December 29, 2006|
Ever since his appearance before hard core geek bloggers and techies at Gnomedex in July, there has been a certain enthusiasm about John Edwards’ Presidential candidacy in the tech blogosphere. Why? I think a big reason is that he is wooing a contingency that isn’t used to being wooed by politicians.
For political bloggers this stuff is old hat. They meet with candidates, exchange emails with staffers, participate in campaign conference calls and have opulent parties thrown for them. Hell, last cycle a number of them got put on the campaign payroll.
Tech bloggers are also used to being wooed. But by tech companies. They get pitched on daily basis and sometimes even get sent free computers by Microsoft.
So what happens when a tech blogger gets wooed by a political campaign for the first time? They are flattered and feel important and get a little star struck by the important of it all. Just like political bloggers are the first 4-5 times they are wooed. They also don’t look at things nearly as critically as political bloggers. Unlike political bloggers, their opinions about the candidate haven’t been hardened by an obsession with politics. They can forgive Edwards for voting for the Iraq War or for being on the ticket with John Kerry.
In advance of his official announcement, the Edwards campaign upped the stakes in their wooing of the tech blogosphere and invited super blogger Robert Scoble to follow him around this week. From the sound of things, Scoble is getting awesome access to Edwards and his campaign staff. What Scoble is doing isn’t clear. Is he some sort of unpaid advisor? Or just covering the campaign as a blogger/journalist?
Regardless, the result is what you would expect. Scoble, who appears a bit intoxicated by the experience, has compared Edwards to JFK and is writing enthusiastically about how technology is changing politics (a subject many have been writing about for years). I think the coverage would be quite different if InstaPundit or DailyKos were on that plane.
Scoble, like most Americans, isn’t burdened by a hardened ideology or an encyclopedic knowledge of recent political history. He doesn’t have an agenda.
I think reaching out to the tech blogosphere is a very shrewd move by the Edwards campaign.