Why technology can’t replace old-fashioned politicking

Technology is great, but old-fashion face-to-face contact still wins elections. Technology only enhances the relationship candidates have with voters; it doesn’t replace it.

Campaign Insider reminds us:

“There are some people you can only reach through Facebook,” says Jim Gilliam, founder of NationBuilder, an online organizing tool.

Gilliam, speaking at C&E’s CampaignTech conference Thursday, recounts the story of Alex Torpey, who held the title of youngest mayor in New Jersey after he was elected to lead South Orange last year. During his campaign, Torpey tried to knock on every door in the town of 26,000, which is home to Seton Hall University. After he met a potential supporter, he friended him on Facebook. It’s this combination of old-school politicking and technology that propelled Torpey into office, says Gilliam, who consulted for the mayor. “Just by sheer force of will you can get elected.”

With that said, when I set-up a website for clients I make it as easy as possible to share data. I include: a WordPress theme that’s easily updateable, set-up the Facebook Fan Page, set-up the Twitter account, set-up the online fundraising app, set-up the email system for personalized emails, and make it so feeds from the website will feed to Facebook and/or Twitter.

Candidate updates are made through the website to social networking. Email addresses are collected as the candidate makes contacts with voters and potential voters. Those email addresses are fed to Twitter, Facebook, and the email contact system.

This ensure the message is broadcast the message stays clear and consistent.

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