If you weren't aware, our own Mat Honan was attempting to go against incumbent San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee as a write-in candidate in next week's election. With the internet backing him, his campaign was shaping up to be formidable. Then The Man struck.
The Department of Elections in SF found a way to negate some of Mat's petition signatures, leaving him short of the number he needed to have his name appear on the ballot. Suspicious. Yes, people can still write his name in, but it makes victory difficult.
But we trust Mat won't be the only candidate forged by the internet. And in case the next guy is you, well, here are seven tools to get you on your way.
In Mat's case, this was just an enthusiastic photoshop job that made the rounds. And while the internet can change the face of the traditional election, more conventional means of promotion are still just as—sometimes even more—effective.$2500
The #VOTEMAT movement was birthed on Twitter, partly out of jest, then turned into something a bit more serious. With the right people reading your tweets, then discussing those tweets themselves, your name has the potential to spread like wildfire across the social network, which even my half-looped great aunt is aware of. Free.
The #VOTEMAT movement almost imploded yesterday when Mat learned that he had to fill out a mountain-sized stack of financial disclosure papers if he wanted any shot of getting his name on the ballot. If you're planning a grassroots campaign run of your own, you should have your $$$ in line. May we recommend the Quickbooks accounting software, both for its accessibility and relative ease of use. $25/month for Online Essentials
Viable political candidates need to have a visible presence on the campaign trail. Unfortunately, if you're a small fry, the press corps won't come to you with their cameras. Instead, use your own smartphone camera and broadcast your mug across the internet yourself. Free.
Mat has created more than a few single serving websites that have gone viral. Virality is nice added bonus for any political campaign. Develop a single serving website of your own that will direct bodies to your cause and watch the votes pile in.~$35/month hosting
Sure you can track the hashtags on Twitter to find what people are saying about any given topic at any given time, but you often have to cut through a lot of noise to find the quality tweets. Storify will allow anybody to pick a series of tweets and present them in a desired order, creating a focused narrative—or spin!—from the chaos that is Twitter.Free.
You can't do all of this alone. You need a peon to handle all of the menial nonsense you're too busy to deal with (like handling your financial disclosure paperwork). While your out shaking hands and kissing babies' foreheads, the intern will handle all the calls and emails that need handling. Free. (Duh)
Top Image via zentilia