Technology with attitude

How To Use Web 2.0, The Ron Paul Way

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See that picture? It’s a screen capture of a Google Maps view of where Ron Paul’s Meetup groups are located. 367 so far, the most of any candidate, and the number keeps getting bigger everyday. Literally.

So then, what is Web 2.0? Well, it’s basically a term for all of these tools and technologies which allow people to share, remix, organize and host their content on 3rd party platforms. Think of MySpace, YouTube and Meetup as prime examples of this movement.

So it’s no surprise that the candidate of the internet crowd uses all of these almost exclusively as the infrastructure for his campaign. That’s right, not just as add-ons, but as the very infrastructure.

From The Bivings Report…

The Paul website itself essentially consists of a homepage, an issues section, a bio page, a donation form, a sign up form and a blog. Interestingly for the social candidate, his blog doesn’t even allow comments. Instead, it encourages visitors to discuss/interact with the blog content on social sites like Digg, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon and Facebook. He seems to deliberately avoid building a community on his own site. Due to this, supporters have no choice but to organize elsewhere.

This is a brilliant strategy because it means that all support for Paul has to be expressed publicly. You can’t help but be exposed to his libertarian message, and more younger internets

This is a glimpse into what his organization looks like…

(1) Videos are entirely hosted and served from his YouTube account.

(2) Campaign news gathering and discussion of said news is done via Digg. Paul is the only candidate I’ve seen that includes a prominent link to a Digg search of his name right on his own homepage.

(3) Paul’s schedule is kept exclusively on Eventful.

(4) Supporters are encouraged to create their own events on Meetup.

(5) Campaign gear is sold exclusively through a store hosted by Cafe Press.

(6) All photos are on Flickr.

(7) Social networking occurs on Facebook and MySpace.

Mainstream candidates, take heed…you need to give away a little bit of control in order to build grassroots buzz. Dean learned that in 2003. Who will learn it fast enough to steal some of Ron Paul’s thunder?