Wow. TechPresident has a fascinating tale of the Obama MySpace volunteer who went from campaign devotion to campaign disillusion. It offers a glimpse into how the netroots can blossom into petals or sprout stubborn weeds depending on how they're cultivated. Be sure to read Micah Sifry's account, which proclaims, "Welcome to the age of voter-generated media, where a super-volunteer using popular online tools and sites can become as important as big donor or a top campaign surrogate."
Here's a brief overview:
- Obama maniac Joe Anthony starts MySpace page dedicated to the Democratic primary candidate.
- Profile garners thousands of friends, hitting over 150,000.
- Anthony puts in lunch hours and late nights to keep up with friend requests (no telling how many are just MySpam....)
- Anthony figures he ought to be compensated for his efforts. He asks for over $39,000.
- Negotiations, or at least precursors to negotiations ensue. According to an e-mail from Anthony to TechPresident, "They kept scheduling phone conferences with me...and each after another would be postponed at the last minute...
- The campaign doesn't have the cash to pay Anthony and makes no counter offer. They decide they want control of his page.
More from the e-mail: It got to the point where I didn't feel comfortable turning the profile over to the campaign unless they paid for it....The same campaign that inspired me to work so hard to build this community, the same campaign whose underlying message stresses "the power of the individual to have an impact on politics", was constantly downplaying my role in this, bullying me, and a couple of other things that were just rotten and dishonest (specifically in connection with Myspace, and the campaign quashing a recent NPR interview about the profile).
- MySpace commandeers the page and hands it over to the Obama campaign.
- MySpace promises to restore Anthony's original friend base on a new unofficial Obama page.
Think we'll see more of this sort of thing? I do.
Again, check out the full story as it's well worth reading.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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