The Technological Development of Congressional Candidate Websites: How and Why Candidates Use Web Innovations
The Internet offers political candidates a new way to campaign. Part of the Internet's novelty comes from technological options not available in most other media. Candidates, however, must weigh various benefits and costs in using a given technological innovation. For example, technology that allows for increased user interactivity may lead to a more stimulating web site but might distract users from the campaign's central message. In this article, the authors use data from 444 congressional campaign web sites, over two elections, to examine how candidates approach web technology. They investigate the factors that lead candidates to utilize or avoid particular technological features. They show that technological adoption is determined by both practical and strategic political considerations. Of particular interest, the competitiveness of a candidate's race leads the candidate to use more sophisticated presentation technologies but less advanced interactive innovations because these latter options interfere with the candidate's message.
Parkin, Michael, James N. Druckman, and Martin Kifer. 2007. "The Technological Development of Congressional Candidate Websites: How and Why Candidates Use Web Innovations." Social Science Computer Review 25(4): 1-18.
Social Science Computer Review