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How the Internet is Transforming Politics at the Organizational Level

February 02, 2012

As traditional bricks-and-mortar advocacy groups face the challenge of declining membership levels and reduced receipts from direct mail, a new breed of lightweight, nimble, net-driven groups are rising to the fore. Dave Karpf has seen the change unfold from both sides of the story--as a member of the Sierra Club board, and as a close observer of the evolution of the giant e-organization MoveOn. On this call, we'll explore one of the less-visible but incredibly significant results of the internet revolution: how political organizations themselves are being forced to restructure how they work.

Dave Karpf is an Assistant Professor of Political Communication at Rutgers University. His research explores the Internet’s effect on American political organizing, with a particular focus on the new generation of advocacy organizations like MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and the DailyKos blogging community. Karpf also has firsthand experience with political advocacy, having served as the National Director of the Sierra Student Coalition in 1999 and serving on the Sierra Club’s Board of Directors from 2004-2010. His research has been published in the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Policy & Internet, and Information, Communication and Society. His first book, The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy, has just been published in May 2012 (Oxford University Press. He tweets at @davekarpf, and his research can be found at www.davidkarpf.com and www.shoutingloudly.com.

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