The 2014 '30 Under 30'

Congrats to this year's 30 -- check out the full list here!

Eric Wilson

Eric is a proud native of Wichita Falls, Texas, and a graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. He now lives and works on Capitol Hill. Professionally, he's a client strategist at Engage, where he's focused on helping Republicans get elected to Congress. Personally, he's an avid NASCAR fan and he goes to the movies more often than he should. Follow Eric on Twitter at @ericwilson.



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Articles From Eric

Ailing recording industry unfairly targeting satellite, Internet music platforms

I can’t remember the last time I bought an actual music CD. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I bought a song on iTunes. Like most young adults, I listen (legally) to music through Internet radio or via the cloud.

While most Internet music platforms, like Pandora and Spotify, offer users music for free, the services still have to pay royalties to the copyright holders. The royalty rates that the services have to pay are set by a panel of three copyright judges and are based on the “marketplace” rate for musical license.

Under this scheme, music webcasters pay a higher royalty rate than other digital music broadcasters. “Last year,” says Pandora’s Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren, “ Pandora paid roughly 50 percent of its total revenue in royalties, more than six times the percentage paid by SiriusXM.”

New Google tool helps voters find election day polling stations, candidate information

On Tuesday, if someone asks you where they’re supposed to vote, you can now say “Let Me Google That For You.”

As part of the Voting Information Project, Google has released its Voter Information Tool, which allows a user to enter his or her address and find the official polling place and the hours it will be open on Election Day. If early voting options are available, those are displayed as well.

In addition to voting locations and times, the VIT provides links to each candidate’s website and social networks as well as any statewide ballot questions. The tool is designed to equip voters with the information they need about their candidates, all the way from the president and vice president to local officials.

Eventbrite: a Fast-Rising Political Star

If you’ve RSVP’d to a political event in the last few months, there’s a good chance you did so via the platform, Eventbrite. What’s behind the platform’s dominance of the political event space this cycle?

Chad Barth, who heads up Republican outreach for Eventbrite’s Political Team, says the platform’s features make it a natural fit for campaigns and organizations. Managing an event for a campaign can be a hassle: you’ve got to send the invites, get the RSVPs, collect payments, generate tickets, and check everyone in.

With Eventbrite, this is all done within a single platform through a very simple interface that anyone can set up in a matter of minutes.

Advice for First Time RNC Convention Attendees

An estimated 50,000 politicians, delegates, operatives, volunteers, and members of the media are preparing to make the trek to Tampa, FL for the 2012 Republican National Convention. For a first-timer, like myself, the whole thing can seem a daunting experience, so I turned to some convention veterans for advice on surviving the GOP’s big week.

New Polls Spell Bad News for Obama as Republican Voting Enthusiasm Soars

Republicans have a major advantage over Democrats in voter enthusiasm heading into November and President Obama’s greatest challenge will be getting his base to turnout.

In June, Gallup found that Democrats’ enthusiasm about voting was “down sharply” when compared to 2004 and 2008. In the summer of 2004, 68 percent of Democrats were “more enthusiastic than usual” about voting compared with 51 percent of Republicans.

When President Obama was first elected in 2008, that number was a 61 percent – 35 percent split. In June 2012, the numbers had flipped and Democrats’ enthusiasm bottomed out at just 39 percent. By comparison, 51 percent of Republicans were more enthusiastic.

Peek Analytics Finds Romney Twitter Followers Generally Older Than Obama Followers

Not much surprised Michael Hussey, founder of PeekAnalytics, when his team analyzed Mitt Romney’s followers on Twitter and found that they are generally older and wealthier than Barack Obama’s followers.

In addition to age and income levels, PeekAnalytics follower reports include gender, geography, education, interests, and industry. As Hussey explains “we know quite a bit more about Twitter users than Twitter does.”

#FixYoungAmerica Says Key To Ending Youth Unemployment is Removing Barriers To Entrepreneurship

With 50 percent of new college grads out of work or underemployed, the Young Entrepreneur Council believes that the key to ending youth unemployment is to make it easier for young adults to start their own businesses.

#FixYoungAmerica is a YEC initiative that has culminated in an eBook containing their solutions for solving our nation’s youth unemployment crisis. The solutions include student loan forgiveness for young entrepreneurs, opening up crowdfunding to small businesses, and increasing access to capital for young founders.

Managing Millennials in the workplace

Would you turn down a job because they wouldn’t let you Tweet or use Facebook at work? How about making you use a BlackBerry instead of an iPhone? For many Millennials, these questions are increasingly more important than salary when it comes to finding work.

According to a recent study, Millennials (Young people the study defines as having been born between 1976 and 2001.) prioritize “meaningful work” over salary when it comes to employment.  And one in three said freedom to use social media, use the devices of their preference and “work mobility” are more important than salary when it comes to accepting a job offer.

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School teamed up with the Young Entrepreneurs Council and their #FixYoungAmerica campaign to develop an infographic intended to guide employers on how to successfully manage Millennials.

How to follow SCOTUS’ Obamacare decision online

All eyes turn to the Supreme Court this week as the nation awaits its decision on the question of Obamacare’s constitutionality. Without live TV or radio allowed in the court, social media has stepped in and filled a surprisingly large gap.

SOTUSblog’s live coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. EST on Monday and Thursday, an hour before the Court convenes. In preparation for high traffic this week, they’ve moved their live blog to a different website that can handle more traffic, which can be accessed here.

New Video Chat Feature “Airtime” Recently Released For Facebook Users

Airtime, a new social video network founded by Sean Parker of Napster fame, aims to connect users with live video chats in “an environment that is collaborative, fun and safe.” Think of Airtime as Chatroulette… without the nudity.

Airitime users (Airtimers) can only launch Airtime by connecting with Facebook and must do so by setting up their computer’s webcam and microphone. Users can choose to chat with their Facebook friends, nearby Airtimers, Airtimers who are friends of your friends, and Airtimers who share your interests.

Microsoft hopes new So.cl site will make some friends

Microsoft hopes its new site So.cl (pronounced “social”) will make some friends in the social networking ecosystem.

You never want to be the person who says a new social network isn’t going to take off, because there’s always the chance that you will be proven wrong in astonishing fashion. But I think it’s safe to say So.cl is far from being a game changer or even something that will have mass appeal.

Think of So.cl as Pinterest meets Google+ meets Bing search, which reveals its main barrier to success. In the already crowded space of social networking – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, LinkedIn, etc. – who has time for another platform?

5 Reasons Why Facebook Isn’t a Fad

According to a new Associated Press-CNBC poll, 46% of Americans questioned say Facebook is a fad that “will fade away as new things come along.” This poll was released just days before the social media giant’s IPO, which is expected to raise more $16 billion.

Here’s a look at five reasons why Facebook is more than just a fad

There is no room for moderates in this election

The writing is on the wall. There is no room for moderates in our current political landscape.

In the House, the moderate Blue Dog Democrats are on the brink of extinction after suffering two major electoral defeats in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary on April 24. In the Senate, two senior Republicans face credible challenges from the right.

House GOP New Media Challenge Heats Up

House Republicans find themselves in the midst of an intense rivalry this spring.

After losing the majority in 2006, House Republicans turned to new media in a serious way. By taking their message directly to the American people, and, more importantly, taking their cues directly from the American people, Republicans returned to the majority.

Today, House Republicans dominate on Twitter — both in terms of followers and activity — and the House GOP Leadership continues to encourage their Members to embrace digital media. This year marks the third annual New Media Challenge.

Occupy movement plots May Day mischief

Leaders of the Occupy movement are preparing for May Day, aka International Workers’ Day, with action around the country.

During a highly disorganized conference call on Tuesday night, leaders from The99Spring.com identified their top priorities for the Occupy movement this spring to be confronting corporate power and taking back “our” democracy.

Representatives from the New Organizing Institute, National Peoples Action, Occupy Wall Street and other Left Wing groups made plans to take on the student loan industry, shareholders meetings, home lenders and the energy sector during their Spring offensive.

Obama, Romney are Mictrotargeting you…online

A new era of advertising is upon us and offers capabilities Don Draper and the rest of the Mad Men could only have dreamed of.

While online advertisers have been using tracking pixels – commonly known as cookies – for years, the advent of social and mobile data has unlocked a whole new world for marketers. For political campaigns, this means targeting the right voter with the right message at the right time in the right place.

Digital strategists have been touting Big Data for campaigns since 2010, but the 2012 election represents the first time this new technology is being used aggressively by campaigns to win votes. As the Atlantic reports, both the Obama and Romney campaigns are using this data to line up votes before Election Day.

The end of Instagram? What Facebook’s acquisition really means

Earlier today, Facebook announced it is acquiring Instagram for $1 billion, signalling big changes for the quirky photo sharing app.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s post on the announcement seeks to allay fears about how this will affect Instagram, whose fans are fiercely loyal. Zuckerberg is saying all of the right things, but Instagrammers are rightly suspicious of this huge announcement.

First, Zuckerberg promises that Facebook is “committed to building and growing Instagram independently,” which means, for now, the app will remain a standalone product. If Facebook is such a big fan of Instagram, why not simply invest money into the project while keeping it outside of the Facebook umbrella?

The Citizen Cosponsor Project – Now YOU Can Cosponsor Legislation

Have you ever thought you could do a better job choosing legislation than your Member of Congress? Now’s your chance.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently introduced Citizen Cosponsor Project as “an innovative way for you to stay in touch with your Member of Congress.” The project is part of an effort by the Office of the Majority Leader and House Republicans to leverage technology to better serve the American people.

New Occupy Website Powered by Member of the 1%

It’s been more than seven months since the Occupy Wall Street movement began in New York’s Zucotti Park and gave us the class warfare rallying cry of “We are the 99%.” And while our nation’s downtown parks are mostly free of the squalid encampments, the movement is hoping to centralize its efforts online at its new site, Occupy.com. According to its creators Occupy.com “is a new media channel that will amplify the voices of Occupy.”

The site is being bankrolled by film producer Larry Taubman, who reportedly provided $130,000 in seed money for the project as well as kicking in “a large confidential sum” for the domain name Occupy.com. In addition to the ironic fact that Occupy.com is made possible by benefactors of the 1%, the site faces a number of challenges.

Pinterest Emerges as New Social Media Tool for Campaign 2012

With 11 million unique users logging on each month to pin photos to virtual pinboards, Pinterest has broken through as one of the ten most popular social networking sites on the Internet. The site’s rapid rise to popularity has opened up a new front in the online political battle.

The key with any digital platform is to know what content works and what doesn’t. We’ve all seen Tweets and Facebook posts and thought to ourselves, “you’re doing it wrong,” and the same goes for Pinterest.

Here’s a look at how campaigns and other political organizations can use Pinterest effectively.