Politics: The role of the Campaign Hub Weblog. What is the role of a campaign hub weblog in an online campaign? The simple answer is that it should serve as a source of reliable information on the campaign's activities. The more important answer is that it should serve as a way for supporters find each other. In other words: it should be a system for making introductions that lead to weak links.
How is this done? Short, punchy posts that quote and link to high-quality supporter weblogs. Bots can help, but they shouldn't serve as a substitute to editorial intelligence (case in point: the Clark campaign weblog points inward with its posts and relies on bots to help people find each other). Also, don't rely on an inside team for analysis of breaking stories in the general media. Use the community to do the analysis for you. They will almost always do a better job. Find it, quote it, and point to it. The more you drive readers to other community weblogs the better. Don't hoard your readers (all the campaign weblogs could do better with this!!).
Create synthetic weblogs that address specific issues. Draw on the analysis done by the community to populate these synthetic weblogs. Use editorial judgement on what is included (don't rely on a bot!). A Wiki-like categorization system like that on Scripting News is a good way to do this. Perhaps a simple trackback ping system could provide the raw material to populate these synthetic weblogs (or the reverse, categorized RSS feeds from supporter weblogs that are combined into a single weblog flow). Get a Google pizza box and create a search system with community-centric PageRank for supporter weblogs. Build a Blogdex or Daypop top 40 for community weblogs.
Build a system for supporters to easily subscribe to each other. Aggregate the RSS links of community weblogs into one easy to find place. Work with aggregator vendors to offer tools configured for the campaign (don't rely on an internal effort to build the tool — it probably won't be best of breed and difficult to maintain).
That's enough for this morning's coffee notes. [John Robb's Weblog]