Posts on Jan 1970

California, the next budget battle. It doesn’t take a Prophet.

They say predicting an earthquake is impossible, California geologists are always warning of “The Big One”. The citizens of California may not be soothsayers, but the foresight of the pending financial disaster doesn’t require a Richter scale. The foreshock in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio has forced Republican Governors to win back their parties reputation of being financial conservatives, only to be swayed by a bunch of elected officials who don’t want to “sit in the circle”. They have ignored their sworn duty to represent their constituents on the floor, for fear of losing the financial security of their Union backers (and funding for their next election).

I can only hope that CA Gov. Jerry Brown will remember his campaign promise to balance the budget. As Midwest governors have figured out, Collective Bargaining rights and greater pension/healthcare contributions must be adjusted. We cannot forsake the security of the private sector for the retirement of the public sector.

Will CA legislators flee to their favorite casino on the Las Vegas Strip?

Will the President continue his boycott of Nevada tourism? Perhaps he will encourage these officials to stay in Nevada and help boost the economy by spending CA tax dollars at the craps table.

The financial Richter scale is showing that a 10.0 earthquake is on the way to California. I just hope that California has the money to pay its first responders. A pension is no good, if you can’t pay the salary on which it is based.

Stalker apps offer glimpse of Facebook future

The social media blogosphere has been abuzz in the past week about a new Facebook app called “Waiting Room,” the cousin of Breakup Notifier, which was recently blocked by Facebook. From Mashable:

“Here’s how it works: When you indicate interest in an unavailable Facebook friend, that person gets an e-mail notification that there is someone in his or her “WaitingRoom” (this person need not have the app installed at this point). The identity of the admirer isn’t revealed until the recipient has changed his or her Facebook status to single.”

Beyond the frivolity (and admitted creepiness) of it all, I think it’s a creative idea, and gives those of us who do this for a living a couple lessons on how to best capitalize on the Facebook platform:

1. The hidden goldmine underlying the Facebook behemoth is not the publishing platform, it’s the connections:

Facebook was created to help us better connect with one another by making our connections tangible. Once an ambiguous collection of mental links, “friends” are now commoditized, with measurable analytics like wall posts, “likes,” and shared interests. While developers have done a good job of using this dynamic within the Facebook platform itself to great success (read: Farmville), they haven’t been so great on the outside. Apps like this, regardless of actual value, remind us that the best uses of the Internet are often those that capture the best of the offline world, online.

Developers should follow the example of Facebook’s “Like” button in striving to find creative ways to extend Facebook’s functionality outside of the walled garden. Specifically, within the Facebook TOS, developers could benefit by more creatively using Facebook’s email permissions with the existing data available.

2. The amount of data currently possessed by Facebook is staggering:

Forget or eHarmony, it’s likely that Facebook currently holds the largest database of relationship data anywhere. Replace “relationships” with political views, favorite sports team, or attendance at an event, and you can get a good idea of the type of data we’re talking about.

The average FB user is connected to 80 pages, has 130 friends, sends eight friend requests a month, and creates three pieces of content a day. And, it’s not overselling to say that this user “lives” her life on Facebook–she spends almost an hour a day logged in (50% of users are logged in at any given time). Through both implicit and explicit information, Facebook literally knows more about her than, perhaps, even her closest friends.

With this data, a robust API and boundless imagination, developers have a canvas to draw on of which they’ve only occupied a fraction. This is the largest collection of data ever assembled in the history of the world. Shouldn’t we be really using it?

Peter Amen Joins Campaign Solutions

Peter Amen, Online Advertising Strategist, Joins Campaign Solutions / Connell Donatelli

Alexandria, VA — Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli, Inc., a political consulting team specializing in online strategy, fundraising, advertising, and social media, announced today that Peter Amen has joined as Director of Business Development. Amen joins a team of 20 political professionals with offices in Virginia, California, and New Jersey. He will manage online advertising campaigns for political, corporate, and public affairs clients.

“Peter is one of the most experienced online advertising strategists in the political sphere. We’re very fortunate to have him,” said Partner Rebecca Donatelli. Amen added, “Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli are the premiere online team in Republican politics and public affairs. I look forward to helping elect more Republicans across the country and growing our issue advocacy practice in California.”

Amen is an expert in online advertising and a specialist in building and managing large political databases. He has worked successfully with clients including SarahPAC, Move America Forward, American Solutions for Winning the Future and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Amen is probably best known for his tenure as National Sales Director for Intermarkets, the publishing company for the Drudge Report. Prior to joining Intermarkets, he was the Founder and Principal of Performance Media Solutions, a media buying and management firm in San Francisco. Amen was also the Director of Sales for Interep Interactive, a full service online representation firm.

Becki Donatelli and her partner, the late Mike Connell, founded Connell Donatelli in 2003, which has developed and executed online advertising campaigns for McCain-Palin 2008, The Republican National Committee, The National Federation of Independent Business, Michele Bachmann for Congress, and scores of other political and public affairs campaigns. Founded in 1998, Campaign Solutions pioneered online fundraising for a variety of political and public affairs campaigns. The team raised over $42 million during the 2010 election cycle and nearly $100 million online for McCain-Palin 2008. Between 2009-2010, they received 55 Pollie Awards from the American Association of Political Consultants, including a record number of awards for online advertising. The team also received 4 Golden Dot Awards from the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, and a Reed Award from Campaigns & Elections. Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli were honored to be the online team selected for the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions.

For more information on Campaign Solutions and Connell Donatelli, please visit: or call (703) 684-3435.