The First Campaign

Growing up in the DC Area, and now a resident I have always felt a little guilty not having a passion for politics and well… history too (sorry). I found that this quote by David Hughes, really described politics and power in this country very well, it made me smile…“Washington is a great soggy log floating down the Potomac with a bunch of ants who think they’re steering. Anything that is worth a damn in this country starts on the grassroots level.” From last weeks conversations on the Dean campaign and the reading this week, this campaign is a great example of how this grassroots nation supports what they believe in, even if that support is only in double digit increments!

Maybe its my age, but who would have thought the Democratic party prior to the Dean campaign was that disorganized! It blows my mind that an organization like this could not handle making sure they had correct contact information. As Garrett says, ” “The Democrats were so far behind and so disorganized when it came to technology that-to this day-the party doesn’t own,” the “Aggressive Progressives” do! (this explains why he wanted us to buy up our names!) The Dean campaign seems to have brought much organization and structure to the Democratic party after the campaign. A new sense of urgency and motivation set in to change the direction of the organization.

It must have been an amazing and truly rewarding experience to work on this campaign, going through such highs and lows. Just the dollars raised and spent alone…I wonder the cost per lead breakdown would have been to get one person to donate?


Real Friends in Second Life, No way!

In response to Gregg’s blog on Second Life I think he makes a really great point, we have definitely become a product of technology! I know I am guilty of sending emails when someone is right across the hall from me or sending a text with just a quick message to avoid having a conversation, because lets face it, who has the time for a whole conversation! I do feel that there is a definitely value in human interaction, face time, which we see less and less of these days because people are so busy.  But there is more than just talking or typing that is involved in having a real friendship and building a relationship.  I dont think any technology can ever replace the value of being in front or with someone, face to face.

I wonder what the next 5 years will bring…

A life cut too short…in memory of Justin Whitaker

A call from my youngest brother Jason the other day left me in tears. A sweet voice trying to be strong as he gave me the news of one his best friends passing. Days of visiting Justin in the hospital, holding his hand, and talking to him…came to an end. His funeral today, and expected crowd of over 4000 people…he touched so many lives, even mine.

Justin Whitaker, passed from non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the immune system at the age of 18. For the last several years he had been in and out of the hospital…everyone hoping and holding on for good news that he was getting better. Fundraiser after fundraiser the community pulled together to raise money, its truly amazing what these people, including my family, have done to support and help out Justin and his father.

As I began talking to Jason, I found myself searching for the right words, the best words to try and help him cope. But there are no right words, there is no reason that you can justify why this happened to such an amazing kid. Time I told him, it will just take time. Always remember him for the great person he was, the times you shared on the baseball field, and his strength.

The following night under the lights, the varsity baseball team gathered around Jason as he said, ” Play for Justin tonight.”

washington post article

Justin Whitaker

Becky the Add-on Queen

BeckBlogic you are the add on queen!  Thanks for the inside info on translator, what a great tool to have on our blogs, I am going to download now!  Tell your son Jack I said thanks too!

I also am going to look into adding on feedburner, technorati “fave this blog” and the social media bookmarking and sharing application.    Maybe it will help to raise the number of clicks on my blog…


Comments on Corporate Blogging

Hi Rosie! Great minds think alike! I would definitely be interested in getting a group together to discuss corporate blogging further. It seems like there are many pros and cons to having a corp. blog -when do you know if it is right for your company? And honestly…and you probably agree, I am use to having a new idea and implementing it myself or with the people on my pr/marketing team…corporate blogging is something that I do not necessarily feel comfortable just handling on my own…I definitely feel it would have to be a collaborative effort… and with that come more challenges!

mintymusings said 2 months ago:

Great real-life example… proving that you have to do blogging right or don’t even try. Doing it wrong can be disastrous. And I like Colleen’s idea of talking corporate blogging. I would love to institute a blog at work, but I really think I’d have to do some convincing.

Reply to thread »

Naked Conversations by ckittell

Rosie said 2 months ago:

Colleen, I had such a similar response to our reading. In fact, I said almost exactly what you did using different words. Maybe throughout the course of the semester we can form a brainstorming group that can tackle the issue of how to introduce the idea of corporate blogging to a generation of marketing professionals who grew up (me included) feeling the need to control all information in order to be good at their jobs. Check out my blog on the reading: It’s funny how similar our thoughts are.

Online Campaigning

In my experience, some of the best marketing strategies and campaigns were those that veered off the intended course and created something more than what you had expected. They mold into something a little different, and in this case It sounds like the Dean campaign on-line did just that, exceeding the initial expectations and creating and changing the way political campaigns now gain support and financial backing. With politics not being my niche, I gathered that the Dean campaign also brought about the idea of doing more than just raising money. As Garance Franke-Ruta mentions in The American Prospect article, Dean Machine,Through the Meetups, Dean is creating community, stimulating political discourse, building the rough outlines of a movement and expanding the public sphere — all while creating a mechanism to position himself to compete in at least the first few primaries. It’s great strategy. Even more importantly, it’s great politics.” Are the candidates of the presidential campaign, Clinton, Obama, and McCain using

This on-line community that the Dean Campaign created seemed to also allow people to act in real time, and form the campaign side, it allowed them to track results quickly. Probably very different than waiting for the newspaper and television to create this kind of community, buzz, and results. I thought the Bat Ad with the clocks that says “Grassroots never sleeps” fit well here, as you could really participate at any time from any place.

My other favorite Bat Ad was the Halloween themed ads that said ” Bush Frights Me, Frighten Bush Back.

Are the strategies of the Dean campaign on-line, the same strategies that Obama is using in his on-line campaign, that has proven to be very successful? What is he doing differently?

Iraq War & Web 2.0

To be honest, this weeks assignment of researching the war in Iraq on the web was a good reminder of how lucky we are to be in this country, and regardless of our thoughts on the war, I think we should always support the troops who are over fighting for our safety and our freedom to just live everyday as we always have. I sometimes feel like I am somewhat unaffected by the war, I don’t have any family or good friends that I know over fighting…and I think that makes the war seem very distant for me…as it is not or has not directly effected my life as it has others. But reading some of these blogs of soldiers and watching videos on Youtube, really brought the war to the forefront for me this week. There were so many videos surrounding the war, the troops, I spent hours watching videos. Each capturing something different, but honest.

Web 2.0 has allowed these thousands and thousands of stories that are unbiased and real to surface. Soldiers, citizens, journalists are able to express the reality of the war and the conditions through blogging, and Youtube. More importantly it’s being documented in real time, and directly from the source. The details are often graphic and raw, but this allows the public to take the facts and form their own opinion, not have the opinion already made for them and presented like much of the news we get in mass media today. It was interesting to read through the best military blogs. One of my favorite blogs was SpouseBUZZ, a blog where wives, family members, and friends come together to share stories about their loved ones who have been deployed and the realities of their lives now. They talk about issues that they are all probably facing…for example summer ideas for their kids, because there is only one parent at home when the kids dont have school. The benefits of blogs like this seem huge for the exchange of ideas and support.

The question was posed about blogging being used to rally veterans to oppose the war, and if this was a good thing or not. I actually found this video on Youtube from a Veteran who is speaking out in opposition of the war. I don’t know if I think this is good or bad, part of me thinks that this expression and sharing is what allows these veterans to keep living, they feel they have a duty to tell the truth about what really goes on out there.

Iraq War Veteran Speaks Out

Having this much access to the front line paints a much more graphic picture, a confusing picture, but one that is based on the facts from the true stories of the soldiers, that you can interpret for yourself. This is more real than any other media we have access to, so for that it is good. But where is the line drawn for some of these explicit videos that are posted, I know I watched a few that I thought could have crossed that line.