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Ignite no. 1

Andy Forbes

The use of the Internet in successful political campaigns - is it correlation or causation?

By leveraging the Internet to expand his base, develop volunteers and put them to work, raise money, and have feet on the ground when and where he needed them (not the least of which was on November 4th, 2008), Barack Obama has significantly evolved the perception of how the Internet can be used in the quest for elected office. While many people who were successful in the recent election cycle did not utilize the Internet to the same degree as did the Obama campaign, it is reasonable for candidates in future campaigns to analyze what did work and what didn't work for the Obama campaign and apply those lessons to their own efforts. There are four things about the Obama campaign's use of Internet technologies that stand out - the selection of an Internet technology framework, the visibility of Internet technologies at the strategic planning level, the use of Internet technologies to listen to and engage with voters in addition to providing them static information, and the use of Internet technologies to address the Long Tail of voters. However - it is easy to mistake correlation for causation. How important a component of the recent election results was the Internet? And how important will the Internet be in future political campaigns?

About Andy Forbes:

Andy is the CEO of Yeaton Partners, a Drupal services shop based in McLean, VA. Over the past fifteen years Andy has worked for a series of startups, spinouts, and turnarounds including WorthPoint, NuRide, Redfile, InTANK, FilmLocker, and Redbridge. Prior to that he worked for several "beltway bandits", as well as a window coverings company, a janitorial services company, and a concrete picnic table manufacturer. Andy has founded companies, built teams, raised capital, written code, managed company server rooms and data center racks, been a truck driver, a janitor, a windows coverings installer, a salesman, and a paperboy. Andy has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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