Over on Huffington Post, Mark Pack has a piece looking at the way US Republican presidential hopefuls are using technology in their campaigns, and at the difficulties of judging online activities from the ‘outside’, given the often hidden nature of much of it.
Here’s an excerpt:
The old days of ‘count the features and say those with the most are the best’ are, thankfully, long gone when it comes to political Internet campaigning. As is common with many technological areas as they mature, after the initial proliferation of features and services, the real success and progress comes with technology that is hidden away behind the scenes — effective management of data, clever analysis of information and so on. During the 2010 UK general election James Crabtree coined the phrase “the unseen technology,” making the point that discussion focuses on the visible whilst the political impact increasingly comes from the invisible.
That turned out to be a prescient prediction, for one of the reasons the Cleggmania surgefailed to bring many benefits in marginal seats to the Liberal Democrats was that the party’s backend IT systems were poorly set up to focus dispersed online enthusiasm into concentrated offline vote-winning activity. That is something the Liberal Democrats are now looking to change, by moving over to one of the unseen secrets of Obama’s success, the VAN database system.
You can read Mark’s piece in full over on Huffington Post.