digital campaigning

Romney’s White Whale: Old Man’s IT and the Election That Got Away

Moby Dick

[Illustration from Moby Dick, c. 1925 edition]

ArsTechnica did a comparison between Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s campaigns’ information technology expenditures. They note a few key attributes that differentiate the Romney campaign’s use of IT:

  • Outsource anything that’s not a key competency, and spend as little as possible on it;
  • Reward “friends” with outsourcing contracts;
  • Spend on ad hoc items and pre-built SaaS* (buy from “friends” where possible).

Sure looks like the typical modus operandi of vulture capitalists that don’t invest but hit-and-run on the high seas, looking to harpoon anything of value in order to flay its carcass for cash. This says something both familiar and abhorrent about Mitt Romney and his supporters with regard to democracy.

But there are several other points that ArsTechnica missed in their assessment.

Generational shift — The difference in funds allocated and the way in which the IT monies were spent revealed a compelling truth: old guy Romney doesn’t value information technology the way younger guy Obama does. It’s a generational shift, from old school campaigns which still rely heavily on direct mail and broadcast media, to digital campaigns run by Gen-X and Millennials who are digital natives.

Based on past performance by vendors and team members alike, Obama’s team also trusts the technology team it assembled to do work quickly, effectively, on the fly. They trusted technology.

In contrast, Romney’s camp went with bigger brand name vendors like Best Buy (via service subsidiary) and SalesForce (for customer relationship management SaaS app). In mega-corporate they trust, apparently. Continue reading

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bmaz Those are not "legal experts" they are neanderthal bigots. But @thehill stenos the bigotry unchallenged. https://t.co/Zc6e6IlwUI
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bmaz @Travis_Waldron @BlanksSlate Also, as to FIFA when even Mike Garcia thinks your ethics are bad, they are REALLY bad, b/c Garcia is a snake.
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bmaz @Travis_Waldron @BlanksSlate DOJ's jurisdiction is manufactured+for shit. Not to mention, if they have it, should be in SDFL. #Showboating
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bmaz @Sheeyahshee ..."backlash fear" have left women hanging all these years because neanderthals are still fighting Roe? Apparently they would.
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bmaz @Sheeyahshee So there was no fear of "backlash" then, why should there be now? I honestly don't get this issue. Would the proponents of...
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bmaz @Steve_CurtinUSA Honestly, I had comfortably forgotten that Carrey existed in life until today. Ugh.
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bmaz @ZekeJMiller @nigelduara Crikey, hope those guys being advised by Cheney, Abrams and Kissinger don't find out!
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bmaz @michaelwhitney WHY WON'T YOU BUY MY GUITAR???
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bmaz @JoeSudbay Yep.
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bmaz RT @JoeSudbay: Republicans are loaded up in a car, racing toward a generational cliff with their eyes focused on the rearview mirror http:/…
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bmaz @sampuzzo @John_de_Vashon @Ronc99 Yes, sadly that is quite so
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