Today I want to change things up a bit (no pun intended) and take a focus on the revolutionary campaign of Barack Obama who utilized social media tools like no other presidential candidate has in the past, by making it an interactive experience. In my mind, Obama largely won the election because he was able to connect with the American public (particularly the youth) through the Web 2.0 applications. His website is both updated often with additional content to keep the user coming back for more on a regular basis.
What makes this so revolutionary in the world of politics is these are the people who really truly need to be connected to the masses. Politicians have yet to fully understand the enormous benefits of Web 2.0 when it comes to communicating their campaign goals/objectives to their voters. It wouldn’t be difficult to predict within the next year or two there’s going to be a massive growth in the number of politicians with blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, etc. One of the biggest problems facing politicians is connecting with their constituent base and what better way to do that than engaging them on a platform that more and more people are becoming familiar with, which is Web 2.0 based communication applications.
But blogs didn’t only help to connect Obama to people it also helped newspapers. An article in Advertising Age entitled, “One-way media lost the election as cable, interactive dominated,” back in November stated that during Election Day, CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo News were up 50%, 103% and 50% respectively. These stats are of course a great increase but pale in comparison to the growth of political blogs including: The HuffingtonPost, Politico and Real Clear Politics which gerw 474%, 344% and 489%, respectively from the previous year. It’s easy to see how blogging is begining to chip into traditioanl forms of one-way media, and best of all they can be managed by people just like your or me, as long as we’re willing and able to find the right information.
An article from Ragan Communications identifies the steps the Obama administration used to keep constitutents informed and educated, which ultimately made it a huge success. This article is a great way to sum up the last couple weeks of posts because it outlines all the most important criteria and guidelines for what makes a blog solid i.e. constant feedback, great use of video, passionate employees, etc. Basically a lot of the topics we’ve been covering the last couple weeks so if you’ve missed any of the previous posts this would be a great article that summarizes important content to get you up to date.