Monday, March 10, 2008

Blog Your Way to Election Success?

According to 'Davick Services' "No matter what kind of campaign you’re running, a Blog allows you to quickly and easily create a place on the web where voters can find you, learn about you, interact with you and contribute to your success". Their reasoning is that:
  • Huge impact for very little money
  • Creates a dialog between you and the voters
  • Blogs collect valuable feedback from voters
  • Blogs build trust with voters
  • Blogs are a conduit for online campaign contributions that multiply over time
All absolutely true but, and of course there is a but, can blogging really guarantee you electoral success? Here are some reasons I would offer to suggest why this also might not be the case:
  • Blogs require a pull factor, their existence does not guarantee traffic
  • Blogs can allow opponents to post negative comments
  • There is no guarantee that visitors or comment posters are your voters
  • Blogs need to find a balance between personal and campaign communication, just campaigning is a turn-off, all personal lacks focus
  • Conversations on blogs can lead bloggers down blind alleys (issues important to one poster only), or to talk on issues they prefer to keep quiet on
  • Trust must come before asking for money
Online campaigning does work, it has been a key part of Barack Obama's successes to date; but he created himself a pull factor. But it needs to be used wisely and strategically. If someone asked me if they should use a blog as a campaign tool I would ask them what for specifically - if they could not answer then I would say no. The problem is that the answer for many to the thorny question of how to reach most people for the least money is go online. Yes that is true, but... and to ignore that but could be a as serious a mistake as an own goal in the World Cup Final, with the score at 1-1, in the last seconds of injury time!

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