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Make Up Your Mind Larry

Some of you may have seen the AP article on blogs from earlier in the week. One quote stuck out:

Larry Purpuro, coordinator of the Republicans' e.GOP Project in 2000, said many bloggers were little more than "armchair analysts in their bathrobes (with) no serious interest in leaving their living rooms to actually help the campaigns."
Great soundbyte, but this guy is singing a new tune. Four years a ago he had this to say in The Industry Standard:
As the Republican National Committee's "technology czar," Purpuro is responsible for developing the party's Internet strategy and implementing technology to help raise funds and mobilize voters.

What I like most about my job: Watching technology transform political campaigns.

What keeps me up at night: Wondering whether we're moving fast enough. In politics, it seems like we're 10 years behind the private sector. I worry we're not going to have the tools to be effective.

Future role of the Net in politics: I don't see an element in politics that won't be radically changed by the Internet in five years. It will change the way information is disseminated and the way the electorate and the candidates communicate.

And two years ago he was singing the praises of spam e-mail as a campaign tool in this Silicon Valley.com article. The tag line to that article is telling...
Larry Purpuro [is] president of a political e-marketing firm.
Candidate blogs and bloggers cost him business, hence the vapid quote.

Update: Pejman Yousefzadeh on blogs in politics. (Via Glenn Reynolds)


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Comments (5)

Interesting the history of ... (Below threshold)

Interesting the history of these people....

So, you are denying that ma... (Below threshold)
Steven Freeman:

So, you are denying that many Bloggers "are in their bathrobes" or that they have "no serious interest in leaving their living rooms"? Of the endless amount of bloggers out there, isn't it possible that many of them really have no interest in helping any particular campaign?

The guy has a point in one ... (Below threshold)

The guy has a point in one sense. Both parties are dominated by shrill political activists (aka "the base") -- most of whom do not welcome non-ideologues (or, I suspect, bloggers...)

I suspect that the term blo... (Below threshold)

I suspect that the term blogger encompasses too many people to be described in any monolithic way except the purely descriptive "those who blog". There are misfits in bathrobes and also passionately involved citizens who donate and organize besides blogging.

The solution is simple. You simply provide tools for fundraising, projecting your message, and providing volunteers that are easily integrated into blogs. How many people pick them up and use them will demonstrate the truth or falsehood of descriptions of bloggers.

Most of these systems are already mostly in place. They just need to be extended and it wouldn't be that expensive.

As for the idea that bloggers replace media consultants, it's laughable. Media consultants manage media presentation. Bloggers do not do that sort of analytical message work. What bloggers are is a new venue for a media consultant (like Purporo) to operate in. He might be missing the power of blogs but he isn't threatened by them.

There is more than one way ... (Below threshold)

There is more than one way to "help a campaign." Bloggers, at least of the variety we are talking about here, are people with a high interest level in politics. They are very likely to talk to others, attempt to convince them, and generally act as opinion leaders.

From the standpoint of a political campaign, insulting bloggers as a class makes about as much sense as insulting editors as a class.




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