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Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference
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Solop, The Keys To The White House, Isa Conference

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This paper explores Barack Obama's social media strategy in the 2008 presidential campaign. In the paper I argue that lessons learned from the campaign are being translated by the Obama team into a …

This paper explores Barack Obama's social media strategy in the 2008 presidential campaign. In the paper I argue that lessons learned from the campaign are being translated by the Obama team into a mechanism for governance today

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  • 1. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 The
Keys
to
the
White
House:
 
 Electronic
Democracy

 
 and
the

 
 Race
for
the
Presidency
of
the
United
States
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Frederic
I.
Solop
 Professor
&
Chair
 Department
of
Political
Science
 PO
Box
15036
 Northern
Arizona
University
 Flagstaff,
AZ

86011
 Phone:
+1
(928)
523‐3135
 E‐mail:
Fred.Solop@nau.edu
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Prepared
for
presentation
at
the
21st
World
Congress
of
Political
Science,
Santiago,
Chile,
 July
12
–
July
16,
2009.
  • 2. 
 I.
Introduction
 
 Democratic
political
systems
are
built
upon
a
foundation
of
ongoing
interactions
between
 citizens
and
policy‐makers.
The
nature
and
structure
of
these
interactions
are
locked
into
 an
essential
relationship
with
prevailing
technology.
Technology
shapes
what
is
possible
 and
ultimately
creates
new
possibilities
by
way
of
shaping
mechanisms
of
political
 participation,
and
defining
how
political
campaigns
and
governance
are
played
out
in
 society.
This
paper
focuses
on
the
role
of
technology
in
shaping
the
outcome
of
the
most
 recent
(2008)
presidential
election
contest
in
the
United
States.
As
the
first
president
to
be
 born
in
the
Vietnam
era,
Barack
Obama
was
comfortable
introducing
new
technologies
into
 his
campaign
for
the
presidency.
Technology
played
a
critical
role
in
helping
Obama
 distribute
his
message
to
a
wide
audience,
organize
volunteers
throughout
the
nation,
and
 raise
unprecedented
amounts
of
money.
Obama
is
now
building
upon
lessons
learned
n
the
 presidential
campaign
and
integrating
technology
into
a
comprehensive
model
of
 governance.
 
 
 II.
Background
 
 Politics
and
technology
are
inextricably
bound
together.
Whether
campaigning
for
office,
 organizing
constituencies,
or
governing,
strategic
options
are
a
function
of
dominant
tools
 for
connecting
political
actors
and
exchanging
information
(Postman
1993,
Bimber
2003).
 When
Johannes
Guttenberg
invented
the
first
printing
press
in
1440,
he
could
not
have
 predicted
the
impact
this
new
technology
would
have
on
major
institutions
such
as
 religion,
the
arts,
science,
and
politics
(Postman
1993).
The
introduction
of
the
Guttenberg
 press
meant
that
information‐‐ideas,
arguments,
stories‐‐could
be
mass‐produced
and
 distributed
to
a
large
audience.
At
the
same
time
that
communications
became
more
 distant
and
removed
from
the
producer
of
information,
ideas
took
on
a
broader
scope
 bringing
larger
groups
into
a
common
understanding
of
perceptions
and
reality.

Nation
 states
soon
realized
the
potential
of
written
information
to
maintain
order
and
help
build
 the
modern
nation
state.
Mass
literacy
campaigns
were
put
in
place
to
allow
citizens
access
 to
this
new
form
of
expression
(Ginsberg,
1987).

 
 At
a
later
time,
the
telegraph
enabled
information
to
be
communicated
instantaneously
 over
long
distances
(Postman,
1992).

When
the
telegraph
technology
reached
mass
 distribution
in
the
United
States
in
the
mid
1800’s,
the
transmission
of
news
was
reduced
 from
days
to
seconds.
Whereas
information
may
have
taken
four
days,
at
a
minimum,
to
 travel
from
coast‐to‐coast
in
the
United
States,
it
was
now
distributed
instantaneously.
This
 helped
to
forge
a
nation
shaped
by
a
common
understanding
of
the
world
around
us.

 
 President
Franklin
Roosevelt
became
famous
for
conducting
“Fireside
Chats”
on
the
radio
 starting
in
1933.
Radio
allowed
Roosevelt
to
carry
on
personal,
informal
communications
 with
the
nation.
For
the
first
time,
large
numbers
of
people
could
listen
to
the
voice
of
the
 president
and
be
both
inspired
and
reassured
by
his
message.
Presidential
campaigning
 was
changed
forever
in
1960
when
candidates
John
Kennedy
and
Richard
Nixon
engaged
in
 
 1

  • 3. a
series
of
televised
debate,
ushering
in
the
era
of
television‐oriented
politics.
Interestingly,
 those
listening
to
the
debates
on
the
radio
thought
Richard
Nixon
had
won,
while
those
 watching
the
debates
on
TV
thought
Kennedy
exhibited
the
better
performance.
This
 experience
demonstrated
not
only
how
technology
shapes
the
delivery
of
a
message,
but
 how
technology
shapes
perception
of
those
messages
as
well.
 
 The
newest
technology
to
redefine
how
democratic
nations
communicate
is
the
Internet.
 Much
has
already
been
written
about
how
the
World
Wide
Web
and
the
Internet
have
 influenced
politics
(Davis
1999,
Wilhem
2000.
Solop
2001,
Bimber
and
Davis
2003,
 Kersting
and
Baldersheim
2004,
Owen
and
Davis
2008).
This
discussion
has
focused
largely
 on
the
impact
of
the
Internet
on
balloting,
on
candidate
fundraising,
and
the
broader
 impact
of
the
Internet
on
political
participation.
Contemporary
researchers
agree
that
the
 Internet
has
ushered
in
a
new
era
of
political
communications
and
governance.
 
 As
we
delve
further
into
this
topic,
we
see
that
the
Internet
is
significantly
different
from
 technologies
of
the
past.
Previous
communication
technologies
have
had
a
static
structure.
 The
printing
press
was
essentially
the
same
in
1840
as
it
was
in
1940,
or
2009
for
that
 matter.
Radio
involved
the
centralized
broadcasting
of
a
message
across
airwaves.
The
 waves
are
received
using
radios
and
listened
to
by
people
residing,
working,
or
recreating
 within
a
relatively
close
distance.
Radio
technology
has
been
relatively
static
between
1930
 and
2009.
The
same
can
be
said
about
television
technology.
A
television
signal
is
 broadcast
from
a
centralized
source
and
people
with
a
receiver
capture
these
signals
and
 view
the
broadcasts.
 
 The
same
cannot
be
said
of
Internet
technology.
The
structure
of
information
delivery
on
 the
Internet
has
fundamentally
changed
in
just
the
last
few
years.
When
discussing
the
 Internet,
it
is
valuable
to
distinguish
between
two
types
of
Internet
technologies:
Web
1.0
 and
Web
2.0.

Much
like
radio
and
television,
Web
1.0
involves
a
one‐way
flow
of
 information
from
a
central
information
source
to
a
broad
number
of
information
 consumers.
People
post
information
to
a
website,
for
example,
and
Internet
users
read
the
 information.

 
 The
Internet
is
different
today.
Web
2.0
involves
a
fundamental
shift
in
information
flow.

 We
now
have
a
2‐way
flow
of
information.
Information
consumers
are
now
information
 producers
in
their
own
right.
Regular
people,
you
and
me,
our
neighbors
and
coworkers
 now
read
information
posted
on
websites
and
comment
or
post
their
own
ideas
for
others
 to
comment.
Over
time,
a
collective
understanding
of
knowledge
and
wisdom
emerges.
 Information
is
democratized
in
the
Web
2.0
world.
It
goes
without
saying
that
Web
2.0
has
 fundamentally
changed
the
nature
of
political
expression
and
political
campaigning
at
the
 end
of
the
first
decade
of
the
21st
century.
Whereas
political
expression
using
Web
1.0
 technology
is
similar
to
an
arrow
launched
toward
a
bulls
eye
target,
expression
in
the
Web
 2.0
world
features
the
back
and
forth
volley
characteristic
of
ping
pong.
 
 
 2

  • 4. Web
2.0
technology
lies
behind
the
success
 of
social
media.
The
term
‘social
media’
 encompasses
the
tools
that
easily
allow
for
 information
sharing
using
the
Internet.
 Beyond
simply
allowing
users
to
post
 information,
these
tools
allow
users
to
 network
with
one
another
and
form
 personal
relationships.
The
tools
facilitate
 formation
of
communities
brought
together
 by
similar
interests
and
perspectives
of
the
 world.
Social
media
tools
include
sites
that
 allow
for
blogging
and
microblogging,
photo
 sharing,
video
sharing,
social
networking,
 publishing,
podcasting,
and
participation
in
 
 virtual
worlds.
Many,
many
social
media
 sites
for
available
for
personal
and
business
use.
 
 Presidential
campaigns
in
the
United
States
began
accessing
Web
1.0
technology
in
1996
 when
candidates
Bill
Clinton
and
George
Bush
first
constructed
campaign
websites.
These
 early
campaign
websites
were
more
similar
to
campaign
brochures,
though
in
a
different
 medium.
Candidates
identified
their
strengths,
posted
issue
papers,
and
maybe
posted
 photographs
to
create
a
personal
look
and
feel
to
the
site.
The
power
of
web
technology
 began
to
be
realized
when
John
McCain,
2000
Republican
candidate
for
president,
made
 history
raising
$2.7
million
over
the
Internet
within
72
hours
of
winning
the
New
 Hampshire
presidential
primary
(Price,
2004).
The
McCain
example
demonstrated
that
 campaign
websites
could
play
a
significant
role
in
candidate
fundraising.
Campaign
website
 readers
were
willing
to
not
simply
be
passive
recipients
of
centrally
posted
information,
 they
might
absorb
the
provided
information
and
translate
that
information
into
an
actual
 financial
donation.

 
 The
world
of
presidential
politics
and
the
Internet
in
the
United
States
changed
 significantly
in
2004
with
the
candidacy
of
Howard
Dean,
an
independently
minded
 Democratic
Party
candidate.
Dean
hired
Joe
Trippi
as
campaign
manager.

One
of
Trippi’s
 first
activities
was
to
officially
begin
promoting
the
Dean
candidacy
using
a
little
know
 web‐based
service
called
“MeetUp.com”
(Trippi,
2004).
Meetup.com
is
an
international
site
 that
facilitates
real‐time
meetings
between
people
who
share
a
common
interest.
Today
(in
 2009),
more
than
63,000
meetup
groups
have
been
organized.
The
Dean
campaign
 encouraged
followers
to
join
the
site
and
then
‘meet
up’
in
local
communities
around
the
 nation.
Meetup.com
captured
the
imagination
of
an
independently
minded,
highly
 motivated,
young
constituency.
Volunteer
meetups
became
places
for
Dean
followers
to
 engage
other
Dean
followers
and
to
organize
local
activities
that
help
spread
information
 about
Dean’s
candidacy.

 
 The
nature
of
presidential
campaigns
in
the
United
States
was
already
undergoing
change
 when
Web
2.0
technology
was
introduced
in
the
mid‐2000’s.
Some
may
date
the
origin
of
 Web
2.0
to
the
late
1990’s
with
the
introduction
of
‘Weblogs,’
later
known
as
blogs.
By
 
 3

  • 5. January
1999,
23
weblogs
were
in
existence
(Information
Week
2009).
The
idea
of
weblogs
 (later
known
simply
as
‘blogs’)
took
off
like
wildfire.
According

to
Information
Week
 (2009),
by
July
2004,
over
3
million
weblogs
existed.
At
the
same
time
that
blogging
was
 becoming
popular,
other
social
media
sites
began
to
appear
and
be
embraced
by
large
 numbers
of
Internet
users.
By
mid‐2000’s
that
major
social
media
sites
became
common:
 MySpace
(2003),
Facebook
(2004),
Flickr1
(2004),
Digg2
(2004).
O’Reilly
and
Associates
 labeled
these
social
media
tools
“Web
2.0”
when
the
organization
sponsored
a
Web
2.0
 conference
in
October
2004.

Today,
more
than
100
million
blogs
are
being
actively
 maintained
and
hundreds
of
social
media
sites
are
in
existence.
 
 
 III.
Barack
Obama’s
Social
Media
Strategy
 
 There
is
no
question
that
Barack
Obama
feels
comfortable
using
technology
and
 understands
the
value
of
technology
for
shaping
future
events.
As
reported
by
Stelter
 (2007),
the
blackberry‐wielding
candidate
had
this
to
say
about
the
topic:
 
 “One
of
my
fundamental
beliefs
from
my
days
as
a
community
organizer
is
 that
real
change
comes
from
the
bottom
up,
and
there’s
no
more
powerful
 tool
for
grass‐roots
organizing
than
the
Internet.”
 
 Candidate
Obama
turned
to
one
of
the
most
successful
social
media
figures
in
the
world
to
 develop
his
social
media
strategy.
That
figure
was
Chris
Hughes,
one
of
the
founders
of
 Facebook.
Facebook
is
arguably
the
most
successful
social
media
tool
in
existence
today,
 with
more
than
200
million
active
users,
100
million
of
whom
log
in
every
day
(Singer
 2009).
A
population
of
this
size
elevates
Facebook
into
essentially
being
the
fifth
largest
 nation
in
the
world,
behind
the
United
States
and
ahead
of
Brazil.3
Histories
of
Facebook,
 often
credit
Mark
Zuckerberg,
a
23
year
old
student
at
Harvard
University
with
developing
 and
promoting
the
concept
of
a
social
media
site
allowing
for
interaction
among
college
 students
(Phillips,
2007).
But
the
full
story
discusses
how
Zuckerberg
worked
with
his
two
 Harvard
roommates
to
develop
the
site.
Given
the
almost
overnight
success
of
Facebook,
It
 is
not
surprising
that
Barack
Obama,
a
technology‐savvy
candidate
for
President
of
the
 United
States,
turned
to
Chris
Hughes,
one
of
the
founders
of
Facebook,
to
direct
his
online
 social
media
campaign.
 
 Hughes
began
working
with
the
Obama
campaign
in
February
2007
(Stelter
2007).
The
 centerpiece
of
Hughes’
work
was
to
create
an
online
social
networking
community,
much
 like
had
emerged
on
Facebook.
He
did
this
by
taking
charge
of
a
website
titled
 “mybarackobama.com”
or
“myBO”
for
short
(Stelter
2007).
MyBO
allowed
visitors
to
create
 personal
profiles,
create
blogs,
share
information
with
their
neighbors,
organize
and
 advertise
local
events,
and
solicit
donations.
By
July
2008,
the
site
recorded
more
than
 900,000
subscribers.
Stelter
(2007)
writes
that
the
site
was
particularly
useful
during
the
 























































 1
<Flickr.com>
Photo
archiving
and
distribution
site.
 2
<Digg.com>
News
site
allowing
users
to
share
information
and
preferences.
 3
Thank
you
Jason
Baer
for
framing
Facebook’s
success
in
these
terms.
 
 4

  • 6. primary
election
season
allowing
Obama
to
raise
more
than
2
million
donations
of
$200
or
 less.
By
the
time
the
campaign
was
over,
according
to
Ellen
McGirt,
more
than
2
million
 profiles
were
created
on
MyBO.
In
addition,
volunteers
“planned
200,000
offline
events,
 formed
35,000
groups,
posted
400,000
blogs,
and
raised
$30
million
on
70,000
personal
 fund‐raising
pages”
(McGirt
2009).
 
 MyBO
was
an
unqualified
success
in
soliciting
donations,
organizing
volunteers
and
 promoting
the
candidacy
of
Barack
Obama.
Understanding
the
power
of
different
social
 media
tools,
Obama
and
Hughes
were
not
content
to
stop
there.
They
created
a
huge
 presence
on
other
social
media
sites
and
employed
other
Internet
tools
to
distribute
the
 Obama
message.
Like
MyBO,
these
sites
helped
distribute
the
Obama
message
unfiltered
by
 the
mainstream
media
and
created
an
image
of
Obama
as
a
young,
tech‐savvy
candidate.
 
 
 a.
Social
Networking:
Facebook/Myspace
 
 Facebook
is
the
premier
social
networking
site
using
the
Web
today.
Individuals
open
 accounts,
interact
with
‘friends’
that
they
authorize
to
see
their
information,
post
blogs,
 share
personal
information
and
photos,
and
distribute
information
about
upcoming
events.

 Like
Facebook,
MySpace
promotes
a
similar
set
of
social
networking
tools,
but
appeals
to
a
 younger
demographic.
While
Facebook
has
200
million
active
accounts
as
of
May
2009,
 MySpace
has
just
over
56
million
active
accounts
(Compete.com
2009a)
 
 To
be
sure,
Obama’s
opponent,
John
McCain,
also
tried
promoting
his
message
on
similar
 social
media
sites.
But,
Obama
had
a
better
grasp
on
how
to
use
the
technology
and
met
 more
success
doing
so.
By
the
end
of
the
election
(November
2009),
Obama
had
844,927
 MySpace
friends
compared
to
McCain's
219,404.
Just
between
November
3rd
and
 November
4th
(election
day),
Obama
gained
over
10,000
new
friends,
while
McCain
only
 gained
about
964.
(ReadWriteWeb)
 
 Given
the
sheer
numbers
of
people
using
Facebook,
this
site
is
a
different
animal
altogether.
 Today,
Barack
Obama
has
more
than
6.4
million
supporters
accessing
his
Facebook
site.
 Interestingly,
however,
he
did
not
put
too
much
energy
into
maintaining
this
site
before
the
 presidential
election.
Scanning
through
messages
that
have
been
posted
to
Barack
Obama’s
 Facebook
site
displays
a
series
of
posts
in
May
2007.
Obama
than
posted
one
message
to
 the
site
in
October
2008
and
another
on
election
eve:
November
4,
2008.
The
next
message
 to
be
posted
is
dated
February
24,
2009.
Obama,
or
an
Obama
staff
person,
has
added
 information
to
his
site
at
regular
intervals
since.
Many
of
the
posts
today
are
coming
from
 the
Democrat’s
Organizing
for
America
site,
showing
the
convergence
of
digital
 technologies
into
a
coordinated
strategy
for
promoting
a
message.
Continued
user
of
MyBO
 reflects
widespread
awareness
of
the
potential
of
the
technology
to
communicate
with
and
 mobilize
broad
constituencies
over
time
 
 
 
 
 
 5

  • 7. b.
Twitter
 
 Twitter
is
a
recent
newcomer
to
the
world
of
social
media.
Also
known
as
“microblogging,”
 twitter
allows
users
to
communicate
messages
of
up
to
140
characters
in
length.
Unlike
 Facebook
where
users
ask
to
be
friends
with
another
user
and
must
be
authorized
to
 access
information,
twitter
users
‘follow’
information
posted
by
other
twitter
users.

No
 permission
is
needed
to
follow
someone’s
twitter
feed.
Twitter
users
follow
whichever
 accounts
they
personally
select
to
follow.
Twitter
users
do
not
authorize
others
to
see
their
 information.

 
 Despite
only
being
3
years
old,
twitter
is
widely
accepted
to
be
the
fastest
growing
social
 media
tool
available
today.
Almost
20
million
people
now
have
twitter
accounts
 (Compete.com
2009b).
Many
of
these
users
have
established
twitter
accounts
in
the
last
 few
months.
At
the
time
of
the
November
election,
only
about
3.5
million
twitter
accounts
 were
in
existence
(Compete.com
2009b)
 
 
 
 Twitter
usage
has
taken
off
as
twitter
applications
have
become
available
for
mobile
 devices
such
as
the
iPhone
and
Blackberry
devices.
People
can
now
author
‘tweets’
on
the
 run.
Twitter
users
have
been
the
first
to
report
disasters
such
as
an
airplane
landing
in
the
 Hudson
River
and
a
plane
missing
the
Schiphol
airport
runway,
crashing
outside
of
 Amsterdam.
Mobile
twitter
users
actively
shared
information
and
coordinated
strategy
in
 the
recent
Moldovia
revolution
and
Iran
uprising.

But,
perhaps
the
greatest
impetus
to
the
 growth
of
twitter
use
in
the
United
States
comes
from
celebrity
use
of
twitter.
Twitter
use
 spiked
after
Ophrah
Winfrey,
a
popular
talk
show
host
in
the
United
States,
signed
up
for
an
 account
and
wrote
her
first
tweet
while
on
air.
 
 Today,
twitter
is
being
used
for
a
variety
of
purposes,
including
individuals
discussing
news
 and
events
germane
to
their
lives,
news
outlets
generating
current
event
feeds,
companies
 
 6

  • 8. advertising
products,
entrepreneurs
promoting
themselves
and
their
services,
and
 organizations
distributing
information.
 
 Obama’s
first
‘tweet’
was
posted
on
April
29,
2007.
This
tweet
was
a
message
about
ending
 the
war
in
Iraq.
Initially
Obama
used
twitter
largely
to
announce
where
campaign
 appearances
were
taking
place.
As
primary
wins
began
mounting,
Obama
announced
his
 successes
on
twitter.
In
April
2008,
Obama
posted
a
YouTube
video
of
an
address
he
made
 to
the
Communications
Workers
of
America.
By
July,
Obama
was
regularly
posting
YouTube
 videos
on
this
twitter
site,
once
again
giving
testament
to
the
convergence
of
the
 technology.
One
medium
references
posts
to
other
mediums
with
the
goal
of
multiplying
 traffic
to
all
sites.
 
 In
total,
Obama
posted
260
tweets
 during
the
presidential
campaign.
 The
final
tweet
said
“We
just
made
 history.

All
of
this
happened
 because
you
gave
your
time,
talent
 and
passion.
All
of
this
happened
 because
of
you.
Thanks.”
Obama
has
 continued
to
use
his
twitter
site
after
 the
campaign,
though
some
time
 passed
before
Obama
began
 regularly
posting
information
on
twitter.
As
of
this
writing,
there
are
32
post‐campaign
 tweets
on
Obama’s
twitter
site.
Few
came
out
immediately
after
the
campaign.
Today,
 Obama
tweets
regularly
about
policy
issues.
Obama
has
now
shifted
to
accessing
this
 technology
for
purposes
of
 speaking
to
different
 constituencies
and
 governing
the
nation.
 
 By
Election
Day,
Obama
 had
118,107
followers
on
 twitter
(twitter
counter
 2009),
gaining
2,865
 followers
between
the
3rd
 and
4th
of
November
 (Election
Day).
In
all,
John
 McCain
only
had
4,942
 followers
by
Election
Day.
 Today,
Barack
Obama’s
 twitter
site
shows
1.6
 million
followers.
This
 makes
his
site
one
of
the
 
 7

  • 9. most
popular
sites
on
twitter
today.4
 
 
 c.
YouTube
 
 YouTube
is
a
popular
video
archiving
site
visited
by
76
million
people
a
month
 (Compete.com
2009c).
One
scholar
characterized
Obama’s
presence
on
YouTube
as
nothing
 less
than
“overwhelming”
(Frantzich
2009).
By
June
of
2008,
five
months
before
the
 general
election,
John
McCain
had
placed
208
videos
on
YouTube
and
those
videos
had
 been
viewed
3.7
million
times
(Vargas
2008a).
At
the
same
moment,
Obama
had
posted
 1,000
videos
on
YouTube
and
his
videos
were
visited
53.4
million
times
(Vargas
2008a).

 
 It
did
not
take
long
for
Obama
to
understand
that
YouTube
opened
a
direct
channel
of
 communication
with
the
voting
public.

Obama
could
post
videos
of
campaign
appearances
 and
major
policy
speeches
and
directly
deliver
his
message
to
large
numbers
of
people.
His
 message
didn’t
have
to
be
filtered
through
the
media
or
vetted
by
talking
heads.
When
 controversy
surrounding
anti‐American
comments
made
by
Reverend
Jeremiah
Wright,
 Barack
Obama’s
pastor,
hit
the
front
pages
in
March
2008,
Obama
responded
on
March
18
 with
a
major
policy
speech
addressing
race
relations
in
the
United
States.
The
Obama
 campaign
posted
this
video
to
YouTube
and
more
than
4
million
views
of
this
speech
were
 recorded
(Vargas
2008b).
 
 Today,
in
the
post‐campaign
era,
Obama
has
1,852
videos
posted
on
YouTube.5
Twenty
of
 these
videos
have
been
viewed
more
than
1
million
times.
Candidate
Barack
Obama’s
 October
30,
2007
appearance
on
the
Ellen
Degeneres
Show
is
the
most
viewed
video.
As
of
 this
writing,
this
video
has
been
viewed
more
than
7.6
million
times.
All
1852
videos
 combined
have
been
viewed
21.8
million
times.
 
 
 d.
Text
Messaging
 
 Although
text
messaging
is
a
cellular‐based
technology,
rather
than
an
Internet
technology,
 candidates
for
public
office
have
come
to
realize
that
text
messaging
is
a
relatively
 inexpensive
medium
for
quickly
distributing
a
crafted
message.
Obama
launched
a
mobile
 text
messaging
strategy
early
on
in
his
presidential
campaign.
Throughout
the
campaign,
 Obama
invited
volunteers
and
supporters
to
share
their
cellular
phone
numbers
with
the
 campaign
in
order
to
receive
text
messages.
According
to
one
journalist,
Obama
collected
 hundreds
of
thousands,
if
not
millions,
of
phone
numbers
that
receive
text
messages
 (Manjoo
2008).
The
greatest
achievement
occurred
in
candidate
Obama’s
pledge
to
first
 inform
supporters
by
text
about
his
selection
of
a
vice‐presidential
running
mate
(Stetler
 























































 4
After
Obama,
the
most
popular
twitter
sites
today
include
Ophrah
Winfrey‐‐1.65
million
 followers;
Brittany
Spears‐‐2.1
million,
Ellen
Degeneres‐‐2.2
million;
and
Ashton
Kutchner‐ ‐2.5
million.
 
 5
<http://www.youtube.com/user/BarackObamadotcom>.
 
 8

  • 10. 2008b).
Obama
did
announce
his
VP
running
mate
first
to
this
list,
giving
him
direct
access,
 once
again,
to
a
large
voter
base.
Nielsen
estimates
that
the
VP
announcement
was
texted
to
 2.9
million
people
(McCarthy
2008).
The
Obama
campaign
continued
to
use
this
list
of
 numbers
to
register
people
to
vote
and
to
encourage
people
to
go
to
the
polls
and
cast
a
 ballot.
 
 
 e.
E­mail
 
 E‐mail
is
a
Web
1.0
technology
that
previous
candidates
and
political
organizations
used
to
 keep
in
touch
with
their
supporters.
The
use
of
Web
2.0
tools
did
not
replace
or
supplant
e‐ mail
or
make
e‐mail
inconsequential.
On
the
contrary,
Barack
Obama
actively
sought
out
e‐ mail
addresses
of
his
supporters
in
order
to
regularly
send
campaign
updates
and
 fundraising
appeals.
By
the
end
of
the
campaign,
Obama
had
collected
13
million
e‐mail
 addresses
and
this
became
the
pool
from
which
he
raised
an
unprecedented
$745
million
 (Elliott
2009).
 
 
 III.
From
Candidate
to
President
 
 Web‐based
technologies
played
a
central
role
in
Barack
Obama’s
presidential
campaign.
 These
technologies
allowed
candidate
Obama
the
freedom
to
directly
deliver
a
crafted

 message
to
voters
and
nonvoters
alike.

It
allowed
him
the
ability
to
connect
with
a
huge
 donor
base
and
shape
a
message
of
being
a
young,
modern
leader
in
touch
with
the
future
 of
the
nation.
Barack
Obama
did
not
abandon
this
perspective
once
he
won
election
to
the
 office
of
President
of
the
United
States.
He
is
now
employing
these
same
technologies
in
his
 effort
to
govern
the
nation.
 
 Obama’s
campaign
website
<mybarackobama.com>
is
still
online,
only
now
it
is
known
as
 “Organizing
for
America”
and
it
is
funded
and
maintained
by
the
Democratic
National
 Committee.

The
goal
of
Organizing
for
America
is
to
“enlist
community
organizers
around
 the
country
to
support
local
candidates,
lobby
for
the
president’s
agenda
and
remain
 connected
with
supporters
from
the
campaign”
(Elliott
2009).
The
site
connects
users
to
 the
Democratic
Party
and
to
local
events.
Users
are
encouraged
to
log
in
and
share
their
 profiles
with
other
users.
Fundraising
still
plays
an
important
role
in
what
the
site
offers
to
 users.
Moreover,
it
links
users
to
Barack
Obama’s
other
social
media
sites
on
Facebook,
 MySpace,
YouTube,
Flickr,
Digg,
Twitter,
Eventful,
LinkedIn,
BlackPlanet,
Faithbase,
Eons,
 Glee,
MiGente,
MyBatanga,
AsianAve,
and
DNC
Partybuilder.
Many
of
these
social
media
 sites
are
popular
with
specific
constituencies
such
as
African
Americans,
Latinos,
Asians,
 Gays
and
Lesbians,
and
Faith‐based
groups.
 
 Almost
in
parallel
with
<mybarackobama.com>,
the
Obama
White
House
is
very
actively
 engaged
in
social
media
efforts
today.
The
official
White
House
website
can
be
found
at
 <www.whitehouse.gov>.
This
site
delivers
current
information
about
legislation,
position
 papers,
personal
information
about
key
administration
figures,
blog
information
about
 what
the
president

is
doing,
information
about
government
agencies,
and
contact
 
 9

  • 11. information.
The
site
also
links
to
the
White
House
presence
on
Facebook,
Twitter,
Flickr,
 MySpace,
YouTube,
Vimeo,
and
iTunes.
USA
Today
commented
that
the
White
House
thinks
 of
this
presence
as
“WhiteHouse
2.0.”
(Cooper,
2009).

 
 
 IV.
Conclusion
 
 In
the
book
Downsizing
Democracy,
Matthew
Crenson
and
Benjamin
Ginsberg
(2002)
 lament
the
loss
of
a
democratic
system
that
requires
public
officials
to
actively
mobilize
 constituencies
in
order
to
maintain
access
to
power.
Democracy
in
the
United
States,
they
 note,
moves
according
to
its
own
momentum.
The
public
has
almost
become
superfluous
to
 what
is
required
to
govern
a
nation.

Barack
Obama
is
a
throwback,
in
Crenson
and
 Ginsberg’s
world,
to
a
time
when
public
officials
took
constituent
organizing
seriously.
In
 this
sense,
Obama
remains
the
consummate
organizer
and
the
Internet
remains
a
key
 building
block
in
this
program.
 
 Involvement
in
Web
2.0
media
has
exploded
in
recent
years.
The
technology
encourages
 people
to
feel
part
of
broader
communities.
When
people
interact
using
social
media
tools,
 they
reveal
something
about
themselves
and
remain
sensitive
to
the
lives
of
others.
Social
 media
tools
help
people
build
networks
and
to
feel
part
of
a
community
larger
than
 themselves.
Barack
Obama
understood
this
during
the
campaign
and
understands
this
 today.

 
 The
Obama
campaign
used
social
media
and
other
technological
tools
successfully
to
win
 control
of
the
White
House.
The
tools
formed
a
cornerstone
of
the
effort
to
deliver
an
 unfiltered
message
to
broad
publics
at
a
very
low
cost.
The
tools
also
encouraged
Obama
 supporters
to
stay
connected
to
the
candidate
and
to
participate
in
a
broader
community
of
 supporters.
While
it
would
be
naïve
to
say
that
Obama
won
election
to
office
solely
because
 of
his
social
media
presence,
his
social
media
involvement
was
part
of
a
broader,
winning
 equation.
One
area
where
his
website
and
technology
presence
benefited
him
 tremendously
was
in
fundraising.
His
on
line
activities
led
to
his
ability
to
raise
significant
 amounts
of
money
from
large
numbers
of
donors
each
making
relatively
small
 contributions.
The
next
most
important
success
to
emerge
from
the
Obama
campaign’s
use
 of
technology
is
the
image
created
of
Obama
as
a
young,
technologically
sophisticated
 leader
committed
to
connecting
individual
voters
to
a
broader
movement
of
change.
 
 As
candidate
Obama
now
transitions
into
being
President
Obama,
there
is
an
 understanding
that
the
same
tools
that
were
so
helpful
in
the
campaign,
are
important
for
a
 strategy
of
governance.
These
social
media
tools
are
being
used
by
President
Obama
to
 deliver
his
policy
messages,
to
rally
support
for
his
initiatives,
and
to
continue
connecting
 people
to
broader
communities
of
change.
In
Crenson
and
Ginsberg’s
worldview,
President
 Obama
takes
seriously
the
importance
of
organizing
and
mobilizing
constituents
now
that
 the
election
is
over.
This
orientation
has
become
a
central
to
his
governing
strategy.
It
is
an
 investment
in
today
and
it
is
an
investment
in
tomorrow.
Today,
the
electorate
is
 dominated
by
“digital
immigrants,”
people
who
grew
up
in
an
analog
world
and
learned
to
 access
digital
tools
later
in
life
(Prensky
2001).
By
the
time
the
nation
moves
into
the
next
 
 10

  • 12. presidential
election
and
President
Obama
begins
campaigning
for
reelection,
the
 electorate
will
include
a
greater
proportion
of
“digital
natives,”
people
who
grew
up
in
the
 digital
world
and
are
native
to
accessing
and
understanding
the
power
of
these
tools.
As
 this
transition
occurs,
President
Obama
and
the
Democratic
Party
are
in
position
to
solidify
 their
foothold
within
the
electorate
and
to
continue
controlling
the
reins
of
government
for
 some
time
to
come.
 
 
 11

  • 13. 
 BIBLIOGRAPHY
 
 Allen,
Erika
Tyner.
2009
.
“THE
KENNEDY‐NIXON
PRESIDENTIAL
DEBATES,
1960,”


 http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/K/htmlK/kennedy‐nixon/kennedy‐nixon.htm,
 accessed
on
July
5,
2009.
 
 Bimber,
Bruce.
2003.
Information
and
American
Democracy:
Technology
in
the
Evolution
of
 Political
Power.
Cambridge:
Cambridge
University
Press.
 
 Bimber,
Bruce
and
David,
Richard.
2003.
Campaigning
Online:
The
Internet
in
U.S.
Elections.
 Oxford:
Oxford
University
Press.
 
 Compete.com.
2009a.
“MySpace.com,”
http://siteanalytics.compete.com/myspace.com,
 accessed
on
July
5,
2009.
 
 Compete.com.
2009b.
“Twitter.com,”
http://siteanalytics.compete.com/twitter.com,
 accessed
on
July
5,
2009.
 
 Compete.com.
2009c.
“YouTube.com,”
http://siteanalytics.compete.com/youtube.com.
 accessed
on
July
5,
2009.
 
 Cooper,
Patrick.
2009.
“White
House
joins
Facebook,
MySpace,
Twitter,”
USA
Today,
May
1.
 
 Crenson,
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