David Karpf, associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and author of a variety of texts on the meeting point of technology, strategy, and politics, visited LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication early in the spring of 2017 to discuss his latest book, Analytic Activism: Digital Listening and the New Political Strategy (Oxford University Press, 2016).
In “Analytic Activism,” Karpf discusses the overlooked role of analytics in organized political engagement. He explores how this new mode of activism works, how it is produced, what it is useful for, and what its limitations are.
Digital media, Karpf argues, has transformed political activism, most remarkably by enabling organized activist groups to listen as the seemingly disorganized masses speak. Organized advocacy groups are, he writes, increasingly turning to digital analytics in order to gauge supporter interest, monitor public sentiment, experiment with new tactics, and craft strategies that resonate in the new media environment.