick it into High Gear. This will come from outside the campaign.
JRospars: Can be distrcted by the traditional campaign model. Should be recognized that the success of Bush/Cheney 04 was about integration of technology with the field organization.
MFinn: not as sexy - the decreased control of information. The B/C maximized the information to the right people. In 2008, empowered people to take control.

ARasiej: Asking Justine: the MoneyBomb - you allowed supporters to see who donated and how it worked. Did it do something to improve the performance?
JLam: It did work - very effective in connecting people.

Audience: Best tcchnology?
TRusso: Call for Change - making phonecalls
JRospars: call tools - will see what happens next
PDaou: - use of social networks will guide the way
JLam: Commit to Mitt

MSifry: Has it really been a "conversation"?
PDaou: yes, it really was a campaign - we were bringing feedback into the organization, messgaes then went directly to the candidate - it was a real loop. Usually the candidate has it on the rope line, but in this loop...

ARasiej: Does Hillary use email?
PDaou: Yes.
MSifry: Does any candidate actually write directly to a supporter in this timeframe/situation?
JRospars: Yes. There are lots of tools that sort through the feedback and helps us manage/filter the communications within the campaign.

MSifry: Tools for listening? - needed to make it up on your own?
JRospars: yes - it was a volume issue - needed to synthesize this information and then repackage it to state directors?

MSifry: any candidates making it more permeable? But it is closed off to the rest of the world? What about when we migrate to the governing phase? How do you see using these tools in governance?
MSoohoo: in 2013, discussion on having frank (British-like) meetings with Congress, Town Halls, etc.
JRospars: transparency to the White House - video sharing and such.
TRusso: always listening to what is being said online - in the past, you did not have this broad base of feedback - we now have the backing of blogpost and such.
JLam: nice to think that the administrations will "open up" - but this job falls on US to create the tech tools like wikis that expose what is going on (e.g. Sunlight Foundation). So many non-profits are out there - need to make sure any administration is accountable.

ARasiej: multi-million email mailing lists per candidate - how powerful is this mailing list for any candidate? How dangerous is it if the candidate does not follow though with their promises? Will it become an albatross to them?
PDaou: there are a couple of email lists: Kerry, Hillary, Obama, MoveOn - yes, they will use them.

DIA person: What kind of power remains on the side of the grassroots that you could advise for future campaigns
PDaou: grand thinking - try not to be grandious on what this technolgy truly is. Is this a facilitator or a paradigm shift? Is this only help connect or make a sociital change? Is it possibly changing the reality of our interactions? Etc? Is it really changing us or not really?

MSifry: this election has been different in the fact that outside actors, not associated with campaigns or the Fourth Estate, that have had an impact? First time, outside actors have effected campaigns.
PDaou: will this effect governance? Part of me is to be sober - we are able to do more. Even tho the 1984 video was powerful, we were able to create the Sopranos video to take the cycle back.
MSooHoo: this is part-art, part-science - many interesting things going on out there that we have to be impacted.

Audience: does someone actually read the information; aggregate the inputs from the outside world?
JRospars: Yes. We have internal tools that aggregate and feed the information up.
PDaou: Yes - we made sure that Hillary did see and read the information - what normally happened on the ropeline, now happened on the Internet.

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