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Has the Internet Changed Your Involvement in the Campaign?

At a media conference yesterday organized by the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, Republicans admitted that Obama is winning — hold on — winning the use of the Internet as a pointed campaign tool. Though advanced in 2000 and 2004, senior Republican advisers now admit they've let their online warfare morph from a sword into a gummy worm.

One stat that points to that? Obama just hit a million supporters on Facebook. McCain must be cold and lonely in cyberspace, only having 150,000 peeps to poke.

Though McCain's web strategist says the number of friends isn't all that, and that McCain does get the web: "You don't have to use a computer to know how it shapes the country. John McCain is aware of the internet. This is a man who has a long history of understanding a range of issues."

Clinton's internet chief pegged '08 as the year the Internet "arrived." Do you think this is true? How has the Internet shaped your involvement with the campaign? Have you donated or volunteered through the web for the first time? Blogged about it?


Join The Conversation
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
It's much easier to make donations. It's great to have cordial discussions. Even when you don't agree with someone, you can spot the flaws in their arguments. It's much easier to fact-check to catch candidates' flip-flops and weasel-wording! I just hope we all confirm the stories we read, as the internet is not gospel...sometimes it's easy to forget that.
ChaseOnline ChaseOnline 9 years
Greetings from PdF 2008! Partisan or not, the general consensus from the folks here is that the internet is substantially changing the way we engage in politics. The sheer volume of information available on the web now drives people to use the easy tool to do their research. In 1996, not many people would have really gone to the web with the hopes of learning something about the candidates. They would have taken what they heard on the radio, television, even from word of mouth or the mail, and that would be the facts that they would have (provided they weren't political junkies who are actively looking for info). But now, you have to have a website almost before you announce a candidacy. People doubt legitimacy if they cannot find you on the web. And how we are using the web is going to change drastically in the next few elections. If you think it has invaded the campaign atmosphere, wait until 2016. The web strategist is rapidly overtaking other positions in the hierarchy of the campaign staff. *PdF has been fantabulous this year!
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I posted this yesterday, but I am sharing it again because I think it really has a ton of information in it that voters should be aware of. I have yet to see a single mainstream "news source" reference this speech. Not on CNN, MSN, FOX, Huffington, Drudge, NPR, AP... If anyone is interested in specifics on policy, I highly recommend you read this! I prefer to copy and paste into a word document and print it.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
*their not there.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
The internet is a very useful tool in a campaign however it also depends on where you look. I like to review the candidates websites and measure there laid out plans against accusations that may contradict there spoken word.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I like that I can debate with a much wider range of people, and exchange information that I hadn't heard before.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I love the vast offering of solidly researched information the internet provides. Now excuse me while I hand out pamphlets for Zoxcor 78, the only true presidential candidate who can save us from the invisible Spore-Men.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
Nica, I like what you said about humanizing a person. I like this easy access to information. At the same time, the easy access doesn't insure that people will receive a broad spectrum of information. People often restate something they've read somewhere, either using it to reinforce their current negative opinion of the person, or outright villify them. to me it's just like celebrity gossip. you can't believe everything you read or hear about a person without a grain of salt. so many things get reported and spun, and if the information is incorrect to begin with, it can get really out of control! Some sources are more reputable than others and I think we have to be careful what we just take and believe at face value.
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 9 years
yes - makes it much easier to donate.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
Agreed with all of the above. I've actually gone to McCain's website and learned more about his positions too and its great that i can do that with a click of the button. It actually helps to humanize the person and see that it's the issues i disagree with and not that he's a bad person (which he's not). And of course Obama's website is simply superior. There's a ton of ways to become interactive and it's a really great way to learn about his stance on issues and become involved. I absolutely love that website. Whoever made it needs an award cuz it's incredibly well organized and developed.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
i definitely am way more informed than ever in my life! I look back at my opinions before and I kind of feel a little regretful. Like I didn't know enough, and based my opinions on those of people around me. And thanks to Citizen and Liberty, I can have daily discussions about things. It's like a learnin' smorgasbord.
emilita emilita 9 years
I agree, Jillness, the internet has helped me to become more informed on things other media may choose not to report. I have donated and signed up to volunteer online as well. Also, I like the videos the candidates send out to their online supporters.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I have never given money to a candidate before, and I think being able to do it online really helps. I have used the internet to volunteer...I think it has allowed for more productive campaigning. I agree kcwebgirl, the network feature really does help with finding supporters and events in your area, and that is very helpful. I have also heavily relied on the candidate's websites to find out all of the very important things that the news media loves to forget. Who cares about economic policy when we can focus on a podium symbol?? :? So I guess because of the internet, I am more aware of what I don't know. " it's just the year younger voters found a reason to be engaged and they responded with their native media." Well said. :)
stephley stephley 9 years
I've donated and volunteered online - but I thought the internet 'arrived' when the Dean campaign raised so much money online.
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 9 years
obama's campaign site has a social network built in so i can network with other supporters in kc and we through debate viewing parties, get together to canvass, sign up for volunteer opps and of course donate. while donations are not new, the interaction is new for this political cycle. but this is not the year the internet arrived or whatever. it's just the year younger voters found a reason to be engaged and they responded with their native media.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
It is much easier to donate online... pesky checks.
Sweet-Jane Sweet-Jane 9 years
I've followed some political blogs that give more in depth coverage than what you find on the news. I've donated to my man, Obama. But the best thing I've found on the internet is entire videos of interviews and speeches. TV news gives such small soundbites and then proceeds to put their spin based on a sentence. Usually once I've had the opportunity to hear what a candidate was saying in it's entirety and in context, it makes much more sense and I can draw my own conclusions.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Well it's easier to stay informed with the net. I also find that I'm more educated about the OTHER candidate. It's right at my fingertips. AND of course there are all these lovely forums and blogs for me to spill my blood defending Hillary on. That is certainly a new phenomenon in this presidential race.
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