At the moment, we’re in a transitional phase in terms of the internet. The technology is so useful that tons and tons of people use it. But only a tiny fraction of the electorate comes from the age cohort that’s really embraced the internet and thinks of email, IM, social networking, etc. as second-nature.
Meanwhile, over at Politico, Saul Anuzis is taking a broader view, combining a back-to-basics ideological focus with a renewed tech drive:
We must learn from the Democrats’ success in 2008 and create a virtual community to carry our message across the nation. I’ve embraced the tools of the digital age, put them to work as a state party chair, challenged traditional media and communicated directly with the public. I blog and Twitter, and Facebook. The Republican Party needs a leader who understands how communities are built and nurtured on the web and knows how to lead our comeback online.
I'd say using things like Facebook will, for our generation, be a "virtual doorknock" -- just as likely to get through as a knock on the door or a phone call; probably even more likely to cut through the din given the opportunity for peer pressure. But right now it isn't clear that 'net contacts drive voters to the polls -- that still requires a very real-life action. Can we translate Facebook to real life?