Two months after being named as Contributing Technology Editors to Campaigns & Elections Magazine, the first issue with columns by Chad Dotson and me appeared in my mailbox yesterday. It’s the May issue (making our debut one month later than planned), with Chad and my columns appearing side-by-side from pages 40-41. We even warrant a mention in the editor’s note at the beginning of the issue:
[W]e’re also introducing a section devoted entirely to following the technology developments in the industry. Tech Bytes features updates from the campaign trail as well as two columns from prominent bloggers Waldo Jaquith and Chad Dotson. As blogs become more involved in the political process we wanted to ensure they were involved in tracking campaigns and technology. To that end, Jaquith and Dotson write on the various uses of technology their parties are employing. This month the two spar on voter lists and how the parties are using voter data to make extensive databases.
Bloggers ’round the nation just read that paragraph twice. “Prominent…Waldo…who?”
Our first pair of columns is on the list management software employed by our respective parties, the RNC’s “Voter Vault” and the DNC’s…uh…nothing. I spent a few days communicating with volunteers and employees of campaigns and state parties across the country, and the theme was that, quite simply, there’s nothing being done by the DNC to manage lists or even unify tracking of voters. But when I talked to a representative for the DNC I was told that their list-management project was major priority for the party, a result of working closely with state parties throughout the nation. I checked with several state parties. They had never heard of such a thing.
You’ll need to pick up the magazine in order to read the columns, though we’ll be able to blog our columns 60 days from now.
And…er…if anybody’s got any ideas for columns? I’m all ears. Writin’ columns is hard work.
05/18 Update: I conflated two people in this blog entry (though not in the column), which made for a rather baffling narrative that made the DNC look dumb. In fact, I’m the one who should look dumb—the mistake was mine. I’ve fixed it now. My apologies.