Monday, February 04, 2008

Online vs. Offline: The Feb 5th Fight

Tomorrow's gonna be fun. Obama's digitally-driven grassroots rise versus Clinton's decades-in-the-making offline organizing machine. Colin Delaney offers what will undoubtedly be the first of many articulations of what exactly the Obama campaign has done right with online politics, should he do well tomorrow.

Clinton continues to use what has worked in the past. Her campaign is conducting an interactive town hall this evening - something that has been done as far back as 1992. Sure, it's being streamed via the web, but the base idea is nothing new. And, her offline field operations will undoubtedly far exceed Obama's efforts, as Karen Hicks et al coupled with decades of political organizing makes for a formidable operation.

Whereas, the Obama folks continue to employ the digital channels at their disposal, raising $28 million online in January alone. I have spoken a few times about the need to experiment (here and here). However, my ideas have often focused (incorrectly?) on larger projects. Jose Antonio Vargas' story this weekend indicates Obama has been pouring resources into the small things, like communicating with prospective and committed voters through their channel of choice.

Just like with Clinton's offline operation, its the small things that may add up for Obama. We shall see what tomorrow brings!

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