Internet activism has always been a medium of inclusiveness — Twitter and YouTube rather than either/or. And this time around, there will be even more new technologies no presidential candidate has used before, such as canvassing apps for the iPhone and iPad, or location-targeting technologies for field organizers.
At the same time, classic sites like Facebook and Google have new features that could change the 2012 dynamic in unpredictable ways.
"For even the most traditional kinds of actors to be nimble in these spaces, it's mostly going to depend on their willingness to exploit these new tools and their interest in going into places where all the outcomes aren't necessarily well understood," says Lee Rainie, who directs the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life project.
Pew research shows that, aided by the Tea Party's enthusiasm, Republicans caught up to Democrats in their use of new media during the 2010 midterm elections.Read More