Are online campaign efforts effective?
As campaigns flood Internet, opinions vary on effectiveness

by Jerry Kammer – Jul. 9, 2008 12:00 AM
Republic Washington Bureau

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One of the inventors of the Internet technology that Gill used in 1992 to send those e-mails thinks the trend is for opposing groups to isolate themselves behind virtual electronic walls.

“Folks don’t want to interact with every stranger, but to keep in contact with their tribes,” said Paul Jones, a professor at the University of North Carolina.

A Jones colleague in developing Internet technology acknowledges the tribal effects but thinks much more is going on because of the Internet’s raw democratizing power, pervasiveness and ease of use.

“I know I’m drawn to blogs and sites that share my point of view, but there’s a lot of cross-talk at the fringes,” said Kevin Gamiel, also of UNC. “There’s definitely some cross-pollination going on.”

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