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Playbook

Ten Ways to Blow It Online in 2010

Just being on the web doesn’t cut it anymore.

By Colin Delany

I

n politics, winning is everything. But why obsess about winning when epic failure is so much more exciting? Here are ten excellent ways to completely blow it online in 2010.

1. Start Late

Don’t want online support? No problem—just wait until the last minute to get rolling. Sure, some campaigns occasionally grow into Internet behemoths overnight, but most have to start slo- o-o-owly and build up over time. Like a retire- ment account, almost every list starts tiny before it gets big enough to matter, usually growing just a little bit every day. Think of online out- reach as siege warfare, not blitzkrieg: Victory usually comes from the accumulation of many individual triumphs over a long period of time,

56 Politics | Canadian Edition

not through a single bold stroke. Start recruiting now!

2. Steer Clear of E-Mail

In a world of Facebook and Twitter, who needs e-mail? Well, political campaigns do, at least if they want to tap much of the Internet’s poten- tial to persuade people to donate money, knock on doors and make phone calls. Just ask Barack Obama, whose campaign relied on e-mail more than any other tool to communicate with sup- porters and motivate them to donate both cash and time.

He and other successful online campaigners still use e-mail because it works. Just one example: Of the $500 million Obama raised online, roughly two-thirds came directly via someone clicking on a “donate now” link in a campaign e-mail. Of

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