"One or two chums have fallen in love with what Obama did with the internet. That's a bit like saying that Star Wars was all about visual effects - actually it worked rather well on the narrative."
Leaving aside the fact that Star Wars had little discernible story line and was indeed all abut visual effects, I think people have to realise that internet campaigning can rarely replace face to face campaigning but it can definitely complement it. Nothing Obama's campaign did masked the need for intensive person to person and doorstep campaigning, and we shouldn't forget that.
However, Eric Pickles should also recognise the benefits of internet campaigning too, and evangelise its benefits to candidates and associations all over the country. Because at the moment they're not taking full advantages of the benefits it can offer.