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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Daveberta Punk's Premier Ed. I Love it!

Register a Domain name - $14.00
Google Ad revenue - $20.00 per month
Punkin’ Premier Ed – Priceless.

My hat goes off to my friend daveberta (http://www.daveberta.com/) for a very clever political prank and effective practical joke around edstelmach.ca. It works at so many levels. Playing the poor debt ridden student victim card is even richer. This is a pure and politically powerful university student prank. I love it.

The magnificent mischief in registering the domain name is likely all Dave and not the Alberta Liberals. They are as old school as my Progressive Conservative Party. It shows the digital divide is not only able access but about application of the power of the Internet. So many people in power today don’t get it.

Sure there are legalities and issues – if that is how you see the world. This stunt by Dave is pure prank and while it may be technically “offensive” such a breach is at the level of a petty trespass and not an identity theft. This is the 21st century equivalent of renting the billboard right above you competitions campaign office at election time.

The legalistic over reaction and the delayed in catching on by the powers that be in the PC Party is classic old school. Klein did this delayed over reaction thing once too when he read one of Kevin Taft’s policy books and called him a Communist thereby catapulting Taft into the spotlight and turning the book into an Alberta best seller. Duh!

Dave is no political amateur and he knows exactly what he is doing. He has had this site for almost a year and presumably linking it to the Harry Strom Wikipedia entry for all that time. Delaying the “release” of the letter from the lawyers until the slower news time after Christmas and playing the media so adeptly shows Dave’s sophistication about such things.

The classic response of a cease and desist legal letter has put the prank into the MSM and all over the Blogoshpere in spades. The resulting media coverage is ensuring Dave’s goal of framing the PCs as “so yesterday” politically is now accomplished – as of this morning 79 comments are on Dave’s blog post. Even Craig Chandler is commenting on Dave’s blog offering to buy the domain name hoping Ed Stelmach would still pursue him he was in control of the site.

Premier Stelmach, it is time to back off. If you want to get out of a hole the first thing to do is stop digging. Acknowledge the prank and that it has served its purpose and move on. The take away learning from this is for the mainstream political parties to get some young hip people into the key communications positions in their campaign organization. Quit criticizing Cournoyer and clone him.