Yesterday David All live blogged a conference call John McCain's campaign staff had with conservative bloggers.  Captain Ed from the conservative blog, Captain's Quarters, posted his insights as well

I think there are a couple of key points about campaigns and blogs in general that can be drawn from reading these posts, and based on my own experience with these things:

(1) Captain Ed picks up on the point that too often campaigns (and those trying to influence campaigns) use blogs and bloggers as a distribution mechanism for attacks on opponents.  Here is the key paragraph on this:

That said, we have to make sure that the blogosphere understands its role. Already we have seen a blizzard of gotcha moments zipping into our e-mail boxes. Position points and contrasts are always welcome, but other tips seem more intended towards a darker, more negative tilt, and not simply from the campaigns themselves. If the blogosphere wants to maintain a position of credibility, then we cannot be seen as the mud factory of the elections, especially in the primary. Campaigns (for President or anything else) that want to use blogger credibility as a channel to reach the voters need to be careful of using bloggers to bubble attack memes up to the surface.

Amen.  I think too often campaigns use blogs and other new media as a new mechanism for the distribution of old ideas.  It's more than that.  Just knowing how to post a video to YouTube doesn't mean you understand the spirit behind it.

(2) When looking at online campaigns, one should always consider the importance of behind the scenes activities like blog outreach, list building and management, email pitching, etc.  We tend to judge online campaigns based on their outward manifestation – the campaign website. 

Just because a campaign has a relatively simple website that doesn't make a lot of noise doesn't mean they don't get "it".  And just because a campaign site has a blog or whatever doesn't mean they do.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.