A great article from BusinessWeek Online looking at the enthusiam of political campaigns for the internet, for everything from fundraising to organising rallies.
“In three weeks in February, a Washington political consultant named John Aravosis gathered 20,000 supporters and raised more than $23,000 for a campaign against the proposed Constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. “You have to decide how to use the Internet to drive [the] candidate [you’re targeting] crazy,” he says.”
Presidential Candidate Howard Dean set the trend, with a very successful online strategy which raised millions. And now John Kerry, another prominent candidate is aping the approach, at one stage raising $US1 million a day.
A good article in the Guardian, making the point that the main obstacle to people buying music downloads is probably the lack of a trusted brand in the marketplace – and it is this, rather than the threat of legal action by the music industry, which promotes illegal downloads. This makes a lot of sense. It’s a bit like the appalling attempts at anti-drug campaigns by the Australian government.
Telling a teenager to stop doing something because it’s bad, is like holding a red rag in front of a bull. But look at the way teens affiliated themselves with ‘cool’ brands, from $300 sports shoes to the latest mobile phone. The arrival of trusted brands like Apple (which is saying it’s selling a million tracks a week from its USA iTunes web site), and announcements from companies like McDonalds and Wal Mart that they too are embarking on paid download music businesses, and it’s easy to see how the current 8% of music downloaders who do pay, will inevitably increase.
The Net is not just for teenagers and office workers, with a new study revealing 8 million Americans over 65 years old are online.
“All told, 22% of seniors now report having been on the Net, compared with 15% in 2000. By contrast, 58% of Americans age 50-64 go online, as do 75% of 30-49 year-olds and 77% of 18-29 year-olds.”
Boeing is introducing wireless internet access on their aeroplanes, so people with laptops and PDAs will be able to surf the internet and send email while in the air.
SMS was extensively used to reach thousands of people and encourage them to gather for the huge protests in Spain the other day.
“It was a political extension of the phenomenon nicknamed “smart mobs” by American author Howard Reingold – and it’s happened before. In the Philippines, text messages helped whip up public opinion and led to widespread protests, which ended in the eventual toppling of the president, Joseph Estrada, in 2001. The day after suffering their own impromptu smart mobs, the Spanish government was defeated at the polls. “
Indeed, it’s widely believed the protests had a major impact on the election result, and thus SMS can share part of the credit for the outcome.
Microsoft has launched a competitor to Google’s excellent Google News service. News Bot works pretty much the same way, with the system harvesting headlines from news sources around the globe. One nice touch is the foreign language versions.
Britain’s National Archive has launched a web site with digital images of more than 1 million wills, including some famous ones. You can read Will Shakespeare’s for free (the rest are 3 quid each).