Politicizing the Internet…

In today’s business section of the Washington Post, there was an article about how lobbyists on K Street are utilizing the Internet to draw supporters to lobby for their issues. It’s apparently big business, if they can fine tune their message. The point is that lobbying firms put up online ads inviting “supporters” to sign up and tell their congressman/woman, senator, or legislative leader about how they feel about issue “X”. Afterwards, these lobbying firms can go online and see what ads are and aren’t working and them modify them with other ads or commercials. They also have a computer team on the Internet constantly looking at statistics and seeing who is on the web right now and looking at their ads.

Interestingly enough, there is big business also for firms who specialize in this niche market. Not all companies who go in alone succeed and this results in tech companies who specialize in constant contact with “supporters” on the Internet.

Targeting their audience on the Internet — nothing new, but definitely a cost-effective way to meet your true audience. Lobbyists are finding themselves spending more on their “advocates” through other traditional means versus through the Internet. Plus you can reach a heck of a lot more people…

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."