Web site helps candidates manage social networking

Sen. Dodd's MyLifeBrand site

Related Links

In juggling several online communities on different social-networking sites, presidential campaigns are confronting the challenge of how to organize their online presence in a way that maximizes impact and reach while not forgetting grassroots efforts.

Presidential hopefuls have been using online community sites such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook to announce their candidacies and host forums. But now that they have burgeoning online presences on handfuls of different networks, the campaigns are looking for ways to connect their cyber supporters.

Presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) campaign team is turning to MyLifeBrand, a social network aggregator, for the answer. MyLifeBrand, currently in alpha form, lets members of different social networks and associated friends link to one another on one network.

Once Dodd’s “branded custom community” is up and running, Dodd supporters will be able to access all of the campaign’s social-networking sites and the Dodd campaign Web site. The aggregator doesn’t affect the status of the original networks, letting the existing communities continue as they are.

“It’s not a bad thing to be on 23 different social-network sites,” said Brett Schenker, a member of Dodd’s internet campaign team. “By trying to bring them all into one aggregating system we’re trying to connect those people who might want to work together to make sure Dodd is their next president.”

The Dodd campaign team hopes MyLifeBrand will become a one-stop shop for campaign supporters. It hopes the site will let supporters who are members of different online social networks link to one another to better share messages and ideas.

Daniel Scalisi, MyLifeBrand’s executive vice president, said that by building a branded community, candidates can benefit from an expanded network and increased control over their message. And although Dodd is the first to sign on, the company said Republican campaigns have also expressed interest.

“I think the [Dodd campaign] found our site to be a useful platform to provide this kind of command-and-control center for all of the different social pages and or social experiences that are created out on the Web,” Scalisi said. “It’s a powerful, centralized messaging tool.”

“Brands are embracing social networks, but they are scared of them at the same token, because there is so much they can’t control and this is shifting a little bit of that power back to the brand,” Scalisi added.

But Joshua Levy, associate editor of TechPresident.com, a nonpartisan Web site that explores how politics and technology influence each other, warns that campaigns need to be careful not to alienate grassroots supporters.

“The whole thing [with online social networking] is that it’s the supporters that control the message," he said. “If the message is handled in a top down way and you are not allowed to deviate people get very upset about that very quickly and they don’t want to participate.”

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group