Thompson, his wife and advisers in Washington and Tennessee also are drawing up plans for a new style of campaign that would rely heavily on technology and his celebrity status to avoid some of the slogging through the snow in Iowa and New Hampshire that is normally required of White House hopefuls.

The advisers say Thompson, who plays District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC’s “Law & Order,” is researching ways to use technology — including the Web, videoconferences and teleconferences — to harness the enthusiasm for his candidacy among grass-roots bloggers and activists. The campaign also would rely on large events, such as those that have in part supplanted country-store campaigning for some in the Democratic field.

“Well-known candidates can do things a little differently,” explained one adviser. “You show up, you’re accessible, but you don’t have to go to every county seat several times.

Originally, the idea of a late-start campaign for Thompson looked like something of a lark, but the phantom candidacy is accelerating.

As I’ve said before, I think that the combination of the Internet and the Feiler Faster Principle means that Thompson can get in late and still do well. We’ll see if I’m right, but obviously he’s looking into the subject. (Via ElephantBiz). With people already getting tired of the front-runners in both parties, this just might be a smart strategy.

UPDATE: Fred-skeptic A.C. Kleinheider isn’t buying it: “It appears as though Fred Thompson is drinking from the same Kool-aid pitcher a lot of folks have since the internet was invented by Al Gore.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: A New Hampshire reader emails: “If Thompson avoids ‘slogging through the snow in New Hampshire and Iowa,’ he will make a terrible mistake.”

Well, it’s not as if the Blog Primary is the real primary. Which is too bad for Thompson at this point!