I was stunned when I first read the article on ReelSEO.com entitled "5 Video SEO Tips To Help Elizabeth Warren Beat Scott Brown." No, not because I actually found the article that rivteing - although the points were salient - but because I had never actually thought about the intricate relationship that the internet had - or could have - with political campaigns.
Sure, we all know that NewsMax is what a journalist would leave in a toilet, that FoxNews.com is a veritable stew of bobbing inanity and The Huffington Post is a BUNCH OF SCREAMING HEADLINES THAT SAY NOTHING IN CAPITAL LETTERS (which I'm fairly sure are concocted in a lab where monkeys bash keyboards all day).
But the shallow soup of meaningless media the internet is best known for is beside the point in this case. When you start thinking about SEO (search engine optimization) for political campaigns, you start getting gritty, technical, and very, very intricate.
Greg Jarboe, the writer of the ReelSeo.com article, notes that the failure to put Elizabeth Warren's name in the titles of campaign videos landed the footage somewhere in the muddle of YouTube pages, far from the top.
That made me think about what else Ms. Warren's internet presence deficiency was ruining for her. Well, for starters, "Elizabeth Warren blog" is the second most-searched term in Google, yet the search yields no blog of any kind. Not even a WordPress oozed out by a part-time intern.
In contrast, John Boehner has some kind of mutant version of a blog/PR/news section. But it also lacks his voice. In fact, politicans are missing a huge opportunity by callously ignoring any part of the internet that would take time to use.
Okay, some politicans do have Twitter accounts, but most of the time it makes them look like gossipy pre-teens. Facebook pages can be a little more dignified, but they're still fairly cold and impersonal.
In short, internet marketing is a frontier that most politicans seem hesitant to cross entirely. Could you imagine if we had the chance to read the personal, authentic blog of an elected official? How much easier would it be to really figure out what he or she believes in? It's been three years and I'm still trying to figure out what Obama believes.
The internet can serve as a channel where politicans can directly connect with their constituency. Maybe there's a reason they fear the opportunity, especially since some have already had difficulty micromanaging their Facebook posts.
It seems strange to me that we've had this miraculous invention to communicate with people simply whirring away, forcing us to get closer than we ever wanted through virtual friendships and status updates, yet politicans are still ignoring it.
Perhaps politicans believe, rightfully so, that their efforts are better spent marketing themselves to an older demographic that doesn't tend to be intravenously connected to the internet 24/7. But if anyone actually does finally take advantage of this, they could activate voters who are used to be shunned and called "a lost generation."