President 2.Obama

We all knew that this administration was going to be technologically more advanced than previous terms when Barrack Obama won the 2008 election to become the 44th President of the United States of America.

Not only did the Democrats stunningly over achieve with online donations, enabling them to out spend the Republicans out of the water, we also got the first presidential candidate to embrace social media.

His campaign team used @BarrackObama, as well as facebook, youtube and myspace to reach an audience of potential voters and doners that traditionally could have been ignored by past campaigns. Obama has also become the first President to use email and amazingly kept his blackberry, although will be restricted in its use to a small group of select Whitehouse staffers.

By using social media, email marketing and clever media buys Obama was able to enthuse and mobilize the youth vote that proved incredibly important on November 5th.

Finally it seems, we have a web 2.0 international leader: President 2.Obama.

President Obama and his team will be using technology in an unprecedented way to reach out to the nation and beyond.

As Kevin Merrit, CEO of Blist shows in this excellent Washington Post/Tech Crunch post, the presidency has listed communication, transparency and participation as being their watchwords for their first term and as such are utilizing every channel possible to get their messages accross to the people.

So from his first Weekly Address as President on Youtube (see above), to the setting up of recovery.gov, and the first ever Presidential blog on whitehouse.gov, the US presidency has fully embraced the idea that you can no longer rely on tv and radio to reach your voters. They realise the importance of transparency in an age where anyone can look at public records, google a politicians past claims and promises or just vent on what they hate about a government with the click of a mouse.

So, if you’re not already why not join President Obama’s other 144,000 twitter followers, or the 4,422,962 registered supporters on Facebook.

Can Obama revolutionise the Whitehouse as we know it? Yes he can! (Sorry, couldn’t help it…)

UPDATE: If you want to read a great post on how exactly Obama should be using Twitter, check out Mashable for some great analysis and an extensive list of politicians who use Twitter and how they use it. I would definitely agree that whilst it’s great that Obama is on Twitter and that the Whitehouse uses it, just twittering about policy announcements is not going to get them far. They need to start turning the personal on before they turn the followers off. Remember we are a fickle bunch!!

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RT @siburgess79 President 2.Obama  http://ad.vu/m9pz

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4 responses to “President 2.Obama

  1. Nicole Landguth

    Interesting post Simon! This article in Slate poses some of the same questions you did here, http://www.slate.com/id/2209523.

    It seems that policies meant to keep us safe from corrupt politicians might also tie Obama’s hands when it comes to what technologies he uses. Government is having a tough time reconciling old policies with new forms of communication and I think they are unfairly criticized for being behind-the-times. That being said, I hope they can fix these problems and use the new media to it’s full advantage.

  2. @Nicole Thanks! I’ll be checking out that article tomorrow.

    I think you’re right and the President will always hav his hands tied to some extent. And I guess that’s understandable. I just hope that after having made such an amazing start using new media to expand awareness and engage the voter that Obama continues to spearhead change at governmental level.

  3. Nice summary. What really amazes me is how quickly they assembled and rolled out all the Obama content and connections. Both during the election, then over a couple months before the inauguration.

    Warp speed compared to how fast companies adopt. But having a clear vision, something interesting/meaningful to say and an open philosophy seemingly is the foundation of why people are actually consuming and interacting with all this “stuff” and it make it easier for them to do it in the first place.

  4. @brett I agree, it was astounding and completely blew the republicans efforts out of the water.

    I think that the integral nature of most company set-ups makes them far less able or willing to put together a good social media plan and act on it.

    I think it still takes charismatic, forward thinking people to spear head these efforts rather than them being integral parts of a markeing and comms plan.

    And I guess that was the same with Obama. It took a forward thinking politician to assemble a team that could create, and implement with devestating speed such a wide reaching social media/marketing strategy.

    I think he prett much single handedly changed the standards for political campaigning everywhere, not just in the US.

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