I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

The "Naked Guy In A Truck"'s online strategy

Interesting article from the San Francisco Chronicle about Scott Brown's web campaign strategy: taking the Obama model and "putting it on steroids." Notably, the campaign decided to use the web not as a platform to win over undecided voters, but to mobilize the supporters they already had:

...With an initial budget of just $1 million for the entire campaign, "they wouldn't win via a TV ad blitz."

But Brown had a different kind of capital. "Scott had [already] invested in online media," Luidhardt says. "He had about 4,000 Facebook fans and a decent-sized e-mail list already."

That was the foundation. "We made a conscious effort to focus on building up his social media following and the 'Brown Brigade,' a new social networking organization," Luidhardt says. The Brown Brigade was created on the Ning social network platform, which provided a key way for volunteers to come together, coordinate and organize, entirely on their own.

The campaign Web site was designed for these kinds of people, those already favorably disposed toward Brown, and for the purpose of turning favorability into footwork. "We didn't try to explain the policy positions or try to win over undecided voters. It was about building up the online supporters," Luidhardt says.

Other interesting tactics: Brown would personally reply to every tweeted message his followers sent, even writing happy birthday messages to his Facebook friends.

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