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Colin Delany
Colin Delany is a digital strategy consultant and the founder and editor of, a website that focuses on the tools and tactics of Internet politics and online advocacy. Launched in July of 2006, received the Golden Dot Award as "Best Blog - National Politics" at the 2007 Politics Online Conference. The site also features e-books including "How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014" and "Learning from Obama", the definitive guide to Barack Obama's 2012 digital campaign.

Delany started in politics in the early '90s in the Texas Capitol (where public service is considered a contact sport) and moved into the online political world in 1995. In 1999, during the first Internet boom, he helped to start a targeted search engine for politics and policy, which lasted about as long as such ideas usually do. Since then, Delany has worked as a consultant to help scrores of political & advocacy campaigns leverage online tools to achieve their communications and advocacy goals, between stints as Online Communications Manager at the National Environmental Trust and Director of Online Outreach at the National Women's Law Center. He also plays bass in a rock and roll band.

Entries by Colin Delany

Dems Should Start an 'I Got Covered' Obamacare Grassroots Campaign... Now

(2) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 9:06 AM

With Obamacare signups ahead of projections and the machinery moving (relatively) smoothly, Democrats can finally grab a breath -- the post-launch panic isn't needed any more. Instead, it's time we took a calculating look at how a successful expansion of health care coverage might just HELP Democrats in the fall......

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If Hillary Clinton Is Running for President, Here's the One Thing She Should Be Doing Right Now

(2) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 11:01 AM

Is Hillary Clinton running for President? I don't know -- but if she is, I know what she should be doing right now.

From an online organizer's point of view, the answer is simple: The essential first task for every political campaign is to build an email list. Why? A...

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The Internet in Politics: What's It Good For?

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 1:24 PM

The article below is an excerpt from the new ebook, "How to Use the Internet to Win in 2014: A Comprehensive Guide to Online Politics for Campaigns and Advocates," which is available for Kindle in the Amazon store and as a PDF download on

Sure, the internet...

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In Those Obamacare Webservers Crashing, the Sound of Tea Party Doom

(239) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 10:25 AM

The health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act came online Tuesday, and judging by most accounts, their main problem was a good one: popularity. Some of the exchange sites saw so much traffic from people interested in signing up for Obamacare that they bogged down... and in...

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Obama's 2012 Digital Campaign: Evolutionary Technology, Revolutionary Scale

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2012 | 11:34 AM

One major conclusion after sitting in session after session on the Obama campaign at RootsCamp 2012, at least as far as most of his digital campaign is concerned, was that the technology was a clear evolution from 2008, but the scale at which the campaign employed it was a...

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Are Small Online Donors the Key (and Largely Overlooked) Factor in the Presidential Race?

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 10:46 AM

With the presidential election almost upon us, here's where we stand: tight in the popular vote, but with a small but consistent Obama lead in the bulk of the battleground states. Both campaigns are spending big money on TV ads, and Obama's grassroots turnout operation is about to go into...

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If Romney's Polling Woes Continue, Look for Big Money to Flow to State Races Instead

(3) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 10:33 AM

So! Here we are in early August, in the midst a presidential race that folks have been saying would be won by a razor-thin margin either way. Funny thing: If we can believe the polls, Obama looks to be opening a solid lead. Judging from his current advertising...

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Google's Cool Congressional Redistricting Map -- Which Shows How Thoroughly Texas Liberals Get Screwed

(1) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 12:39 PM

Very few people have ever used "cool" and "redistricting" in the same headline, but longtime readers will know that I'm a bit of a redistricting nerd -- my first substantive political experience was as staffer in the Texas Legislature during a 1992 redistricting special session, and I've...

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Democrats Worried About Big Money Skewing Congressional Races: Organize Online, and Do It Now

(2) Comments | Posted May 21, 2012 | 5:54 PM

Saturday's Washington Post article about big conservative money flooding into House and Senate races is just the latest sign of this year's changing post-Citizens United political landscape. The fear among Democrats? That wealthy Republicans will pour so much money into down-ballot races that Democratic congressional candidates will...

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Winning in 2012: How to Mobilize Donors, Voters and Volunteers with Online Tools

(3) Comments | Posted May 18, 2012 | 1:58 PM

Chapter Three of the new ebook, How Campaigns Can Use the Internet to Win in 2012

Mobilization is simple in concept: it involves persuading people to do things -- donate, vote, volunteer, make phone calls, whatever. For instance, as the experience of the Obama campaign showed, one...

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Digital Tools for Political Campaigns: The Basics

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 9:41 AM

Chapter Two of the new ebook, How Campaigns Can Use the Internet to Win in 2012

Using the internet for politics may seem relatively new to some of us, but most online campaigning is a reincarnation of some classic political act in digital form. For instance, you can...

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Introduction: How Campaigns Can Use the Internet to Win in 2012

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 1:39 PM

Excerpted from the new ebook, How Campaigns Can Use the Internet to Win in 2012

Hell of a political year, eh? The president, 33 senators, all 435 House members, scores of statewide officeholders and thousands of state legislators, mayors, city council members, etc., all up for election. The presidential...

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Another Reason a Brokered Convention Would Be a Republican Disaster

(12) Comments | Posted March 1, 2012 | 6:40 PM

As talk of a brokered Republican convention refuses to fade even after Romney's Arizona and Michigan victories, you can see evidence of the profound advantage the Republicans would give the Obama campaign if they put off choosing a nominee until the party meets in Tampa in August. One...

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If Occupy Is Ephemeral, Is That a Bad Thing?

(2) Comments | Posted February 1, 2012 | 2:53 PM

With the last "permanent" Occupy encampments in D.C. and Oakland beseiged, the first chapter of the Occupy movement seems to be closing. Will there be another, and if not, is that a bad thing?

First, let's think about what the movement has accomplished so far: nothing less...

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SOPA Protests: In Internet-DRIVEN Activism, It's the Customers and Users Who Matter

(1) Comments | Posted January 19, 2012 | 9:33 AM

Here's an angle that just occurred to me about yesterday's widespread online protests against the "Stop Online Piracy Act": normally we talk about digital activism being HOSTED on the internet, but this is a great example of what happens when the companies behind the internet start to DRIVE protest. And...

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Ron Paul: Live by the Internet, Die by the Internet

(33) Comments | Posted December 27, 2011 | 10:19 AM

So Ron Paul made the bigtime today: a feature in the New York Times. What about? Those little newsletters that came out in his name a couple of decades back. You know, the ones that (among other things) predicted an upcoming race war and "contain[ed] bigotry against black,...

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As Obama's Online-Enabled Grassroots Operation Takes Shape, Do Republicans Have Anything to Match It?

(9) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 4:41 PM

This week's news that Obama's 2012 campaign has already assembled a powerful army of small online donors -- more than a million people have given him money so far, only half of whom did so in 2008 -- provided just one of many recent glimpses into the growth...

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Should OWS Switch to Online-Enabled Guerrilla Actions?

(27) Comments | Posted November 16, 2011 | 8:59 PM

With police crackdowns increasing and their physical encampments too-often attracting outright criminals looking for trouble, should Occupy Wall Street consider switching to a largely online existence?

In mid-November, the movement seems poised at a profoundly important turning point. The ideas it promoted -- that banks and a wealthy...

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By the Numbers: How Social Media Coverage of Occupy Wall Street Beat the Mainstream Media

(4) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 10:47 AM

Nate Silver had a great piece in the Times recently looking at how clashes with police seem to have driven mainstream media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests (a classic example of the principle of "if it bleeds, it leads").

The centerpiece of his article is

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What Matters More in Politics: Message or Mechanics?

(3) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 4:38 PM

Drew Westen's recent critique of Barack Obama's presidency and Jonathan Chait's devastating rebuttal raise a question for me: what matters more in politics, messaging or mechanics? In Westen's much-discussed New York Times piece, rhetoric and positioning are key: Obama's failings are fundamentally driven by bad messaging, weak leadership...

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