While many researchers focus on which candidates and how candidates use social media in their campaigns, it is more important to look behind the scenes at how companies like Blue State Digital are affecting political campaigns. Scola says Blue State Digital generates powerful campaigns ,like Obama’s presidential campaign, because they, “Tell stories. Make design a priority. Focus on people. Use video whenever possible. Build community. Treat your email list with great respect. And, in doing so, help to turn visions of how the world should be into how it is,” (p.1). In another article Neilson says, “specific mundane internet tools (like email) are much more deeply integrated into mobilizing practices today than emerging tools (like social networking sites) and specialized tools (like campaign websites),” (p.2). However, Blue State Digital includes all three types of tools in its formula for a successful campaign. That is because each plays an important part in educating the voter/volunteer/citizen, persuading them, and then convincing them to support a candidates campaign.
So how powerful is this formula? In an earlier article, Drunken et al. argued that interactive social media tools and candidate websites meant candidates would have to give up some control on how users interacted with the tools. However, maybe in using mundane Internet tools, emerging tools, and specialized tools together, Blue State Digital maintains control by having multiple outlets of outgoing information. What if the multiple outlets of outgoing information such as, campaign websites, email and social media drown out negative interactions by taking away the focus from a particular source in the online campaign? Furthermore, if web firms like Blue State Digital are able to effectively recruit supporters for political campaigns and maintain control of which messages are circulated, then are web firms like Blue State Digital now crucial to a successful online campaign or are candidates still able to create their own political campaigns without help from these types of companies? Finally, where do viral posts, videos, and photos fit into this equation?