John Edwards (on Skype!) – “I think the internet has totally changed the course of this campaign. For instance, barack Obama would not be taking public financing if it werent’ for the internet and small donors and so forth … it allows him to have the money to take on George Bush. (pause) oh sorry I mean John McCain”
We’re talking to Elizabeth Edwards on skype.
Talked to the guy who does web stuff for the Sarkozy gov’t and the guy who does web stuff for the Gordon Brown gov’t. This is like woah. There are only like 6 of these people who take charge of web outreach for western democracies in the world, and two of them met in person. Interesting to see them interact.
Some talk about using the power of the web with gov’t to solve problems easily. Example – if you submit your taxes online, the gov’t could, for example, ask you if you want to register to vote, or tell you if you’re eligible for food stamps when you’re done.
Imagine after you go to the doctor, he gives you the contact info of a bunch of local people with the same disease. Easy to implement, wide-ranging effects.
Elzabeth Edwards – campaigns really mostly view the internet as a spigot for money.
Edwards Internet guy agrees: “The Obama campaign blog is *AMAZING* . The way they connect with people and let their personal stories shine through.. I wish I had the skill to do that”
Obama campaign claims that there isn’t a coherent strategy to be standoffish to the blogs.
Gist of a Quote: “the Bush Campaign in 2004 had great success organizing people over the internet.”
I find this argument credible.
wisdom: campaign internet tools have two facets – highly targetted messaging etc, and tools to allow people to organize online for offline action.
Adam and I are at the Personal Democracy forum, which is a fancy-pants convention (700$ entry free) about the intersection between politics and tecnology.(I hooked us up with a volunteer scholarship)
There have been many interesting speakers and so forth: I’ll try to pass on whatever cool info I learn.
Cool things so far – I’m sitting right next to Ben Smith right now. Adam checked in Matt Stoller. I found Lawrence Lessig!
Wisdom : “Imagine a world where Linux Torvalds had to lobby Microsoft for a better/open operating system. Imagine a world where Jimbo Wales had to se protests outside brittanica headquarters, demanding they free up their information. Community activists can take things into their own hands”