For Immediate Release
January 5, 2006
Contact: Brett Garner
Wiki Works: Website given nat'l attention, 7x traffic
SALT LAKE CITY, UT--The official campaign website for Pete Ashdown for US
Senate (D-UT), www.peteashdown.org, went through a wild ride on Wednesday.
After a news article was posted on a major technology blog, website traffic
increased seven fold, his interactive wiki was vandalized, repaired within
minutes, and the campaign grew stronger than ever.
Major technology website www.slashdot.org referred to a separate article
written about the campaign website by Linux Insider, discussing how Ashdown is
using a collaborative wiki on his website. The wiki allows anyone to
anonymously edit, create, and craft the campaign message, policies, and
strategies. In a coup for the campaign, Slashdot's editors posted the story
on Wednesday morning. "I have been trying to get Slashdot to
notice the campaign since before I announced in May, but haven't been
successful," Ashdown said. "At first, I was elated that
The results were amazing: website visits increased seven fold, from 675 on
Tuesday to 4,854 on Wednesday; over 3,200 of the visits were referred from the
Slashdot article. The wiki, which on Tuesday had just two alterations, has
had over 500 changes since the Slashdot post. Some of these initial changes,
though, were vandalism.
"After Slashdot reported on the wiki yesterday, there were half a dozen
malcontents determined make a mess of it," Ashdown said. "Within minutes,
others had repaired the damage. Within hours, a whole new group of people had
contributed positively to the wiki. The wiki is now better than it has ever
The vandalism occurred and was corrected between the time of the Slashdot post
at 7 AM and approximately 9:30 AM, MST. The repairs were done by wiki users,
not by the Ashdown campaign. For the remainder of the day, new users added
significantly to the site. Among the policy changes included new pages on
election reform and biofuels; there is also reinvigorated discussion on issues
such as abortion, ethics, lobbying, and Social Security. Visitors also
contributed strategic advice on endorsements, advertising, and opposition
"There are more people who want to see this succeed than those who want to
tear it down. It takes a broad spectrum of opinion to solve problems. My
campaign is about listening to all Americans, not just one side. Rhetoric and
bias stick out like a sore thumb on a public forum, even more so on a wiki."
"Some politicians are so afraid to get unfiltered feedback from the mass of
people they claim to represent. So, they invite insiders into their offices,
close the doors, and close their minds to other solutions. I am going to
change that system; I am proposing a better way." Ashdown calls his better
way "Democracy 2.0", referring to software systems that undergo major
upgrades. "Our government needs a major upgrade."
The Ashdown campaign will continue to use the wiki as a cheap, efficient
source of policy assistance, strategy advice, and networking. It is part of
an integrated strategy that combines online and traditional efforts to reach
out to voters all over Utah. He will continue to travel across the state,
including visits to Moab and Layton next week.
For more information on the campaign, visit the official website at
www.peteashdown.org. The website includes a wiki, blog, interactive photo
gallery, and continuous live chat room.
Press Availability: Pete Ashdown will be available to all media wishing more
comments on this story. On Friday, January 6, from 3 PM-5 PM, please call
(801) 983 7383 to speak directly to Pete. He is also available to questions
via email: email@example.com.