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Readings 1

May 18, 2011

I have very limited knowledge of politics campaign in the States so the readings for this Wednesday seem very interesting to me.

Online Politics 101” introduces various online advocacy methods using cutting-edge tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and online advertising and how each method works best in a given setting. It gives hands-on advice on how to promote political candidates and policies, raise public awareness on particular issues and fundraising. Colin Delany, the author of the book, emphasizes that people should bear “integration” in mind all the time when using all different online tools and tactics. He advises that not only online advocacy methods should be treated as an integrated subject but they also should be integrated with offline advocacy organizing.

A useful tip Delany gives in “Online Politics 101” is to build a findable Web site. A good URL is preferably memorable instead of only being short. It’s a very simple trick but people constantly forget or still don’t know. Also, the design and structure of Web site is significant. Label the buttons on the site clearly is another simple but useful tip Delany offers in the book, “if you’re working on forestry issues, it can seem clever to call your resources section The Woodshed, but your readers don’t want clever — the want to find what they’re looking for.”

Delany recommends using splash screen to encourage email signups, donations or volunteer, which I personally don’t like that much when I’m browsing the Internet. I see these pop-ups annoying and redundant, and also am not sure how these sites are going to use my e-mail address.

The advice on bloggers is interesting to me. ”Online Politics 101” recommends “treat bloggers as journalists because they ARE journalists.” I remember we had a discussion on the same topic in one of my journalism classes one year ago. Now it seems even wiser to treat bloggers are the ones “just happen to have a particularly cheap printing press.”

Dr. Alan Rosenblatt’s 3-Dementional campaign article introduces online politics in three dimensions.

1-D Strategies: “Increasingly, the challenge is to rise above the noise to deliver campaign messages to voters is not just about delivering the right message packaged the right way, but to deliver the message in a respectful way, a way that will be received positively. “

The audience has a preferable platform to receive the campaign message, so the key for campaigners is to find this respectful to deliver the news.

2-D Strategies: “So the key to the second dimension of online advocacy and political campaign strategy is to make sure all campaign messages and content are in some way actionable and that the action is one click away.”

The key takeaway for me from this dimension is people actually expect campaigners giving them chances to make contributions to the activities, so they should seize the opportunity and ask for what they are expecting.

3-D Strategies: “In a world where the power of the people is enabled as it is by digital and mobile networks, campaigns have to adjust how they view their supporters. Rather than viewing them as message receptacles and followers to organize, campaigns have to treat supporters as strategic partners.”

Online campaign is about engagement and communicating with the voters is the way to engage people get involved in the campaigns.

All in all, these three dimensional characteristics should be seen as a whole and be integrated with each other in each campaign.

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