Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Convention’

Wisconsin Dems: The party of new media

June 15, 2009

Did it really take this long for them to get it?

Hall said he wants to improve the Web sites of the county parties to make it easier for people to join and get involved. Some county parties do not have sites and others are outdated, he said.

Well if they didn’t get it before they certainly will after electing the youngest party chair in the country.

Wisconsin Democrats used their state convention to show off their plans to use new forms of media to reach voters.

Using social media to reach voters is a top priority of Mike Tate, a 30-year-old strategist who was elected party chairman on Saturday.

“That means actively using Facebook, Twitter, making sure we have a YouTube channel we’re posting videos to, and making Democratic figures available for interviews with bloggers,” he said.

Earlier this year, the state party hired UW-Madison student Sam Roecker, 20, as its first “new media intern.” Roecker said he has spent the last three months working on Web ads and improving the party’s presence on Facebook, Twitter and the photo-sharing site Flickr.

Way to get the guy’s hopes up:

Tate said he is considering whether to make Roecker’s position paid.

Pay the man! Hell, maybe he’ll even drop out of college for it, like Tate and practically everybody else at the DPW seemed to do, at least when I interned there. Granted, what’s sad is not dropping out of college to work in politics, but rather going back after working as a politico for years and taking introductory poli sci courses.

The attitude change towards new media, especially blogs and social networks like facebook, is astounding. Rather than dismissing them as gossip centers for pre-teen girls, there are now books galore discussing their importance for business and government, among other things. I remember the rolled eyes I encountered just four years ago when I was doing an internship for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) the summer before my senior year of high school. It’s not as if I expected the octagenarian senator himself to understand the significance of “blogspot” and “wordpress,” but even the forty-something head of the office seemed to think local papers were the only key to local support.