It’s safe to say that Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser has lost support from The Internet. However, what most people might not remember from a mere two years back was that the Funkhouser campaign was extremely Internet savvy and earned a loyal online following via myspace (wow, it was long ago) a blog and a few campy dog commercials.
Heck, the guy was so open to new technology that I was even contacted to make a video documenting a brief interview at his trailer based campaign headquarters.
Now, more than halfway through with his tenure, the local Internet is completely out of love with Kansas City’s Mayor.
To be fair, the Funk still has a few supporters online that desperately slug it out with all of the haters. There are suspicious minds who claim that Funkhouser supporters on the Internet are really workers in his Administration, but I’m willing to believe that under the cloak of online anonymity and in the privacy of their homes there are still at least a few “regular folks” who don’t think the Mayor is so bad.
Question remains, when did Kansas City’s online denizens fall out of love with the Mayor?
Maybe the final break up point was more recently than we think. When the diary of the Mayor’s wife was broadcast, published and put online in all of it’s PDF goodness. That might have been a sign to early adopters that the Mayor and his Administration might not have been as tech savvy as they seemed, having let a sensitive file carelessly fall into the lap of tenacious former Kansas City Star reporter DeAnn Smith.
From there, the Internet status of KC’s Mayor only grows more bleak.
The Mayor has recently taken to Twitter and so far he has only 4 followers which include me, The Pitch and two spam bots. Here’s the latest quote from one of the Mayor’s Twitter accolytes: “Britney suck cock and fuc..ked., Lohan, H.i.lton, a.nd. lots m.ore.” I know, that’s captivating stuff but maybe not the quality of support the Mayor once received online.
Then there’s Funk’s Front Porch, The Mayor’s blog, that was once a pioneering attempt at transparency in KC Politics. They’re currently moving the site from Typead to the City’s recently redesigned web site. Funkhouser’s staff closed off comments long ago and that’s when most people lost interest.
And for the most part the blog has been useless for anyone but jerks like me who make fun of Gloria Squitiro’s weekly newsletter.
Here’s another example of the Mayor’s out-of-date Internet efforts: Current Chief of Staff Kendrick Blackwood is STILL listed on the Mayor’s blog as a subordinate of Former Funkhouser Communications Dude Joe Miller. Remember that Miller left Mayor’s office under tense circumstances and has recounted his experience in local media and on Salon.com, generating controversy with nearly every revelation along with accusations of betrayal from Funkhouser supporters and local political watchers.
So what’s the lesson here?
Constant updates and keeping current on the Internet is a must in order to stay on top. Also, interaction with online denizens might be helpful. Look for the next series of Mayoral hopefuls to at least start out with some kind of a similar web strategy that was once pioneered in Kansas City by Mayor Funkhouser’s first campaign.