Internet & Politics 2008: Moving People and Ideas
Internet technologies—whether deployed to entice voters, raise money, recruit and organize campaign workers, or coax voters to the polls—now infuse every step of the electoral process.
This year’s edition of Internet & Politics, Moving People, Moving Ideas, will examine how digital technologies reshape the practice of campaigning and the movement of political information. We are bringing together an exceptional group of participants from various constituencies working at the intersection of technology and politics: campaign strategists, political activists and organizers, independent analysts, members of the media, academics, students, and more. Our goal is to meld theory, data, and practice, synthesizing diverse perspectives and experiences in order to facilitate learning and collaboration. In doing so, we will draw upon the unique expertise of the Berkman Center community, the Harvard University Institute of Politics, and the accomplished group of conference participants.
Have digital information and communications tools enhanced critical elements of political strategy, such as leadership formation, community-building, and coordinated action? Are digital technologies influencing offline actions (for example, the ways campaigns contact and interact with potential constituents)? Some observers argue that technologies have enabled the transformation of relationships and created different forms of political participation. Others maintain that social networks, user-generated content, and voter databases are merely the newest ways of achieving old goals.