TechCrunch on the Ron Paul Campaign: The Medium Is the Message

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TechCrunch, the outstanding website that covers internet startups and related news, has a post on how Ron Paul’s campaign is using “Web 2.0″ sites to run a fully de-centralized campaign:

I’ve been following US campaigns online since 1995/6; in effect 2008 will be the 4th election campaign that will be fought online as well as offline. They’ve evolved a long way over the years, from the first interaction with voters in 1996, to wallpaper and free books (I still have my autographed Steve Forbes book) in 2000, to the emergence of blogs in 2004, to video and Meetup in 2008. The evolution has always been in the direction of more is good; every election cycle candidate pages have added more and more centralized features, to the point where the campaign site for Barak Obama even has it’s own social network. Ron Paul throws all of that out the window; he preaches small government and empowering the individual, and his campaign site and strategy follows that exact lead. Aside from the usual biography page and policy documents, content is all driven by external Web 2.0 sites.

This exchange from the comments is also interesting. A reader, Andrew, comments:

You are mistaken in your article…as a Ron Paul supporter I can tell you and so does Ron Paul in most of his interview. He didn’t choose the medium, the medium chose him. The campaign didn’t give the people anything, the people went out and did it themselves, and the campaign just piggy backed on it.

The author of the article, Duncan Riley, responds:

I listened to Paul say the same thing on the video (that they didn’t choose Web 2.0, that it’s the way around) and yet I see a website with little centralized content, one that literally points to the Web 2.0 sites where the content is hosted. It’s a nice line, but it works both ways. Whether the chicken or egg was first doesn’t take away from the central point: Paul is working Web 2.0, and he’s doing it really, really well.

10:08 am on July 16, 2007