campaigning by centralised emails or letting grassroot bloggers dominate?
Ron Paul, a Republican candidate for US president, made $4.3 million from a fundraising campaign organised bottom up through blogs and social networks. While the metrics of political fundraising don’t translate into most European politics (in Norway, for instance, political television advertising is illegal so the immense amounts of money needed in the US are completely irrelevant here), it’s an interesting measure of the kind of support that can be generated by a decentralised system.
TechPresident has an interesting analysis of the fundraising campaign. It’s the first time that fundraising through blogs and distributed, supporter-run websites has raised more money than the more centralised strategy of sending out mass emails from the campaign headquarters. This may make a difference to campaign strategies. For instance, TechPresident continues, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do not encourage supporters to blog independently as Ron Paul does. They prefer controlled emails. This is in part due to the perception that Howard Dean lost because of his immense internet support, as, it has been suggested, did SÈgolËne Royale in France this spring.