Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Obama Online - the Future of Political Campaigns

MANCHESTER, NH - DECEMBER 10:  U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) greets supporters asking for autographs during a visit to a 2006 Election Celebration hosted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party December 10, 2006 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The celebration was to honor the historic victory that turned a red New Hampshire to solid blue for the first time since 1874.  (Photo by Jodi Hilton/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Barack ObamaImage by Getty Images via DaylifeLove him or hate him, Barak Obama has made history, and it wouldn't have happened without the internet and social media.

Obama's grassroots online fund raising pulled together over 1.5 million donors and outperformed the Clinton Democratic machine. His online supporters have created more than 30,000 events to support him. The campaign used wikis to organize precinct captains, created counter viral e-mail campaigns to offset anonymous smears questioning his faith and patriotism. They solicited letters from online supporters to help lobby undecided super delegates, and the campaign constantly updated it's YouTube page to contain the latest speeches and support videos, like the "yes we can" video produced by of the Black Eyed Peas after he was inspired by an Obama speech in New Hampshire.

A charismatic personality like Obama's lends itself to the online space, but much of the fervor has been spurred on by the power of social/viral content sharing. It's a new age in politics - the ones who learn how to do it right are the leaders of tomorrow.

What do you think? Could Barak Obama have won the Democratic nomination without the internet? Can McCain stop him without a powerful online counter punch?

Thanks to Sarah Lai Stirland, Wired Blog Network for great details for this post:
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