The Revolving-Door Online

Tracking politics as it's practiced on the Web.
Oct. 21 2000 12:00 AM

The Revolving-Door Online

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Slate, the Industry Standard, and washingtonpost.com join forces to examine the effect of the Internet on Campaign 2000. 

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"I think there will be specialist sites not only for industries but even for consumer segments," adds Chris Charron, an analyst with Forrester Research and editor of the February report on online career networks. In the report, Forrester concludes that to survive, the sites must offer career management tools in addition to just job listings, to attract passive job seekers as well as active ones.

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CapitolWorks has taken a modest step in that direction, with a section called "The Well." It currently offers a column about how to land a political job, complete with links to other competing job sites in such fields as the nonprofit sector.

But there is one fact working against CapitolWorks and virtually all online job sites: The No. 1 way people find jobs today is still by word of mouth. That's even truer in the insider world of politics.

"The arithmetic of campaign networking is exponential—since you meet anywhere from 10 to 100 people on a campaign, and each of those people has worked on a number of campaigns on which they've met 10 to 100 people," says Tom Bridle, policy director of a Congressional campaign in California and a former staffer with the presidential campaign for Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J.

Though that network may hamper CapitolWorks' success, Bridle still gives the site good marks. "I'm sure that soon-to-be-ex-campaign staff will use it," he says. "Any source of information is valuable, the cost is zero and it's an easy-to-use interface." 

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