Thursday, May 15, 2008

Obama + Internet Marketing = President?

The Internet has been used in political campaigns for quite some time now. And each new election cycle brings a new way of connecting with voters via technology. In the past, we've seen heavy emailing and use of meeting software to get voters together and to organize volunteers. Barack Obama's campaign has taken this type of technology-fueled campaigning to a new level this primary season. As outlined in this article, Obama has connected with voters via social networks, timely emailing, and even wikis. Yes, Obama's campaign is using public-facing wikis to share information among volunteer captains. I have to wonder if the wikis get spammed and what level of controls they have from non-volunteers contributing.

I think that Obama's success this primary season with these types of tools is a signal that these types of technologies are becoming more and more mainstream. And it is inevitable that political battles will be waged in the future in a digital environment. This article calls Obama's campaign a potential model for online politics. I don't think that assertion is all that far off. It helps Obama that a core constituency of his is young, educated voters - a group that grew up on technology and is comfortable with it. It'll be interesting to see if the next President, whoever he or she is, will use technology to communicate in non-election years. That, in my opinion, would signal that politics have indeed changed.

1 comment:

James Moore said...

I think he may have looked at Howard Dean's campaign as a model