Monday, December 7, 2009

An eBay Tool Politicos Could Use

Summary: Using business tools for campaigning - how interactive maps can increase momentum.

Advancements in political technology can come from just about anywhere. Every once in a while a new development from private enterprises can prove to be valuable resources for campaigns and political consultants.

On Black Friday, eBay tracked their sales by location across the country and developed a very cool map showing where people were making purchases on their website by the hour.


Spot-On, a campaign technology firm, picked up on this tool and sent out an email about its relevance for 2010.

From the email:

"It's a handy resource for those of you thinking about 2010 (and, really, who isn't?) and how online fits into your campaign…

…If we here at Spot-On needed a nifty way to illustrate of the power of the web and its place in the lives of "average" Americans - young, old, urban, rural, suburban, Southern, Midwestern or Western - we could not have asked for a better one."

How could campaigns use a similar tool? For starters, this could be a great resource for fundraising. Whenever a campaign needs to send their fundraising into over-dive - usually during the last few days of a reporting quarter - they could create a map like this one for their website and show supporters how well they’re raising money.

In many cases, a campaign must make itself look like a movement in order to tap into the psyches of its supporters - which in turn helps generate more money - and such a map would do just that.

Of course, there is always the risk of appearing beholden to people outside your district, and not all campaigns would want to use such a tool. It may be a better resource for partisan organizations like ActBlue or ideological interest groups like the Tea Party Patriots or MoveOn.org.

No matter who uses it though, it is an interesting technology development that could be useful for political fundraising.

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