March 3, 2010

Will Technology Have an Impact on California's 2010 Gubernatorial Campaigns?

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S campaign showed the way for other candidates when it comes to the power of the Internet and its ability to help organize political campaigns, raise money and build buzz. In 2010 California will elect a new governor and it will be interesting to watch how the candidates use - or don't use technology to build their constituencies, mobilize voters and sway public opinion.

There are five key technologies in today's networked world that each candidate for governor could deploy. And the extent an effectiveness of that deployment could be evaluated based on how they use each technology now and during the campaign. The candidate who does the best job in these five areas just might be California's next governor.

The key technologies to evaluate candidates on include:

  1. Blogging - every candidate for governor will have a website. But let's see if they each create a blog and actually allow for comments.
  2. Social Networking - Office holders, political parties and candidates all use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to connect with potential supporters. You would expect the candidates from the Silicon Valley to do well in this category.
  3. Email - at a recent seminar sponsored by the New Organizing Institute, we learned that email may not be glamorous but it is still an effective way of reaching potential voters and supporters.
  4. Viral Campaigns - the power of a video on YouTube that gets passed around to thousands of people could potentially translate to name recognition and votes. But some candidates get it wrong - witness the Demon Sheep ad of Carly Fiorina.
  5. Mobile Applications - smart campaigns today realize the power of the cell phone we all seem to carry. Whether it's a mobile app or simply text messaging, this area could be exceptionally powerful - especially with younger voters.

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