Barack Obama’s Web 2.0 campaign

Exciting news broken by ZDNet – Barack Obama has readily embraced the potential of Web 2.0 and set up a social networking website where supporters can create their own blogs, keep track of campaign events and funding, and get in touch with each other. Go to
Though I am not American, I signed up for an account out of a combination of curiosity, a long-standing interest in US politics and the fact that Obama’s speech during the previous presidential campaign (in support of John Kerry) was the only one that brought tears to my eyes.
What is intriguing and will perhaps evoke a good mix of cynicism and grudging respect is the fundraiser tool which lets you set a goal of how much money you want to raise for Obama. Very clever. Let’s see how this works out – if Obama’s team is willing to release any figures later on. My only feedback for this is that if a supporter already has a well-established blog, there’s no point creating a separate one just to raise funds for Obama. Instead, the website should let supporters copy and paste HTML widget code to be displayed on their own blogs.
Another tool on the website that lets supporters invite friends to join the cause, could be improved further. At the moment it requires supporters to manually fill in names and email addresses. The website should make things more convenient by allowing users to import email addresses from Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail as well as common text formats like CSV.
You also have to give it to Obama’s team for getting onto the Web 2.0 bandwagon fast and furious. You can check him out on Facebook and Flickr, and watch his official videos on Youtube.
Of course there will be talk of whether Obama’s net-savviness to date is similar to that of Howard Dean’s, a previous Democrat front-runner who looked like a serious contender for the presidency, until he ran out of steam.
For now, you have to give it to Obama for leveraging on the power of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2006.
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