In the news

Brack named Internet innovator

MARCH 2004 -- A new book on the Internet in politics names Charleston businessman Andy Brack as an Internet pioneer for his use of the medium in the 2000 congressional election cycle.

In Politics Moves Online, George Washington University Prof. Michael Cornfield said Brack's use of an online campaign diary in 2000 served as a precursor to the blogs that grew into mainstream grassroots tools in the 2004 presidential race.

"[His] digital road diary served as the precursor to the official campaign blog. The blog added the capability of outside comments and blog-to-blog links. Those touched by the candidate, and kept in touch with by the campaign, could now touch back -- and outward to other people -- all in the same software program, and all in the same folksy manner."

Brack noted his online campaign diary, which chronicled a 240-mile walk along the South Carolina coast in his quest to win a congressional seat, was a common-sense, practical way of using the Internet to communicate and motivate voters.

"By making the Internet a backbone of the campaign, we were able to energize people and get them to help in all sorts of new ways," Brack said. "At the time, it just made common sense to use the power of the Internet to organize. Looking back, it's gratifying to see the campaign's use of the Internet blazed a trail for future campaigns."

More from the book:

"Brack made a multidimensional, down-home play for his candidicay. He recruited supporters, built team spirit and established himself as a trustworthy, knowledgeable, and winsome fellow. He could not have done this without the Internet."

More info: Politics Moves Online: Campaigning and the Internet is a Century Foundation Report by Prof. Michael Cornfield, March 2004.



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