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Archive for February, 2004

Ad ricochets

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, February 17th, 2004

Mike Haines is running in the Democratic primary in Georgia’s 12th district. His campaign staff have bought some blogads to appeal to a national audience for funding. Clicking on a blogad on DailyKos, members of the massive and activist DailyKos community (aka Kossites) have arrived at the Haines blog to critique the ad, offer support and ask for the candidate’s positions on a slew of issues. He’s just responded. Haines’ opponent in the race, John Barrow, has also bought a number of ads on blogs.

Not your grandma’s media, is it?

Deride and conquer

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 16th, 2004

Welcome to Dean uber blogger Mathew Gross as he returns to private life with his own blog. Matt’s blog will be a magnet for Internet activists, and his blogads are good value. Matt makes an interesting point:

And the amazing thing — the thing I still have yet to see a single pundit get — was that only 600,000 people in a nation of 300 million did that. 600,000 people shook the very foundation of political power in this country. It was an earthquake felt by both parties, the media, and the special interests. That feeling scared the hell out of a lot of people in Washington D.C. But you know what it felt like to the rest of us? It felt like hope.

Chandler nets 20-fold return on blogads

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 12th, 2004

Amy Keller of Roll Call did a great job earlier this week covering the Chandler campaign‘s use of blogads.

With an investment of only $2,000, and in less than two weeks, the campaign has raked in between $45,000 and $50,000 in contributions from blog readers, and that number is growing every day, said Chandler campaign manager Mark Nickolas.

Chandler ‘ a former state auditor and former state attorney general ‘ is facing off against GOP state Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr in the Feb. 17 special election for the Lexington-area House seat. But while Kerr has outraised Chandler by several hundred thousand dollars ‘ as of late last week, Kerr had raised about $1.2 million and Chandler was estimating his fundraising total at about $650,000 ‘ Chandler’s campaign says its fundraising pace is picking up and at least part of the surge has come from the Web.

‘It has been phenomenal,’ Nickolas said. ‘I get an e-mail every time there’s a contribution ‘ and we know from the e-mail the source is a blog when they come through that avenue. Since the morning of Jan. 29, the FEC [filing] cut-off, I’ve put all those e-mails in a separate file. So far there are 711.’…

Nickolas said the contributions from blog readers are ‘averaging in the $40 to $50 range.’ The vast number of contributions are between $20 and $25, but every so often a $1,000 or $2,000 contribution will pop up to ‘boost the average.’

While Nickolas was initially hoping simply to make back the campaign’s $2,000 investment, the gamble has brought in more than 20 times that amount.

Chandler’s experience seems to reinforce conclusions made by the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, which in a recent report stated that the ‘great promise of online fundraising lies in its low transaction costs,’ enabling political fundraisers to ‘look to average people for funding.’

Indeed, as Chandler’s blog choices demonstrate, while the price of running a campaign ad on a blog varies greatly from one site to another, doing so is uncontestably cost-effective.

‘You can get the premier spot for a lot of these blogs for just $400,’ remarked Nickolas, who consulted with Blogads’ Henry Copeland for advice on where to place his ads.

According to the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet study, the ‘online political citizens’ are ‘dramatically more likely than the general public to donate money to candidates,’ and by the end of 2003, approximately 46 percent of that universe had already donated to a candidate or political organization in the past two to three months. By way of comparison, only 10 percent of the general population has donated to a candidate or political party during the same time period.

The study also found that Democrats tend to be more comfortable giving online, with nearly half of all Democrats ‘ 49 percent ‘ saying they donated online, compared to just 11 percent of Republican donors.

‘The thing about this community is they are educated. They pay attention to politics. They care and they tend to have a little bit more disposable income,’ Nickolas observed. ‘If you can appeal to them, they are more than happy to throw $20, $50 or $100 at you.’ …

Can Chandler’s success during this special election translate into a winning fundraising formula for other campaigns ‘ particularly in a busy campaign season in which dozens upon dozens of candidates are competing for attention?

‘There’s no doubt about it,’ Nickolas said, though he conceded: ‘We’ve been blessed by the fact that we’re the only race out there.’ He said the campaign’s finance director has been inundated with calls from other Democrats in the fundraising arena wanting to know if they can do this in their campaign.

Nickolas is sure of one thing, however: ‘We’ve probably raised the real estate prices on these blogs.’

In the air

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, February 11th, 2004

I’m flying from LA to Chapel Hill today. Look forward to answering a bunch of e-mail and voice-mail tomorrow AM!

Goddard: Blogads are amazing!

by henrycopeland
Monday, February 9th, 2004

Taegan Goddard writes “Blogads are amazing. An update from Chandler’s campaign says they’ve raised more than $40,000 from their ad buy 10 days ago! The Chandler ad is in the left sidebar.”

A media pack(age) not a herd

by henrycopeland
Sunday, February 8th, 2004

Glenn Reynolds writes: “BLOGADS seem to work. Despite its taking-in-each-others’-wash overtones, I bought blogads on TalkLeft and BillHobbs.com for my wife’s documentary, Six. The orders have poured in, and the ads, for a month and two weeks respectively, paid for themselves almost overnight. It’s not choking the local post office or anything, but it’s a pretty good response. Meanwhile, PoliticalWire reports that the Chandler for Congress blogad paid for itself in donations the first day. Maybe Henry’s onto something.”

As Glenn is wont to say: blogs are a pack, not a herd. Ignore them at your peril.

On the road again

by henrycopeland
Saturday, February 7th, 2004

I’ll be staying with Matt and Emmanuelle Saturday night in LA and then driving down to San Diego for the O’reilly e-democracy confab. This is late notice… but if you are a blogger in LA and want to come around for lunch Sunday, please drop me a line. Don’t be shy, people.

Image white-outs

by henrycopeland
Friday, February 6th, 2004

We’ve had two ten-minute glitches in the last 24 hours with disappearing ad images. These outages have occured on both image servers we run at Interland, so it appears these outages are upstream from our servers.

Our serving strategy has been revised significantly in the last month. Now the ad management and javascript serving is handled by two servers at the most expensive host around, Rackspace, with the images being served from Interland, where bandwidth is cheaper.

This means that if outages occur, the adstrip framework and text will still load and the actual loading of all blog pages will not be degraded.

If anyone is interested in eliminating the risk of brief image outages, we’ll gladly forward a CGI to cache ads on your server. It is simple to install and the cache updates only once a day
or when new ads are added. I know that as numbers grow, a number of bigger bloggers are reconsidering their hosting options, so if you have any tips please pass them along.

Blair twitch project aims at Boston and NY

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 5th, 2004

Australian Groucho Marxist and Karl Marx-basher Tim Blair announces he will be covering the Democratic and Republican conventions. Having attended the Democratic convention in LA in 2000 with Drs Layne and Welch, Blair pledges: “coverage in 2004 will be even more uncompromisinger and independented.” Blair’s one of the latest geniuses selling blogads.

Bloggers to the barricades (again)

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 5th, 2004

Dogged bloggers toppled Trent Lott and rained on Howell Raines. Are bloggers going to keep this story boiling too? As blogger Phil Carter, a former army reservist, writes about President Bush’s army record:

if I were a reporter sitting in the White House press room, asking questions of Scott McClellan, I’d start asking about [Bush’s] pay records, retirement records, and tax records from 1972. Even if the attendance records are gone — there are still plenty of ways to document the President’s service. It’s entirely possible that these records exist, and that they will document the President’s honorable service in the National Guard. But only the records can show that conclusively.

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