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Obama + Web 2.0 = A (Presumptive) Presidential Nomination

The campaign of the presumptive democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, has made liberal use of social networking tools to garner support, raise campaign funds, and get their message out. So far it's working.
The campaign of the presumptive democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama, has made liberal use of social networking tools to garner support, raise campaign funds, and get their message out. So far it's working.The New York Times has an article about Facebook founder Chris Hughes who in early 2007-- inexplicably it seemed at the time -- left Facebook to work in Chicago on Senator Obama's new-media campaign.

What could Facebook have to do with politics?

Apparently a lot.

Writes Brian Stelter: "But in fact, working on the Obama campaign may have moved Mr. Hughes closer to the center of the social networking phenomenon, not farther away."

The Obama campaign's "new-media" strategy  which was inspired according to Stelter by MySpace and Facebook -- helped the candidate raise over $200 million in donations of less than $200 each and it was used to mobilize supporters before primaries.

My.Barack.Obama.com is at the center of that strategy and social networking tools are in clear evidence here: The site has local groups and lets users create events, sign up for updates and set up personal fund-raising pages.

Hughes is quoted: "If we did not have online organizing tools, it would be much harder to be where we are now."

The campaign is now ramping up its new-media strategy and incorporating other approaches to garner more support: "By early April, Mr. Obamas new-media team was already planning for the election by expanding its online phone-calling technology. In mid-May, to keep volunteers busy as the primaries played out, the campaign started a nationwide voter registration drive. And in late June, after Senator Clinton bowed out of the race, the millions of people on the Obama campaigns e-mail lists were asked to rally her supporters as well as undecided voters by hosting Unite for Change house parties across the country. Nearly 4,000 parties were held."

The article goes on to detail just how the Obama campaign will continue to exploit social networking tools to its advantage to reach both younger and older voters.

Whether you agree with Obama's politics or not one thing is indisputable: His campaign's use of Web 2.0 to get his message out is incredibly effective. For smaller businesses wondering whether using social networking tools to reach and connect  and maintain connections  with customers and clients, is worth their while, the Obama campaign is a powerful argument that it is.

(Just in case you haven't made up your mind yet, check out our quick refresher course on what the candidates' could mean for your business.)

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