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Most of you will enjoy reading OJR's article: Candidates Slow to Bring Political Advertising Dollars to the Web, especially in light of the failure of TV media that we've all very recently seen.  Of note is Glaser's closing comment:
Until there's a way to make political consultants comfortable with the Internet as an advertising vehicle, it will continue to languish as a back-room experiment. Or maybe all it would take is one bold, risk-taking candidate to finally push big money online and win. Then everyone else will follow like a herd of raging elephants and donkeys.
It sorta reminds me of blogs and meetups from a year ago when we told Trippi to get on it quick.  A year later, the Trippiless Dean machine is in pause.  At least for the moment, Dean has pulled the plug on the big sucking sound that was occurring via the TV media buys.  I am actually looking foward to seeing television-media-less results from the 2/3 states.  Imagine HD winning a state, or two.  

I want to bring up Stirling Newberry's analysis, showing the point where the internet is at now in historical comparison:

While people are wringing their hands over Dean's fall and saying that "the internet" failed, the truth can be seen from a exit poll: among those who made up their mind early - these are the political junkies - Dean by 20 points over Kerry. Among those peopel who visited candidate websites "frequently" Dean lead 40-20 over Kerry [conversely, Kerry lead by 40-20 among those who didn't visit websites]. In short, the internet delivered Dean a base of voters - who turned out - and a base of people connected to him - who turned out. The problem with most people talking about the new politics in 2003 is that they thought that it was like the new economy in 1996 - they fell in love with the technology and the tool, and forgot that tools are about what you do with them. They also, swept up in emotion, thought that 2004 was for the internet what 1960 was for Television.

This made two big mistakes: first, it left out that JFK won 1960 not "because" of television, but because of old fashioned working the political system - TV merely tipped the balance in his favor. Second, the internet isn't as far as long as TV was in 1960. The internet is where TV was in the 1950's - the cutting edge of culture, with a disporportionately influential base - but still small. The "frequent" visitors to web sites were 10% of New Hampshire. The broke heavily for Dean. If that number were 30%, which is to say, the difference in television penetration between 1952 and 1956 - then Dean would have been within 2% of Kerry, a dead heat.

The internet then, is currently on the cusp of dominance in terms of info seeking users.  Jonah Seiger brings up the catch confronting the new media campaigner:
"There's shorthand among media strategists and pollsters: 'Pump an extra thousand gross ratings points into a market, and we'll see an X percent bump in the unfavorable/favorable ratings,' " Seiger told me. "We don't have a similar lexicon yet for the Internet. There's a difference in the bottom line measure. With traditional media, there's an attitudinal measure, how public opinion has changed, but there's no direct response measure. Internet advertising from the very beginning was sold as a direct response medium. It creates somewhat of a trap."
And the trap is being already addressed by ad vendors. If the methodology is proven enough for major online advertisers such as IBM, HP, Intel, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, P&G, Kraft & all the major Movie Studios (through online panel surveys that compare "ad-exposed online" vs "not exposed online"), isn't it ready for more than 1-2% (and that's probably on the high-end of the Democratic campaigns) of a campaign's media budget?   But the real point is that TV advertising fails to move the dial like it used too, and likewise, in terms of online advertising at the Presidential level, its just waiting to move the needle (especially in terms of offense advertising).

Here's some more data:

  • TV cost inflation is approximately 8 - 12% per year
  • It takes ~10X more commercial tonnage to influence the polls on an equivalent basis compared to 1992
  • Competitive campaigns caught in a tail-chasing spiral over TV share-of-voice but without the historical impact on voters
  • Voters who do see TV ads often see too many and quickly burnout from over-exposure
  • 21% of Adults under age 30 will get most of their campaign news from the Internet 30% of all online users will engage in online campaign activities (researching candidates, visiting websites, etc.)
  • Adults who say they will learn about campaigns from the Internet jump dramatically since last election:
                       2000    2004    Index
Adults  35-49           25%    40%    (160)
Coll. Grads             35%    51%    (146)
Hispanic                19%    32%    (168)
Independent             25%    39%    (156)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 03:01 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  online advertising is cheap (none)
    It only costs a tiny bit to place ads, and the only types that would seem effective to me would be on poliblogs and Google adwords. Those are the people paying attention. And I have seen online ads by the Dean and Kerry campaigns at places like Atrios, TPM, PoliticalWire. So maybe there simply aren't enough opportune places to buy them at?
  •  asdf (none)
    One question I have is this:  Assume your candidate accepts matching funds.  Then he buys an internet ad buy.  Which state, if any, is this money spent in?

    (c) 2004, All rights reserved, I'm not kidding.

    by TealVeal on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 03:07:55 AM PST

  •  Tempting to say (none)
    the jump will continue, and 2008 will truly be the age of the internet for politics, but I don't think it will happen. Two reasons:
    (1) New technology bump is a one-time occurrence
    (2) Natural laziness--folks would rather be fed than figure out a menu, go get all the ingredients, prepare, serve and cleanup afterwards.

    It might have more significance if the media itself spends more time in blogosphere, but I think they'll still just use it for research, as they already do.

  •  We shall see (2.60)
    Imagine HD winning a state, or two.

    That takes quite an imagination, Mr Armstrong. What this campaign has demonstrated so far is the strength of old-fashioned political organizing. While the Dean campaign boasted about its e-mail lists and online fundraising and high-profile endorsements from has-been Democrats, John Kerry got the local and state Democrat parties on his side. He's doing it again in places like South Carolina and Missouri. And it is going to work again.

    The Score: John Kerry 2 -- Your Guy 0

    by Beltway Bandit on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 03:18:32 AM PST

    •  What Kerry Did (3.20)
      What Kerry did was run such a poor campaign that he flew under the radar for six months.  He had to say "fucked up" in an interview to draw anyone's attention.  He is the beneficiary of Gephardt's mean spiteful campaign aimed at Dean.  (Or wait, maybe Gephardt wasn't involved with the 527 ads against Dean.  Maybe it was just a group of his friends and former associates.)

      I said quite a while ago that if the eventual nominee was not Dean, it had to be someone who could convince the Dean people to support him.  In order to do that, he would have to take Dean out cleanly.  Kerry hasn't done that and whatever anti-Bush or Democrat or progressive loyalties are invoked, it won't work.

      Gephardt will no doubt have a creampuff spot in the Kerry campaign because without him, there would be no Kerry campaign right now.

      This doesn't excuse Dean/Trippi for bothering to get down in the dirt with Gephardt.  No doubt, when the attacks started hurting the numbers across the board, they felt they had to hit back.  What they should have done is let Gephardt win Iowa and Missouri, because he sure as hell was not going to win anywhere else. When they write the book, this will be one of the key chapters.

      The bitch about Kerry's rise, and it is legitimate, is that he hasn't earned it.  He is currently riding on a "default" wave because voters ran away from Gephardt in Iowa and Dean in NH.  He didn't rise up, others fell.  This is exactly how Dukakis ended up with the nomination.

      Right now, he's giving Dean's speeches and hoping everyone else continues to fade.  It may get him the nomination, but it does not bode well for the general.

      By the way, before you flame, I'm a Dean supporter, but I was a Democrat before I ever heard of him and I will be working for whoever wins the nomination, just like I have been for more than thirty years.

      •  I'm not going to flame you. (none)
        You're entitled to your opinion and I'm entitled to think it is wrong, which I do. I'm happy. I don't have to blame losses on Dick Gephardt or any other candidate. My guy wins.

        The Score: John Kerry 2 -- Your Guy 0

        by Beltway Bandit on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 03:54:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (none)
          That may be true, but your guy is an asshole.

        •  it's true (none)
          your guy is an asshole. i hope you don't understand your guy's an asshole, that wouldn't be a fun way to go about the day.
        •  Your Guy is a Hypocrite (none)
          Kerry will falter.  By Super Tuesday, he will be struggling.  By New York and Calif., he will be history.  

          If you care about producing a strong candidate, now is the time to give $$$ to your favorite candidate.  Your money will mean something now when everyone desperately needs it.  And it is in all of our interests to keep the contest alive and to give as many voters as possible a chance to actually vote before anyone is declared winner.  

          And consider giving $$ to Dean, even just $20.  Look at all he has done for the party.  Keep him alive.  We will all benefit if he remains viable even if he does not win the nomination.  It will weaken Bush (and the media assasins) and strengthen the dems.  Do your part!

          ABBK! Kerry voted for the bush tax cuts, the patriot act, the bush "education" bill and the bush war. How the hell can any self-respecting dem vote for him.

          by syncro on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 04:58:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Confound the Pundits and Whores! Give to Dean! (none)
            I just did.

            "Thank you for your generous donation of $50.00 to Dean for America. Thank you so much for helping to demonstrate the power of the grassroots."


            Kerry voted for the bush tax cuts, the patriot act, the bush "education" bill and the bush war. How the hell can any self-respecting dem vote for him. ABBK!

            by syncro on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 05:19:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I support Dean, but giving money may be a mistake (none)
              yseterday I received a mina envelope, inside which was a postal permit expressmail envelope for sending in a contribution

              now suppose that everyone who has given who is not maxed out received one of those   -  let's assume that just the mailing and amterials are .30  ...    if 200,000 of these were sent out that's $60,000 right there.  Given that all my contributions were on-line and they have my email, why are they wasting sacrce funds on something like this?

              Just wondering... and given that it arrived yseterday, the decision to do this seems like it was made before the results in NH were known..  even though they arleady knew from the previous week how bad the financial situation was

              if this is supposed to be a different kind of cmaping, how about some upfront honesty with those of us who have give repetaedly (in my case, about 650 out of a school-teacher's salary), and stop spamming (online) and cluttering out mailbox (with this stuff) that is done in the traditional fundraising appeal kind of way.

              By the way  - htis went to the circular file and the electronic appeals are going to the great bit box in the sky .. I will still make phone calls here in Virginia, but I am unwilling to go beyond that and give more of my hared-earned money until I have some snes that it will be spent more wisely than much of the first 40 million was.

              i m a teacher & proud of it

              by teacherken on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 10:20:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why (none)
                FEC regulations under McCain/Feingold- I am almost sure of it. His campaign is required to by law.

                It's why $20 or $30 contributions actually might raise overhead higher and why the ideal of the "$100 revolution" actually makes more sense.

                Is New Hampshire greeat.. orrrrr what???- Joementum 04'

                by Demise on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 11:14:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  You have to be kidding (none)
                Waste?  In a campaign?  Maybe you should double down given the way the media treated him after Iowa.  I think it's a bargain to give less than a grand and have someone no one heard of and who actually represents our views shoot from zero in the polls to No. 1.  

                What ever happened to stick with you guy thick and thin, especially when he is under fire.  

                Waste???  I see the wingnuts have hit their targert.  

                What is the point of your message, to deter others from giving?  To punish a campaign for trying to win?  Dean fired the guy with the spending problem.  What will it take for you to give now?  And not supporting him now when he needs it most is absolutely the most wasteful thing anyone could do.  It's like flushing all previous support down the toilet.

                Kerry voted for the bush tax cuts, the patriot act, the bush "education" bill and the bush war. How the hell can any self-respecting dem vote for him. ABBK!

                by syncro on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 01:22:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  FYI (none)
                Direct mail it a numbers game and it works. I use it in my business and for every dollar 'invested' there is a nice return.

                Using your example: If 200,000 pieces were mailed at a cost of $60,000 (.30 cents each), the returns would be quite nice. For example an "average response" on a tried and tested direct mail campaign is about 1%.

                So 1% 0f 200,000 is 2000 new donations at an average of $77, that is a total of $154,000. Subtract out the cost of the mailing ($60,000) and the Dean Team ends up with a profit of $94,000, on an investment of $60,000.

                Not a bad return. In fact with a net return of $1.57 for every $1.00 invested (157% return on your money) I would be taking that original $60,000 investment and mailing out as many of these mailings as I could.

                In addition they probably sent these mailings to people like you who have already donated generously and are likely to donate some more.

                What that most likely means is that the "average response" is higher than 1% because it is being mailed to a very 'targeted' audience who has shown the willingness to support their candidate by making multiple donations.

                Teacherken , let me personally thank you for supporting Howard Dean as much as you have. You are one of the rare citizens who has put their money where their heart is and is willing to do what they can to change America.

                You are a teacher & you should be proud of it.

                •  your analysis is imcomplete (none)
                  although the overall figure won't change

                  my estimate of >30 was for sening the amterila to me   -  I dn't know what the bulk rate is for express mail by permit, but I would bet it's around 10/piece mailed back.   That seems to me to be a pretty high overhead.

                  But you miss my point   -  I ahve given I thnik 6 times   --- every single time was electronically.   I'm trying to figure out why anyone wastes even .30 (if it's that low) to snail mail me stuff ... the whole idea of the elctronic is that the cost of the transaction is about .25, or less than the cost of the amterial and postage to send the package to me.

                  Why not distinguish in fundraising applea, and send snail mail to those whe paid by snail mail, and only use eletronic for those who only donated that way?

                  Sorry if my message was not clear

                  And btw  ... I'm not giving more now until I ahe some idea that it is going to be of menainful value   --- not spent on lots of orange hats, etc  ... that doesn't mean that I denigrate the idea of brinign volunteers in, but why bring in 3,500 volunteers, using paid resources to roganize them, house them, etc, if not prepared to use them effectively??  Wouldn't it make far more sense to spend the funds to properly process information so you don't send 3 different teams to the same house?

                  I'm trying post in dribs and drbas between teaching classes.  And I'm very tired, so I am probaly not thinking (or writing) very clearly..

                  I do not accept that we should do something just because it works.  heck, push polling works, and if I found out this campaing was doing that I would disavow the campaing completely.  That's how you decrease participation in the political process, and I thought this campaign was about brining people back.

                  I'm giving time and erngy, and I do not have an abundecne of either.   So please do not presume that I am abandoning Dean, not yet....   but if it becomes a coventional political campaing, the part of the my rationalizing for reordering my life to help beomes far less imporant  - it then is no longer about doing politics compeltelyb differently, and then my level of invovlement is not only less imporatn to them, it is of far less interest to me.

                  i m a teacher & proud of it

                  by teacherken on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 02:38:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Blame? (none)
          I wasn't blaming Dean's losses on Gephardt, I think it was Dean/Trippi's mistake to get into it with Gephardt.  The should have let Iowa go to Gephardt.  They should have taken a high road against the attacks and let the public come to the decision they did about Gephardt without their help.

          Most of all, they should have known that their support was soft in NH and done more to make sure they beat Kerry there.  Gephardt was never any competition for the nomination.

          And before you get too cocky,  did you think the Center's TV ads were good?  Have you figured out what the 527 ads against your guy are going to say?  Do you think Ted Kennedy's name will be brought up?

        •  Think again Bandit (none)
          "You're entitled to your opinion and I'm entitled to think it is wrong"

          What James Earl said about Kerry flying under the radar is 100% correct. And this is not a prejudiced opinion.

          I have read and heard many journalists the past week who have said the same thing and many of them have no ax to grind. In fact many of them had a hand in the fall of Dean before and after Iowa. So they should know.

          Just last night on The Charlie Rose Show there were two reporters that were covering Kerry that said exactly the same thing as James Earl said.

          A few nights earlier 'conservative' columnist David Brooks of the NY Times alluded to the same thing.

          Hey it's OK to support your guy Beltway, but don't divorce yourself from the reality of "timing" in the political process.

          A lot of politics is about timing. Just ask George Bush. He and Falwell are talking directly to God right now and asking for favorable timing on a lot of things =).

          By the way, and I say this 'somewhat' in jest - The handle you use, Beltway Bandit - did you happen to borrow that from John Kerry? Just asking.

    •  /disagree (none)
      You can't dismiss what Dean was able to do using a new model- raise more money than ever for a primary run from average people, bring his message nationally and get lots of free media coverage with no real Party machine helping him (look at all the total fringe people who run for president every four years and get nowhere), set the tone of the debate and rhetoric for Democratic contenders and energize a youth movement that hasn't been seen from the Democratic side in a generation. I am sure I am missing some things as well, the doc has contributed a lot.

      I still believe Dean's dive in the polls is due to his suicidal embrace of Gephardt and the media distortion of him and his campaign. Sorry to say it as well but people (especially middle-aged and Kerry-generation aged) just consider Kerry a safe bet.

      Is New Hampshire greeat.. orrrrr what???- Joementum 04'

      by Demise on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 11:11:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dean vs. McCain as a case study... (none)
    The truth is that Dean made it to front runner status based on enthusiam generated from the internet (and his message of course). Whatever the standing of the Dean campaign now, you cannot deny its success prior to the problems in Iowa.

    Because the Dean campaign had missteps in no way tarnishes the internet as a serious and central tool for campaigning.

    Contrast this with John McCain in 2000, who generated simular devotion among his supporters and was never able to fend off the Money Machine behind BushCo. If McCain had the internet in 2000 he would have been far more competitive. Lacking that tool he had little chance against corporate backed GWB.

    "If we should fail?" "We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we 'll not fail."

    by joejoejoe on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 03:30:33 AM PST

  •  wegerje (4.00)
    Generals are fighting the last war here. They are following the old paradigm. They are trying to use the net like one-way broad-cast media. And it will work up to a point. Many people do use the net  as a broad-cast receiver, but that's the old paradigm, because many more use it like a phone.

    The phone marketer is the tele-marketer. You have to be ready to engage your customer/mark and be ready to reel them in. And you can do that with the simplest of message/worm/products. It gets harder with political messages. Much more labor intensive. But doable and but still an older paradigm.

    The new paradigm for the net is community. Community is a much harder, and in some ways an impossible, purchase. It's real hard to buy community. Community can be earned, though, especially through trust and reciprocity. Community is again labor intensive. But what is the "public" if not people who can work, and if not laborors?

    Reciprocity is beginning at net communities. See here now. dKos. As I stated at another posting the key ingredient will be improved voting/polling web techologies. Decision technologies much more sophisticated that mere pluralities. We're talking Condorcets, instant runoffs, approval votings. We're talking proportional representation and direct representation.

    As net communities become more democratic than the existing political structures, those structures will begin to bend to the organizational powers exerted by net communites.

    I'm not saying this will be happening anytime soon, but the speed of net change can sometimes be surprising.

    •  Good (none)
      Community building is the crux of internet organizing.  However, you can look and see what's happened with the Dean leveling off, to recognize that it's not reaching the full potential.  Does anyone here believe that the Dean campaign spending $1M in online advertising, both positive --generating sign-ups-- and negative, blasting Kerry out of the water with comparative ads, would not have been more effective than spending that on all the TV ads?
      •  Howard Dean -- Successes and Failures (3.50)
        This is such a complex topic -- the collapse in Iowa was caused by a perfect storm of little negatives, and brought to a head by the "Perfect Storm" of Dean volunteers descending on Iowa like a plague of locusts.

        Key Issues:

        A) Howard Dean is hot, and TV is a cool medium.

        This more than anything else, is the cause of Howard Dean's undoing. His hostile response to the Iowa Bush supporter (Q: "can't you be more neighborly to George Bush?" A: "George Bush is not my neighbor . . . now sit down, and I'll talk.") This was a moment that demanded grace and humor, and Howard Dean came across as cold and prickly. Howard Dean is way too defensive (and offensive) whenever he feels threatened. This comes across as arrogance -- and since the first task of any Presidential Candidate is winning the "likeability" primary, it was deadly for Howard Dean. If voters aren't willing to welcome you into their homes for the next four years, you are sunk.  

        B) Howard Dean and the DFA were not ready for prime time -- and rather than get them into shape in November and December, Joe Trippi masked the problems with a slew of endorsements.

        In the process, the DFA message got lost. Instead of being the insurgent, underdog outsider -- Joe Trippi morphed HD into an establishment insider.

        C) BFA and DFA and the internet in general are great tools for mobilizing the hyper informed crowd (like us) but it's a lousy outreach medium. This is a big part of why the Iowa Perfect Storm was such a disaster.

        A secondary lesson -- a seasoned precinct worker, at home with their neighbors, is worth ten (maybe even a hundred) newbie volunteers, no matter how enthusiastic the newbies are. In fact, enthusiasm can be a negative -- because it turns off the disengaged. The Perfect Stormers probably looked like a horde of Moonies, or some other cult members. A banner saying "I see Dean People"? Oh, come on. Which lead to:

        D) The Candidate and Campaign came to serve the DFA / BFA movement, rather than the other way around. BFA is a great tool for fundraising, and building enthusiasm; but it was the enthusiasm of true believers, and it was unwise to turn it loose on the world at large.

        E) Communication Theory -- TV is still the medium, and will be for a long time. However, the X number of dollars buying Y amount of support is a false equation. The saturation point for any advertising campaign is reached very quickly, and continued buys for over exposed ads are money down the rat hole. It quickly becomes counter productive.

        The entertainment value of a media campaign is far more important than the frequency of the spots. Paul Wellstone won election on a small budget, with funny little ads that showed him running in place, trying to catch up with the big money boys. That's what wins -- entertaining your audience, and catching a wave of enthusiasm.

        In Denver, John Hickenlooper won the Mayor's race with a brilliant media campaign. Two ads in particular -- "suit", which showed him trying on new clothes; and "change", which had him pumping quarters into parking meters just before the ticket was written. These were absolutely brilliant -- and combined with his very subtle campaign of running against the establishment, while having the tacit support of the Webb Administration, led to the highest margin of victory ever, in a Denver Mayoral race.

        Bottom Line -- the Internet is a potent "pull" medium, but lousy at "push."

        TV and mainstream media is still most important for reaching the voters.

        But Media Communications Strategies can be miserable failures, unless they are crafted to get the maximum impact for the minimum expense.

      •  Me, I have no idea... (none)
        but I sure would be curious.

        My take on Dean's use of the net was as a political e-bay. In exchange for donations they'll read constituent comments, as it were.

        With a Dean style net campaign the cart is before the horse. A net community should put forth a candidate rather than a candidate attempting to form a community. A political campaign that attempts to create a community is by nature a hierarchy. Hierarchies don't work with true distributed net communities. Too much inbound flow for too few people at the top to "manage".

        •  Trippi used Move On to launch DFA (none)
          Check out this from Alternet:

          In a much-debated experiment in online democracy, MoveOn challenged the power of pundits and wealthy campaign donors to wield control over the presidential nomination process, by asking its 1.5 million American members to vote on which Democratic candidate the organization should endorse. Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich, the top two vote-getters, have both emerged as magnets for antiwar Democrats disaffected by the party's tepid opposition to Bush's extreme agenda. But Dean, who outfundraised his competitors last quarter through a torrent of small online donations, is the only one of the pair to have caught the Internet wave. His campaign manager, Joe Trippi, sees the net as the missing element that will make Dean's 2004 run a "perfect storm." (It couldn't hurt that MoveOn was a paid technical adviser to Dean's campaign, prompting charges of partiality from the Gephardt and Edwards campaigns during the MoveOn primary. Exley says other Democrats declined such assistance, but wouldn't say which ones.)

          "Whether it has coalesced around the outsider candidacies of Ross Perot or Jerry Brown, grassroots disaffection and energy have always been there," Trippi says. "What's changed this time around is the maturity of the Internet as a peer-to-peer tool."

          Joe Trippi leveraged MoveOn's expertise, to nearly win the MoveOn primary -- the 2nd Quarter fundraising breakthrough launched DFA into the stratosphere, but it never really grew like that again. And Joe Trippi tried to use the "inevitable" meme to quash the opposition.

          But the voters didn't get the memo.

          •  I voted Kucinich in that on-line primary. (none)
            I had no idea of the closeness of the Dean campaign and MoveOn.  In one sense that was good of MoveOn as it lessened the potential of influence.

            What surprised me at the time of the MoveOn primary was that they didn't use IRV. What would disappoint me the next time they hold a single-winner contest is if they don't use Condorcet, which I have since come to prefer.

            Let's face it, though, MoveOn is not a democratic organization. It is a small group of people with a big e-mail list and probably egos starting to match. Since the only vote people have there is with their fingers (feet), unless they evolve they will be eclipsed by a more democratic organization. In a sense dKos is more democratic culture because of its robust openness. But then, where MoveOn is a small oligarchy, dKos is a benevolent dictatorship.

            Otherwise your comment serves nicely to make my point of cart-before-the-horse.

            •  The real significance of MoveOn & Trippi (none)
              What I was implying, but didn't say -- by hiring MoveOn as a consultant for DFA, Joe Trippi used the information to postition Howard Dean to win the Move On primary.

              Dean might have won anyway, but I've felt for a long time that a substantial proportion of the first 300,000 who sign up at DFA were Move On members.

              Not that any of this is bad, but it means the high profile Howard Dean gained in the early third quarter happened, in part, because Joe Trippi leveraged the influence of MoveOn.

              •  Right. (none)
                I got that. I was suggesting that MoveOn and Dean's internet efforts were/are crude compared to the potentials. I'm sure they took it about as far as could be taken by anyone at this time. I agree with those (you?) who have suggested that they dropped the ball in the transition to "regular" campaigning.
  •  With open source, what is the true price? (none)
    With open source software, computer science student/volunteers, and volunteer bloggers, wouldn't the cost of any internet strategy be immensely lower than a traditional campaign media strategy?  OR maybe I should phrase it this way: does the lower cost of an internet strategy indirectly (or directly) support the traditional media campaign?  And, how much is spent per voter online vs. spent per voter in traditional outreach strategies.

    I would say that your get more bang for you buck per voter from a solid internet strategy so that you can be positioned to do effective wholesale campaigning at crunch time.

    •  Cost should be negative (none)
      All reports were that the net operation in the Dean campaign was firmly on the income-generating side of the ledger. If it's done right, internet advertising should mirror that, and ultimately be revenue-producing, rather than a straight cost.

      With TV and print ads, the best you could possibly hope for is that someone would go to the phone and make a donation basd on the ad. In reality, even this is ludicrous, and no one expects it, nor are the ads intended to make you do that. Online, sure you should run lots of issue and bio type ads, aimed at name recognition and getting voters to the polls, but there's also the possibility that you could run a subset of very targeted ads aimed at motivating people to donate. Why doesn't the Dean campaign have a live bat here at dKos, with the latest Nedra Pickler travesty quoted above it?  Donating to a campaign online is an impulse buy. Stores put the impulse items right by the cash register -- campaigns should put them where their base spends time. I'd be very surprised if a bat here didn't pay for itself and a couple dozen other online ad campaigns at the same time.

    •  Costs of online (none)
      A lot of stuff is cheap and the most expensive thing is programming resouce, which is often free if you've got volunteers. On the other hand paying for pros will likely pay off in all kinds of small ways (usually quality related) that make a huge difference, so unless your volunteer is a hardcore project manager with a decades experience you should hire a pro to do that.

      That, plus servers, software and knowhow... I'd guess .5 to 1m should get you a state of the art online campaign , plus the staff to run it for a few months. However you should easily be able to pay for it through thr fund raising - hell, the cost savings on processing cheques sent in by mail could be significant.

  •  The ads must be good (none)
    If the ads are good, damn right put 'em up on the Internet. MSNBC, Salon,,,, wired,, ebay(?), whereever folks might pay attention. But if they're not well done, the placement won't make any difference.
  •  nice (3.50)
    I have two thoughts on this. The first is that I'm glad these old world spinsters haven't figured out how to chain down the internet world into such narrow terms as "if we spend this much, the sheeple's impression of candidate X will do Y." That we are thought of in such cheap and easily influenced terms is totally demeaning. Are we really buying into the system of one dollar=one vote?

    Thought B: The power of online advertising could easily and cheaply be harnessed, and we don't have to wait for these monkeys to "get it" either. Here's but one example that I'm sure will be flamed out of existence. dKos is getting what, 90,000 hits a day? How many dozens (if not hundreds) of other progressive sites are getting equally impressive hits per day? If all of these progressive leaning sites were to participate in banner exchange programs, and use those earned banner impressions to promote our causes, it would be very significant. 90,000 a day from dKos alone. It would only entail us being willing to permit such banners, and supporting them. Jeez, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the combined 500,000+ - hits a day sites like dKos, etc. are getting could really make an impact if it was used to our advantage. SuperBowl won't air the Moveon ad? Well what if there were 500,000 banners a day with the Moveon message across the internet? Imagine if every progressive/anti-Bush site on the 'net teamed up, donated their banner impressions to run two or three banners against Bush in the general. That's a number that eludes me, but it could very easily be in the millions per day with a little team work. They couldn't silence that one. That is but one idea, and it's free.
    •  Traffic building (none)
      The core of the idea (co-operate and win) is good. Here's the big caveat about online ads.

      Tis true that a lot of free media could be had, but online media isn't worth much. Here's why...

      1. 000 hits a day. Now lets apply some rules of thumb.
      2. % comes from automated robots, like Googlebot.
      3. % of the remaining traffic leaves within 5 seconds cause it's in the wrong place, accidently triggered a book mark, wasn't looking for this or typed the url reflexively while searching.
      So we've got about 40k page impressions. Then we stick up banners. The average click through rate for these is below 0.1% these days, but lets guess at 1% since they're well targetted.

      Now we've got 400 visitors a day going somewhere new. Not bad, but not great either. Especially since few of those people will be likely to change their mind as a result of what they see when they click through...

      For my money banners are too simple and too easy to ignore to do much more than basic awareness. The way to do online media is to do what we're already doing, talking to each other and inviting people in on a one to one basis.

      Perhaps the sites could co-ordinate a 'make friends with a Republican' campaign. With the aim of getting people to debate, in the real world and in a civilised manner with a republican supporter. Its always got to be about 'what should people do next' not 'show them an ad'

      •  almost (none)
        Most banner exchange programs give banner impressions for impressions, not just click throughs. In fact most give you bonus impressions for actual click-throughs, so as long as the banner fully loads you get your credits. I think this cuts your estimate of 50% of traffic not counting down to about 10%. So we're looking at 80% of the 90,000 hits counting, or 72,000 total impressions per day. Most exchanges give you a 5:4 (4 banner impressions for every 5 you show) which brings the total to 57,600 Gross banner ads the campaign has earned from dKos or a similar site alone.

        That is a HUGE step up from the 400 you estimate above. I'm sure you're right that some exchanges work purely on the basis of click throughs, but most don't because that model simply doesn't get results as you've illustrated.
        Now while I agree that banner ads aren't the most effective in terms of traffic generation, the point is brand awareness. That's really all banners are used for anymore, with the occasional click through being a mere bonus. In the case of this campaign that I am proposing, the brand is Bush as an economic, domestic and foreign disaster that is simply wrong for our country. People see such banners a few times and the message may stick. The ads could be funny or sincere or even have a whole slew of internally created ads targeting different segments of the population. Since it would be free for all participants, what could we possibly stand to lose? I'd really be curious to see what Kos himself has to say about such an idea.
    God damnit, letme just say something... I was with the Kerry campaign.

    We didnt use no god damn push polling.

    Up until the last Zogby Tracking poll and the Des Moines Register poll... we were in dire straights. We we more worrying about DEAN than attacking him or anyone else for that matter.


    Plus we were getting all kinds of crazy shit the Dean canvasers and staff from Fort Dodge was telling our supporters IE: Don't vote for kerry because he has cancer etc etc

    Whouley's greatest trick was to empty BOTH Boston and D.C and plant them in Iowa so they had to deal with Field day to day instead of over the phone. he got direct mail and he got tons of autodials.

    I swear, we did a lot of autodials, but some days we did none and people would say they just got called 5-6 times and we were calling lists NO ONE was calling.

    Voters were confusing campaigns and such stuff.

    These "testimonials" are questionable at best, but the gods honest truth is that what won Iowa was the Precinct captain system that Kerry's campaign employed and the non stop phone calling...thats it.

    It sounds simple, but the Dean campaign fucked up big time in the actual opperations of "The perfect Storm" not the plannnig. planning went great, just the carrying out of it sucked.

    Heck, in over a hundred precinct in Eastern Iowa, the Dean campaign was dropping lit to EVERY DEMOCRAT AND INDY (that means Kerry supporters to0O, so they were turning our supporters out but they were ALSO occasionally getting the caucus location WRONG!!!

    its little shit like that that screwed the Dean campaign.  Dunno what happened in New Hampshire, but I think Iowa affected NH more than anything.

    If Dean falls, it will be all because of Iowa and that lays completely in the hands of that IDIOT Jeannie Murray the 400pd Beast ( and i am NOT kidding on 400pds)

    TO be hoenst, most Iowans had NO idea who was calling them, as I found myself, and I highly doubt Push Polling was happening at all.

    TRUST ME, I was chasing those autocalls, we were lucky if we could get an autocall approved and done with, never mind doing a push poll, that would add to more of a cluster fuck.

    Realize that Dean's loss was simpley the WORST organization every assembeled in iowa in all time. Impressive and prob the MOST pure numbers but the worst organization EVER

    •  you presume the push polling would have been done (none)
      from within the official campaign.  While we know about the the set of nasty calls out of the Cedar Rapdis office, I don't think anyone here has posited that push-polling and some of the othernastiness had to be done within the campaing.

      heck, that's one way to keep deniability.

      I'm not saying that Kerry's people did it, merely that some of the content seems tie in with things we know were being said by some Kerry people.
      As to how messed up the field organization of Dean was, believe me, there are many who are or were Dean supporters who have been compalining about it [as well as advertising] since well before IA.

      Short answer, then  - the fact that you didn't see it from within the official Kerry campaing does not of itself mean that the Kerry people did not do it...  of course, that does not mean that they did, either.

      i m a teacher & proud of it

      by teacherken on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 10:25:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can understand this (none)
      Bottom-up models are very, very hard to control. Instead of having set leadership that have a great deal of understanding of the "marching orders" you are left with 'growing' leaders to take troops into battle.

      In this way, the best model is one that combines bottom-up for it's energizing and empowering attributes and traditional models which usually contain "hard knocks" leaders that do well at corralling the herd.

      Is New Hampshire greeat.. orrrrr what???- Joementum 04'

      by Demise on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 11:30:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You sure? (none)
      Was Dean's organization bad?  Yes, I agree.  I was there and it was hard to find anyone with Iowa caucus experience or a birthdate before 1980.

      But the absolute worst organization in the state had to be Gephardt's.  Or maybe going from the top to the bottom in three weeks was just bad luck.  The so-far unexamined story out of Iowa is the complete collapse of Gephardt's campaign.  That was supposed to be his backyard.

      Push-polling and other dirty campaign tactics are never carried out by the campaign itself and are never allowed anywhere near the volunteers because they never keep their mouths shut.  Push-polling is done by out of state, paid telephone callers who are not going to reveal who hired them.

    •  wegerje (none)
      You confirm what Al Giordano was saying in his prescient analysis of who would take Iowa.
  •  New Media Effectiveness (3.50)
    I started watching this campaign because I was interested in the Dean online tactics. I'm British, I can't vote and while I care about getting Bush out (like most Europeans with feelings about the next president) I got interested because I wanted to see what could be done with the web. I make my living thinking about similar things.

    First Deans campaign wasn't as internet as people think. It was highly focused on end results in the real world - donations of $ and attendance at meetup. This is one of the most important things about why it worked - it was about going beyond the computer and into the real world.

    It also bought heavily into the 'markets as conversations' idea that has worked very well for some online organisations. However once the conversation was big enough it seemed to become insular and the audience growth slowed. That's probably why the Dean thing has become so self referential and has a hard time reaching out to supporters of candidates far from their own position. It doesn't feel like a broad evangelical church anymore.

    The principle mechanism for attracting people to the site was word of mouth and what's been called 'accelerated digital conversation' the use of tools to get people to spread the word faster. All that email ten friends stuff is really just the old direct mail tactic of member get member, but it's effective. I thought the 'Dean Dragger' idea at Iowa was a stroke of genius. (anyone know how many extra bodies this was worth?)

    Where it seems to have gone wrong is with actually organising stuff on the ground in Iowa and with the media spend. It's true that media is getting more expensive, it's also true that whats called channel fragmentation is a problem (in the past (50's and 60's) you could reach everyone by advertising on 3 or 4 channels, that number has been rising ever since, making the cost to achieve the same levels of saturation ever higher.

    Paying for media buys on commission is actually a pretty normal way of doing things since if the buyer is a recognised agency they get a 10 - 15% discount anyway and the payment effectively becomes free. However this does mean your agency only has one goal in life - sell more TV ads. (Do candidates use Radio btw? Its cheap and surprisingly effective). Whoever said a while back in a different thread that if you couldn't win by spending $5m your odds of winning by spending $10m weren't much better was on the money.

    Finally on the old media creative I've only seen one Dean ad and I wasn't impressed. (apparently it was a new and improved one too) My standard test for ads is 'is this better than a talking head' you know, Dean talking to camera for 30 seconds while looking presidential. I didn't think it was.

    Online advertising is a different kettle of fish, and as someone who's worked on it for a while I'd have to say that most of it sucks. The Dean  campaign achieved pretty much all they could online I'd say and it cost them very little. Furthermore it made them rich frontrunners. Where things went wrong was in making a necessary transition to a through the line cross media strategy, as well as in political errors like getting into a slugfest with Gephardt.

    So I'd conclude by saying that Dean set the standard for online campaigning, and that aside from new innovations you won't see better than this. On the otherhand, he set a pretty low standard for the rest of his media. Maybe not low enough to kill him, but combined with what looks like clueless money burning and some bad political thinking it was enough to put him back where he started - a broke insurgent with some dedicated support.

  •  The Big Problem (none)
    A growing number of people in this country can't (or won't) read, or write. That's the big problem for the new media argument. It's not passive like TV. It takes a certain amount of effort and skill to exchange information and ideas in an Internet community, whereas old media is still an easy-access buffet of propaganda.

    As we've just witnessed the folks that are hard-wired to their couches, and not their PCs, are in the majority in America. They are voting for Kerry, not because of the content of his ideas, but because he looks and sounds like a president on their TV screen.

    It's really no more complicated than this in my view.

    Rocket propelled ->

    by Rp on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 11:30:02 AM PST

  •  The Problem with this Analysis (none)
    The problem with this analysis is that in a Primary you tend to get more well-informed, interested voters.  In a general election the people who tune-in late simply overwhelm those who have been following closely all year.  So whatever the difference is that Kerry had over Dean with people who were casual voters will just be magnified by powers of ten when we get to the general election contest with Bush.  

    Even with a mature technology like TV, this divide between well-informed voters and casual voters is a huge gulf.  It will always be there, and only candidates who can appeal to the casual voter end up being successful.  

    The trick is not to find a candidate who will spend all his money on the Net, but to find a candidate who takes the Net seriously but also has the ability to deliver casual late deciders who treat elections like high school popularity contests.  You find a candidate who can do both, and you will win every time.  I don't care how mature the Net gets, this will always be true.
  •  Along the lines of this post (none)
    Here is an EXCELLENT, MUST-READ editorial from the progressive "Black Commentator" on how the media has done a hatchet job on Dean and how this is just symptomatic of a much larger and more ominous problem with respect to the corporate media.  

    I love their conclusion:  The corporate media has become the ENEMY.  (I have been saying as much for the past year, ever since our country went into Iraq.)

    For those who have ears to hear and eyes to see:

    For those of you who still persist in delusion and denial, keep telling yourself that Dean did it to himself and that he just simply is not as attractive a candidate to the people as Kerry is.

    You people are still asleep and refuse to see (or maybe cannot see) how the Matrix still has you.

    •  Is Kerry ready? (none)
      Kerry's supporters are convinced that Dean's fall is the result of Kerry's excellence as a candidate.  They must have been in another country during the 2000 & 2002 campaigns.  The same corporate media they are now benefiting from is going to take down their guy just as soon as they get done taking down Dean, Clark & Edwards, the three candidates who offered a real difference for Democrats and for the country.
      •  This Ain't Sunday School (none)
        If people abandon Dean now when things are tough, all I can say is that no wonder Bush is prez., and you deserve another 4 years of him.

        This was never going to be easy.  It was always going to be a brutal fight, with the press determined to play kingmaker.  Don't let them.  Be tough.  Fight on.  Don't give up.  Kerry was down far worse than Dean.  And he has far less passionate support.  He is weak and will falter.  

        Now is the critical fight.  Now is the worst time to give up.  Now is the time when we have to rally around the guy carrying our banner and support him.  

        Kerry voted for the bush tax cuts, the patriot act, the bush "education" bill and the bush war. How the hell can any self-respecting dem vote for him. ABBK!

        by syncro on Fri Jan 30, 2004 at 01:50:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Black Commentor Editorial (none)
      The media did a full press take down of Howard Dean.  I agree with the article that the corporate consolidated media will go full blown attack mode to re-elect Bush II.   Expect to known everything you never wanted to know about botox, reoccurrence rates of prostate cancer in 60 year olds and Ms. Heinz Ketchup.                           

      The best thing about the article is the mention of the means around the corporate media; church, community, and the internet.  Dean partisans (and Republican trolls) attacking Senator Kerry are following their Master's wishes (Wurlitzer Rove).  Senator Kerry will be hard pressed to win Boston Dog Catcher unless the GOP Media offensive is countered.

  •  Dean's $40 million would have lasted longer (none)
    and would have had a broader impact with internet advertising.

    Problem is, you can't target specific states with ads.

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