The New You What We Learned from Obama (2008) Stanford University January 13, 2009 Giovanni Rodriguez
12 months ago… “ In 2009, everyone in business will be looking to hire the social media folks who worked on the 2008 presidential campaign.”
Now Everybody’s asking What can we learn from Obama? The question poses several challenges.
A Clue (from Obama, 11/4/2008) “ All of this happened because of you.”
We already know something about You (2007) =
We should be asking Who were YOU in 2008?
You were young *66% of voters age 18-29. *70% of voters under 25. Huge effort for engagement on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, SMS.
You were not Massive use of other tools – phone, email, door-to-door canvassing — to reach voters in other age groups.
You were once invisible Beyond youth, big focus on African-American, Latino, Asian and first-time voters. Real representation on “vertical social networks.”
You were the new online elite
You were the new offline elite
You were the “new old guard” who’s not averse to learning from adversaries
You didn’t have the power you once had
You wouldn’t get the job you hoped for
But you each had a role
Facebook *2.6 million registrants in FB group (most popular) *1 million people urged people to vote
Twitter *123,000 followers (largest group)
Vertical networks (16 total)
MyBo *1.5 million registrants *400,000 blog posts *35,000 groups
YouTube *1,800 videos 116,000 subscribers 96 million channel views
SMS 1 million subscribers
Email 1 billion emails 13 million on list
Phone calls Who knows? But 3 million in the last four days
Was it about technology ? Though most of the MSM coverage focused on the numbers we just ran, a lot of muscle and innovation came from less-trendy technologies: distributed calling centers to get out the vote, grassroots computer modeling, commitment and execution to better uptime. And, yes, email.
Was it about the money ? The Obama campaign raised half a billion online, most of it in $200 increments or less. Still, the overall production of the campaign depended on countless hours of unpaid volunteer time. Money enabled the campaign to do more, but the campaign did more without money.
Was it even about marketing ? The campaign was as much about selling participation in the election as participation in government. It’s a fact that the Obama administration – willingly or not – now has to deal with as it shifts from Obama 1.0 to “Obama 2.0.”
The Great Integration In the end, it was about all three – technology, money, and technology, to drive one of the largest, most inclusive and most rapidly constructed political organizations in history. And now Obama is dealing with that organization, and it’s no longer just about marketing.
The Great “Frame” After the 2000 election, UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff observed that the modern Democratic party was constitutionally incapable of “coming together.” Message discipline – and the right “frame” – won the election for the Republicans. The frame for the 2008 election was “participation” in the creation of a newly awakened government.
The New “You” With a large and ready organization eager to get to work on new government, the Obama administration is facing a whole new set of challenges – policy questions, fears of disenfranchisement, and re-education of agencies not steeped in the philosophy and mechanics of the 2008 campaign. By far the biggest challenge, however, is discovering and engaging the “new you” – the people required to do the work.
S o …
What have we learned from the Obama Campaign?
It’s Happening Now As Obama 1.0 transitions to Obama 2.0, the scope of the effort practically guarantees that we will continue learning about best practices in Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0. And like all great movements, it has created new sources for information, opinion, debate.
It’s About Integration Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 is about indentifying, mobilizing, and integrating the many different constituencies that comprise the enterprise and its markets, using technology as a driving, organizing, and multiplying force. But this is less about prowess in technology and social media, as it is prowess in organization and social engagement.
It’s About You The New You is more than a marketing methodology – it’s a recognition that user-driven engagement depends on the evolving needs of the enterprise – e.g., beyond marketing -- as well as the evolving needs and preferences of the many constituencies that make up its volunteer armies.
“ You”- driven design Where humans meet technology …