For the past two years, I have been banging around an idea of building a blog that would help political campaigns get advice on technology solutions without having to rely on consultant’s connections – or basically borrow mine. Well, after a couple of abortive attempts (Britt Blaser had a terrific idea back in June 2004 of offering a Consumer Reports version of this), I finally began work on PoliticalWarez – an homage to the TechCrunch collection of sites focused specifically for political campaigns. (I am not affiliated with Michael or TechCrunch in any way)
The goal of PoliticalWarez is to discuss the technology and impact on campaigns – including some of the consultants who offer servicess – to help the consumers of these services get a leg up on understanding what options are out there. After three years of political campaigns and dealing with the technical infrastructure and the business processes that need to be addressed, I hope to convey basic English to a maze of technical jargon and help to overcome the complexity in making the important buying decisions for campaigns.
I will talk about some of the majors (e.g. Akamai, Convio, getActive, NGP, Aristotle) but I will also bring up some of the DIY solutions (e.g. OrchidForChange, civicspace, CacheFly, VivaDemocracy) that offer less functionality or service guarantees for a lower price. An old friend of mine once said, “better to be forwarned and forearmed, than not to know at all”. Consider this an opportunity to help the community as a whole.
I do ask for any and all feedback – especially from people using the platforms and tools. I have already begun talks with some vendors I know very well and will be publishing articles on a regular basis. If you have stories or comments that you would like published, feel free to send them along. The email is on the site – and I appreciate the feedback.