The title of Joe Trippi’s book was one that really reaffirmed my faith in social media on the web. Joe Trippi was the campaign manager of Howard Dean, the unsuccessful 2004 Democratic presidential nominee for 2004, who was credited to be the first presidential and perhaps first political, candidate to use the Internet to raise his profile and funds significantly, with the Web.
Now, add the the 2008 presidential race. Today, Barack Obama launches his presidential campaign. His website is immensely integrated with social media. If you don’t know who Obama is, you might easily have mistaken his website to be another new Web 2.0 startup, complete with a blog that updates his events, speeches and appearances. There is a webcast earlier today of his announcement in the
home state of Illinois where he’s a senator. His website encourages visitors to
There are highly identifiable badges, buttons and links to popular social media sites such as social networking site Facebook, photo sharing site Flickr, No1 video site Youtube and he even asks pple to create their own “parties” (more for rallying supporters than drinking). Trust me, he has been doing this for quite a while. I am a “friend” of Obama based on our Facebook profile linkups. 😀
His campaign team obviously understands the power of the internet in reaching out effectively to the electorate, especially the young voters who might just be the swing voters this time as Obama inspires the politically disenfranchised and disillusioned voters who are sick of the mudslinging divisiveness of the “You’re either with us or against us” Bush era. Obama brings an invigorating and uplifting message. Even if he might not wind, his message is more important than the man himself – to let the people take back politics from the politicians. Using social media, get your friends, family involved in the process again of grassroots activism.
Its not just Barack Obama. The 2008 Democratic presidential nomination has seen Hilary Clinton announce her candidacy (click to see videos) on her website and video too in addition to network TV. Also John Edwards announced his candidacy with video, later uploaded on Youtube, amidst a backdrop of debris in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans.
There is no better way for the Internet to demonstrate its democratized ways than through Democratic politics. The web revolution conquers the political realm and goodbye and good night, television.