In the political tech space, NationBuilder is a very popular platform for building around online mobilization. I have used NationBuilder on campaigns and have completed the “Certified Expert” course. So I have had a chance to explore tool and its capabilities. Because NationBuilder seems to be the “go to” platform for political and advocacy campaigns at the moment, I thought I would offer some thoughts for those who are looking at building a site using NationBuilder or incorporating it into their digital advocacy programme. Read more
In many ways, traditional campaigns haven’t changed in 30 years or more. Anyone who has ever run any kind of political campaign know that there are fairly consistent pillars of contemporary campaigns: brochures, signs, print/TV/radio ads, phone banks, canvassing and (more recently) digital. As an individual who advocates for a robust digital presence, I am constantly asked to provide evidence that money spend on online campaigning will produce concrete, measurable results.
That is understandable. Politics is about managing scarcity; so it is not a surprise that those managing a campaign would want to ensure that allocated funds are spent wisely. And one of the more compelling reasons to spend on digital is because of the ability to track and test everything you do. With standard analytics you can determine – with a great degree of accuracy – what does and does not work. Read more
Last weekend’s 2013 Manning Networking Conference had a number of interesting speakers and topics. One session in particular, The Data Revolution (summary here) featured Twitter rockstar Minister Tony Clement, Victory Lab author Sasha Issenberg and social media pro Stephen Taylor. During the discussion, the panel discussed how important data-driven organizations are to the future of campaigning for votes.
Unfortunately, the practical reality is that most political organizations in Canada are far from data-centric campaign machines; the thought of achieving a fully integrated campaign infrastructure like the 2012 Obama outfit is a daunting one. But I assert that Canadian politicos can take a huge step forward by adopting an “analytics state of mind”: striving to measure as many campaign activities as possible and using that feedback to inform future decisions. Read more
A recent NY Times article outlining the cultural and/or generational (depending on your perspective) conflict that is happening in the Republican Party right now is causing quite a stir. After their drubbing at the polls last November, everyone recognizes that the GOP needs to make some big changes; the true challenge is determining exactly what those changes should be. A new candidate? Policy direction? Organizational focus and techniques? All of the above?
In a debate about the GOP’s future, the technology question quickly becomes a chicken and egg argument. Did the Obama campaign succeed because of their technological prowess, or did technology help mobilize those who support the message and/or the messenger? Read more