Compete: Meetup.com Helps Ron Paul Campaign
The rabid fan base of supporters for Paul’s Presidential nomination run have made use of the Internet, particularly Meetup, to aid the candidate.
The idea of the Internet being the great equalizer for grass roots efforts taking on established, powerful entities appeals to people with a broad range of interests. We have seen the non-stop buzz for Paul’s campaign as the latest evidence of this.
According to analytics firm Compete, Paul supporters have demonstrated how effective online tools can be in assisting in organizing events and fundraising.
Compete’s Matt Pace said the campaign’s use of Meetup.com offered a "case study" on turning online activism into offline action. Paul’s 82,000+ Meetup members held nearly 21,000 events to build support and raise funds for him.
Compete measures a metric they call Candidate FaceTime to determine how much time a candidate receives in front of people online. It looks at the total hours voters spend with a candidate on the Internet each month.
As might be expected, Paul tops the list, as people spent over 252,000 hours with him in November 2007. Another Republican candidate, Mike Huckabee, surged to second place after a viral video featuring him and Chuck Norris grabbed over 1.2 million views since its debut.
"Huckabee is the only candidate, other than Paul, whose supporters are making heavy use of Meetup.com to rally support," said Pace.
CNN’s Election 2008 poll shows Huckabee’s offline momentum matching his online fame. He ranked behind only Rudy Giuliani in CNN’s latest poll. Paul rated sixth among Republican nominees.