Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Conservative Political Organization for the 21st Century

Jonah Goldberg discounts the theory that liberals have mastered "Web 2.0" (or even what the hell it is, for that matter) and posts a comment from an emailer that is worthy of deeper consideration:
The vast right wing conspiracy at some point seems to have decided that we'll command, if not dominate, the following:

- Think tanks
- Talk radio
- Blogs

This strategy seems to depend on persuading opinion leaders of the merits of our case, preferably using 10,000+ words to do so. The opinion leaders then hold court at family barbecues, dazzling friends and family with facts and logic and slowly converting them to our side.

That's a perfectly legitimate approach, but it has three problems that make it less than sufficient as a marketing strategy: (1) political junkies aren't necessarily opinion leaders; (2) the arguments are usually too complex to be easily distilled into something that could lead to opinion leadership; and, (3) it assumes that people's views are shaped by facts and logic, when things like the aforementioned group identity are at least as important among many people.

In other words, we need counterparts to MoveOn and its ilk that can succinctly and persuasively communicate meaningful information to largely disinterested voters, and do so using the tools and tones appropriate for our target audiences. Some of its vehicles are Web-related, but most are still traditional: TV, billboards, posters, etc.

And I firmly believe our positions can be distilled into some essential, topic-specific messages, having done this sort of commercial/political undertaking before. But that, too, is another discussion.

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