In examining the campaign of Howard Dean in this week’s readings by Shirky and Joe Trippi, we find that Dean’s push toward utilizing the Internet in his campaign sparked a shift toward online candidacies. These two authors differ in their views, essentially by saying there’s a fine line between seeing the Internet as this new, special tool that has this sort of utopian allure and by seeing it as a non-predictive measure of an election’s outcome.
I’m inclined to side with Trippi here because since the 2004 Presidential election and the publication of these two articles, we’ve only seen an increased drive toward more web-driven campaigns. But the reality of the situation is that the true “normal” or what we actually observe is somewhere in between these two extremes.
In the age of Internet activism, it can be easy to assess web support as sure votes, when this might not actually be the case.
My question for the class is on a more micro-level scale. How can candidates for office on our campus analyze their Internet support to best determine how to focus their net presences?