Web Campaigning

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The use of the Web in U.S. political campaigns has developed dramatically over thecourse of the last several election seasons. In Web Campaigning, Kirsten Foot and Steven Schneiderexamine the evolution of campaigns' Web practices, based on hundreds of campaign Web sites producedby a range of political actors during the U.S. elections of 2000, 2002, and 2004. Theirdevelopmental analyses of how and why campaign organizations create specific online structuresilluminates the reciprocal relationship between these production practices and the structures ofboth the campaign organization and the electoral arena. This practice-based approach and the focuson campaigns as Web producers make the book a significant methodological and theoreticalcontribution to both science and technology studies and political communication scholarship.Foot andSchneider explore the inherent tension between the desire of campaigns to maintain control overmessages and resources and the generally decentralizing dynamic of Web-based communication. Theyanalyze specific strategies by which campaigns mitigate this, examining the ways that the productiontechniques, coproducing Web content, online-offline convergence, and linking to other Web sitesmediate the practices of informing, involving, connecting, and mobilizing supporters. Theirconclusions about the past decade's trajectory of Web campaigning point the way to a politicaltheory of technology and a technologically grounded theory of electoral politics.A digitalinstallation available on the web illustrates core concepts discussed in the text of the book withexamples drawn from archived campaign Web sites. Users have the opportunity to search these conceptsin the context of fully operational campaign sites, recreating the Web experience of users duringthe election periods covered in the book.

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Introduction and Overview
Web Campaigning 19942004
Online Structures and Web Spheres

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About the author (2006)

Steven M. Schneider is Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities at SUNY Institute of Technology.

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