Digital Political Candidates Driven by Technology

Jessica Meyer Maria | | June 29, 2012

...Technology has brought more authenticity to the political sphere, and today it plays a central role in campaigns. Peer-to-peer campaigning — involving emails, social media, micro-targeting, mobile and tablet applications, for instance — allows for a more genuine connection between a candidate and his or her constituency.

“Consider how television changed campaigning in 1964, direct mail in the ’70s, bar codes with absentee balloting in the ’90s, the Internet with fundraising in the mid-2000s or social in 2008. Each time, a forward-thinking campaign adopted the new technology to great success, leading to broader adoption in the subsequent cycle,” said David Binetti, CEO and co-founder of Votizen, a Web service that allows users to campaign with friends on social networks to elect candidates who share their values.

One in 600 people in the United States is elected to public office at some point in their life, said Joe Green, co-founder and president of NationBuilder — a community organizing system that blends the customer relationship management and content management systems as a synthesized website and people database. “The effect of technology on politics at the end of the day will be on local campaigns,” he predicts. Technology alone, however, is not the answer. It’s merely a tool, and like any tool, it must be used correctly to be effective. “You need the wherewithal to take advantage of the opportunities, messaging, strategy,” said Jonathan Karush, founder and president of Liberty Concepts, a provider of websites, software and online strategy to campaigns...