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11/05/2008 Election 2008 and Online

Two really interesting and perhaps game changing trends emerged in this election: the way we used online to follow and participate in this election and the way Barack Obama used the online channel.

Ariana Huffington of the Huffington Post declared, a few days ago, the Internet the winner of the vote . She’s right. I’m finally weaning myself from my addiction to dailykos.com, realclearpolitics.com and others. What’s really interesting, though, are the novel ways everyone was using the Web, from Twitter alerts of voting irregularities to PBS sending out digital video cameras to people to document the vote on YouTube on the Video Your Vote Channel . I was able to even pretend I was John King of CNN last night, digging into county voting in Indiana in real time.


Amazing. It was truly amazing.

But, not the most amazing.

There are a lot of articles about Obama and his use of the online media. He took what Howard Dean started and elevated it 100-fold. Yes he was great at raising money and communicating and the ring tones, and, all of it.

But the most astounding thing they did, in my opinion, was to set up ways to connect with voters through the Web. I spent the last weekend calling voters in Ohio, New Hampshire and Colorado. I did this despite the fact that I never spoke to an Obama rep nor did I ever visit Obama headquarters. What they did was make my house an ersatz headquarters.

And it was all online. I signed up at my.barackobama.com, I chose my state, I got my calling list, I received a script, and I registered the results of the calls in real time. What an incredibly efficient operation. The Obama campaign was then able to track everything through Web analytics and have clear, actionable intelligence.

Whew! Think if businesses could do this. The Obama campaign showed what this channel could do. And everyone else experimented and won. We won.

And for those who think TV is going away, think again. It was rather the combination of the old media outlets and the new that made this election so great.


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