Monday, October 12, 2015
How to win elections and influence politicians?
The stealthy, Eric Schmidt-backed startup that’s working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House
An under-the-radar startup funded by billionaire Eric Schmidt has become a major technology vendor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, underscoring the bonds between Silicon Valley and Democratic politics.
The Groundwork, according to Democratic campaign operatives and technologists, is part of efforts by Schmidt—the executive chairman of Google parent-company Alphabet—to ensure that Clinton has the engineering talent needed to win the election. And it is one of a series of quiet investments by Schmidt that recognize how modern political campaigns are run, with data analytics and digital outreach as vital ingredients that allow candidates to find, court, and turn out critical voter blocs.
… So what does the Groundwork do? The company and Clinton’s campaign are understandably leery of disclosing details.
According to campaign finance disclosures, Clinton’s campaign is the Groundwork’s only political client. Its employees are mostly back-end software developers with experience at blue-chip tech firms like Netflix, Dreamhost, and Google.
… sources tell Quartz that the Groundwork has been tasked with building the technological infrastructure to ingest massive amounts of information about voters, and develop tools that will help the campaign target them for fundraising, advertising, outreach, and get-out-the-vote efforts—essentially to create a political version of a customer relationship management (CRM) system, like the one that Salesforce.com runs for commerce, but for prospective voters.
… Instead of putting money behind a Super PAC that can’t coordinate with the campaign, a well-connected donor like Schmidt can fund a startup to do top-grade work for a campaign, with the financial outlay structured as an investment, not a donation.
… helping to elect yet another president could be incredibly valuable to Schmidt and to Google.
And Schmidt’s largesse is not something that other candidates, either rival Democrats like Bernie Sanders or the crowded field of Republicans, will be able to easily match.
Worldwide, More Than Half Of Google’s Searches Happen On Mobile
Earlier this year, Google announced that for the first time, it was seeing more search activity on mobile than desktop. The caveat was that this was for 10 countries, including the US. Today, Google has now said this is the case worldwide.
… It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that desktop searches have diminished. Stats on desktop search from comScore routinely show the overall amount has risen from month to month. Rather, it’s that mobile searches have been a growing new segment that have caught up and now overtaken desktop search.
On the whole, desktop search has grown. As a percentage, it has dropped. That’s because we’re living in what I’ve called an “always-on search world,” where we’re always able to search. Got a query? Your phone is always in reach, as opposed to the past when you’d have to get to wherever your computer was. So the overall search queries happening have grown.
… Singhal also said Google has now indexed 100 billion links within apps. This means that when people are within Google’s search results, and Google knows they have a particular app installed, it can jump them from the results into the app version of a Web page.
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