|Photo by Justin Perkins|
Silly as it may sound, I was right. If you want to figure out how to run a grassroots campaign online, hire a rock band. Jacob Colker, a 23-year-old musician in Maryland working for the Peter Franchot for comptroller campaign, mobilized 80% of their volunteer support from youth on social networking sites. Translation: 15,000 phone calls and 50,000 pieces of campaign literature were dropped from this young army of liberal political science majors mobilized via social networking sites. Franchot won against a "well-organized, two term incumbent." And DC's own John Hlinko was asked to comment in this Chigaco Tribune article, which goes on to describe the word of mouth phenomenon and potential of tapping social networks.
"If I tell someone on my list of 100,000 to do something, that's one thing. But if they're hearing it from their sister or mother or neighbor, it's much more effective," said John Hlinko, a founder of the Web-focused Draft Wesley Clark campaign and now a vice president with Grassroots Enterprise, a political consultant group.
"I'm waiting for the day when someone runs down the street saying, `Wow. Look at this junk mail. It's really interesting,'" Hlinko said. "That kind of stuff happens on e-mail everyday."