But campaigns generally are not re-creating MeetUp. They're replacing meetups with house parties. That's what the Kerry campaign did, and I could never convince Zack Exley (who's also civic-minded, bless him), who was in charge of Kerry's Internet campaign, that house parties are fundamentally different than the Meetups that fueled the Dean campaign.On the Richardson for President website, they're linking to the several dozen zanby groups that have been started by Richardson supporters this last year.
First, and most obviously, house parties traditionally are traditionally fund raisers. Dean Meetups were not. The house party message is clear: Have a nice chat while you take out your checkbook.
Second, campaigns generally assume more ownership of house parties than Meetups. At times, the Dean campaign provided some topic they thought the group might want to talk about. A couple of times, Dean addressed the Meetups via TV. But there's a real difference in feeling between that and arriving at a friend's house and being dealt the official house party "kit" materials.
Third, and most important, house parties are in private spaces. Meetups were in public spaces. A house party is put on for the attendees. The host has an obligation to make sure it goes well. But a Meetup in a bar or a restaurant is an empty space within which we are trusted to figure out what to do...what to do during the Meetup and what to do to take our country back (as Deaniacs put it). House parties are parties with guests. Meetups are meetings among citizens.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Richardson's netroots coolness
I've been on the internet off an on all morning, watching the reaction to my guy announcing his candidacy. One of the neatest things is this post (not directly related to Richardson for President) but rather on the difference between campaign controlled "house parties" and less formal "meetups" (from Joho):