Why I Chose Digital or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Memes

  Posted on Jan 22, 2018 by Zach Stewart

Why I Chose Digital

Before I came to Blueprint I’d spent over a decade working on campaigns and with progressive organizations working on election and advocacy fights.

While many parts of running campaigns have remained the same in the last ten years, digital platforms and technologies have added a completely new dimension. They have changed the way voters consume information, relate to other people, and participate in democracy.

This is why I chose to jump into the digital advocacy field.

Today, Americans get their news online nearly at the rate they do TV.  As of August 2017, Pew reports that 43% of adults often get the news online.  This is compared to 50% from TV.  And the gap is rapidly shrinking.  Facebook is the biggest site on the internet- one in five page views in the US is Facebook.

Grandparents are keeping up with their grandkids through social media, millennials are communicating constantly through Snapchat, and more and more people are consuming the majority of their information online, shaping how they view and think about the world.

But it’s not just the prevalence of online media that makes it interesting; people are actually organizing through the internet and people are using online tools to make impacts offline, in real life.

While I was once skeptical of a Facebook event being a meaningful way to organize anyone, now it’s a must-do as part of a plan.  And while a powerful tool, we’re all aware that it can be used to great effect by hostile foreign powers. 

It also offers an ever-changing landscape for advertising: vertical ads, 6-second in-stream ads, newsfeed ads as well as ads on Facebook and Instagram stories. Digital advertising  offers much of the creativity of TV, with a lot of the targetability of mail, and is ever-evolving.

This is field that demands constant learning and adaptation, and I’m excited to be a part of it in a moment when growth is critical.

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