Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walberg Increases Internet Operation

I've repeated a number of times that the internet is still the best untapped resource for political campaigns to reach out to supporters and win over undecided voters. Mark Schauer has been doing a fantastic job, with a number of innovative ideas and embracing dynamic content. Up until the primary, Tim Walberg's attempts at using the internet were disappointing.

This may be changing. Tim Walberg's campaign has significantly increased his internet operation, now with a website, a blog, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, and a YouTube channel. So far, this is impressive-- though, it's worth noting that Mark Schauer had all of these long before Walberg, with the exception of the Twitter feed.

So does this mean that Tim Walberg is pulling even with Mark Schauer on the internet? Well, no, not yet.

On the brand new Walberg for Congress blog, there is exactly one post as of today. It's very nice, with photos and whatnot, but it came last Wednesday, and so far, there hasn't been any indication of any more activity. Contrast this with the Schauer blog, where Senator Schauer and his communications director have something new to say every day, including information that might actually be useful for supporters.

On the Walberg for Congress YouTube channel, there is only one video, the first Walberg campaign ad. That's fine, because it'll get greater exposure for your ad and its message. But Mark Schauer's YouTube page has 16 videos so far. Of those, eight are of Schauer speaking directly to viewers and to voters, and another six are of public appearances where he's speaking about policy. Rather than five scripted lines and a motorcycle, Schauer is talking about the issues that people care about, and he's effectively using the medium.

The point this, of course, is to show that Walberg's internet operation is still lacking compared to Schauer's. But it doesn't have to be. As much as I want to see Mark Schauer elected, I'd also like to see candidates in both parties effectively use technology to reach voters. Schauer's team is doing that. Walberg's team has all of the pieces in place, but hasn't bothered to use them yet. If they do, then we could have an exciting race on our hands.

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