Saturday, October 04, 2003

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Here is the part of the Times story where I come in, but read the whole article. It's excellent. Glen Justice really gets it.

From the New York Times:
The Dean fund-raising network has attracted people like Michele Gray, a stay-at-home mother from central Pennsylvania who went from supporter to solicitor in just a matter of months.

Impressed by a Dean speech, she became a regular on his Web site and started to contribute. She has now donated the maximum $2,000 to the campaign and she is asking the people around her to give what they can. She held a fund-raiser in her home, tracks contributions on a Web page provided by the campaign and has brought at least $5,025 into Dr. Dean's coffers.

"My $2,000 counts as much as George Soros's $2,000 or Ken Lay's $2,000," Ms. Gray said. "I may be just a mom in Pennsylvania, but I can be just as much a participant. That makes me feel powerful. That makes me feel like I'm participating in this country again."

Many of the campaign's efforts are focused on providing tools, such as software that helps plan a fund-raiser, or individual Web pages that help track contributions. Perhaps the most important is the Web log, or "blog," which allows supporters to communicate instantly with the campaign staff and each other. It offers a steady stream of information from the campaign and a nonstop chain of feedback from supporters.

Together with "the bat," a red baseball player graphic on the Web site that provides updated fund-raising numbers, it forms the heart of a system that takes supporters as close to Dr. Dean's organization as an outsider can get.

"It makes it fun," said Ms. Gray, who has been in touch with supporters from Hawaii to Alaska. "It really does feel like a community."

Supporters on the blog chatter obsessively about the numbers on the bat, challenge each other to give more and share thoughts on how their candidate is faring. The campaign often gets involved, challenging supporters to meet a fund-raising goal. It was in just such a challenge that Ms. Gray gave her first $100.

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