Category Archives: Reading Responces

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 www.Democrats.com,” 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?

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 Meetup.com?

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.

Naked Conversations

Be real, “keep your conversations naked,” says Scoble.  What a visual descriptive!  This really gets the point across that blogging is about having sincere conversations.   I found it refreshing that this reading compared good blogging to Marketing 101. Make it interesting, aware and enthusiastic!  Three things I can relate to as a marketing professional, and its nice to see the parallel between blogging and marketing strategy.

For a blogging rookie, this reading makes blogging seem natural and easy…just be yourself, sit back and learn and you will be a blogger in no time.  If it is a personal blog maybe it is just that simple.  However, corporate blogging has rules!  Where do you start…?  It almost gives me a headache just thinking about it!  I hope to learn more in class this semester on corp. blogging, so that I can gather enough information and resources to create a road-map on how to introduce the idea of starting a corporate blog for my company.  I think this innovative, inexpensive, and beneficial tool is worth exploring and introducing to my VP and CEO.  Customer feedback is always encouraged in our company, it helps us put out a better product and be more competitive…because lets face it, buying a new home is the single biggest purchase you will ever make.  And we want it to be the very best it can be!   

In Naked Conversationson pg 189, it said that most companies fear negative postings…but that in reality it actually helped these companies more than positive feedback.  I find this to be very true in the industry which I work.    The customers that provide the criticism and suggestions, help us do something better in the end.  We have always promoted customer feedback.  You can only be as good as your worst customer!  So to think that in the future we could post a blog giving all of our homeowners and prospective buyers access to open conversation about their home-buying process and homes…I think we could greatly benefit.

But how do you control that one person that oversteps the boundaries, that is angry and wants to continue sharing it?  Do bloggers actually use the “living room policy?”  Can you block certain people from your blog?

I will end with this quote I found very interesting in our reading this week by Malcom Gladwell… “We live in an age of Blink.” People make the right decision in a microsecond.