Has 2,702,671 followers on Twitter But…he doesn’t actually write his Tweets… “I have never used Twitter, but I’m an advocate of technology and not restricting Internet access. My thumbs are too clumsy to type in things on the phone.” – Obama 11/16/09
Has 6,928,643 supporters on Facebook 93 Pages for ‘Barack Obama’ & 22,000 Barack Obama Groups Used Facebook to campaign to college students On Facebook’s Election 2008 page 5.4 million college students clicked ‘I Voted’ button to share with their friends that they voted
MySpace page offers: Blog ‘Blurbs’ Links to barackobama.com, Obama Mobile, and his profiles on other social networking sites Codes to embed Obama icons on your own profiles and web pages Status updates on what Obama is up to
Barackobama.com On his website you can access links to all of the social networking sites he has profiles on. Can read blog updates on current happenings. You can also you create an account on My.BarackObama.com. Over 2 million profiles created. My.BarackObama.com is run by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who Obama hired in 2007. Creates an online community of organizers who support Obama and are working to change issues, including healthcare, education and energy reform.
‘Join the Movement’ Sign up to receive periodic updates from the organization as well as advance notice about local OFA events and public appearances. Over one million people have joined. Obama texted his VP nomination to those who were signed up.
Why? The internet as a campaigning tool is helpful because allows Obama to communicate and campaign in online language and tone which is informal, conversational, and more relaxed. Obama texting builds a direct, personal connection with voters (especially young voters). Use of Twitter proved Obama had a grasp on the importance of the internet and up-and-coming technologies. Facebook allowed Obama to reach young voters, especially college students. YouTube videos of Obama allow direct communication with citizens and make the White House and politics more transparent. (Compared to Roosevelt’s Fireside chats).
Discussion Questions: Who follows Obama on Twitter/is a fan on Facebook/friend on MySpace? Why? Has anyone created profiles on My.BarackObama.com or signed up for Obama Mobile? When Obama was campaigning which of these sites that I mentioned (or one I didn’t) as most effective in reaching you and engaging you? Now that Obama is president how do you follow him and his work? Is it through an online social networking site? Any pro’s to Obama’s use of the internet you can think of that I missed? What are some cons of campaigning/communicating with the public via the internet?