Saturday, February 10, 2007

Obama Campaign and Web 2.0

Barack Obama's website launched social networking software today, as a way to organize and mobilize supporters. Really. I already have a profile, in case you want to be my friend (I'm not even kidding. you can make friends and I really do have a profile. there is no place to put your relationship status, though, so I don't suggest using to find a politically active date).

I think it's a great idea to harness the power of web 2.0 toward politics. I think that Obama supporters are the most likely to go for it. At least, if I'm any indication. He also is using U2's "city of blinding lights" for a campaign song, so pretty much he's got me pegged. Too bad I don't have any money.

These developments raise some interesting questions, though, about the power of internet culture in politics. Many will argue that political blogs have had a huge impact in the '06 election, and others before, but '06 did not see the kind of assault on web media forms we are seeing already now. It will be interesting to see how other candidates use this technology and what effect it has on the election, especially given the narrow demographic of those who spend a lot of time on the internet.


kristen said...

There is such a crazy use of tech...Hillary and her web chats, Edwards and his Youtube announcement...I am really excited to see the impact as well!

Rachel said...

Ack, I'm such a sucker for "City of Blinding Lights!"

This should be interesting; people I've talked to either think Obama is nuts or the next JFK.

Anonymous said...

I do not think Obama is nuts, or the next JFK. Here in Chicago, you'd think he's the only presidential candidate, though.

I've become much less of an Obama fan since he started gearing up to run-- I think he's losing some of his authenticity (which was his biggest strength) and sounding more political and vague, especially in his recent speeches. What it boils down to is: I don't trust him. I think he's trying to have it both ways on issues like women's rights and gay rights and he's too overtly religious to trust with decent science education. Not that he'd necessarily oppose any of those things, just that he won't go out of his way to uphold them.

I'm planning to vote for Clinton. I have reservations, but I love the idea of a tough, non-cookie-baking, outspoken woman as president. I'm pretty confident she'll give up the fake centrism and appoint decent judges. And, of course, I expect 'legal, safe, and rare' to mean all kinds of good things and not 'parental notification laws'.

Could this be the first time we've picked different candidates? And are you registered in Georgia now?

-evil twin

o1mnikent said...

hey Bethany,

long time no see. Hope you're doing well.

I'm a huge Obama fan and I think he has a good shot at winning the democratic nomination, but I don't think that web 2.0 will have too much to do with it. Much was said of Howard Dean's use of the web in his campaign four years ago (blogs, networking, fundraising, etc.), but his campaign fell apart. Maybe it's because web 2.0 appeals to a demographic that, by itself, is too small to guarantee a win (such as twenty-something bloggers like you and me).

Still, I think Obama is a much better candidate than Dean.

o1mnikent said...

Sorry, that last line should have read:

I think Obama is a much better candidate than Dean *was*.