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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Technology Triumph

Barack Obama's victory creates historic global demand for web content. In the US, almost everyone talks about how Obama managed his campaign in an extraordinary way in the last eighteen months. I first heard face-to-face the impressive strategy behind Barack Obama’s social networking leverage from his web strategists and advisors in the forbes leadership network last month in the valley – particularly the part where they focused on first building the community and how the money raising mechanism got fired up in the primaries. Jeremiah Owyang captures details of the momentum that the campaign gained with the social networks. It is common knowledge that the campaign had been heavily leveraging the web platform in very many sophisticated ways. The campaign spectacularly succeeded in integrating political infrastructure with the web infrastructure that they managed to create. A peer-to-peer, bottoms up campaign seemed to be the strategy that finally delivered results. Volunteer participation, feedback synthesis and citizen vote drives were successfully brought out in massive scale hithertho unknown with the web platform. The campaign heavily shaped by the power of social networks and internet energized the youth power in unimaginable ways signifying the triumph of technology power. Obama's online success outclassed his opponents and there were 150,000 or so campaign-related events over the course of the campaign, aided by more than 35,000 groups related by affinities like geographical proximity and shared pop-cultural interests. With 1.5 million accounts Obama campaign raised a record-breaking $600 million in contributions from more than three million people, many of whom donated through the web. That reflected in building record war chest of contributions to the campaign – and in many ways engaging the millennials in unknown ways. It is now clear that the young voted for him in droves. It is the conventional view that IT is Business. Now comes an extension, IT shall also become almost the nerve center for presidential campaigns. With all this the new president elect has a big job ahead.

Update : The Internet As A Force In Politics: “Obama Would Not Have Won Without The Internet” .”The Internet played a disruptive role in the 2008 election in the same way television played a disruptive role in the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy to president. Neither medium was new in the respective elections, but both “came of age” and swung the election towards the winning candidate”.

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