Barack Obama Really Gets The Social Media
... or his campaign team does. Either way, when I logged into my Linkedin account yesterday and saw a banner spotlighting Barack Obama's participation in one of my interest groups, I could not help a "wow" reaction.
We have already blogged that 2008 Presidential campaign is being run in an unprecedentedly Web-savvy manner. Pretty much all candidates, in both parties, have a MySpace page and a bunch of YouTube videos, at the least. This may sound trivial now, but if you look back 4 years ago - the picture was quite different, was it not? The candidates have come a long way, but Barack's team is taking it a notch further. Whilst most candidates do suffice with the minimal - MySpace, YouTube, maybe FaceBook, the featured participation of Obama in a specific interest group on Linkedin is a great example of entering the conversation on the Web at the right spot.
We have all heard, by now, that Web 2.0 / Social Media is all about "two-way communication" as opposed to the one-way channels of Web 1.0. You can, also, say that the Web 2.0 is a global discussion or a collection of discussions. Everybody is welcome to participate, but for practical reasons nobody can participate in every possible discussion. Therefore, targeting the discussions that matter is crucial. This was a point we raised at the ExecutiveBiz Roundtable Breakfast last Friday and most attendants seemed to agree. The staging of involvement, place and time are important on the New Web.
A lot of organizations make a mistake of staging the "Web 2.0-ish" discussion on their own turf and then naively expecting good participation from the audience they want to reach or spending vast amounts of money to attract that audience. But that audience is already somewhere else! Why not go there and jump into an existing discussion? It seems like Obama's campaign is not making this mistake and there are all indications that they are the most successful campaign on the Web. That said, just being a social media guru can not get you an office in the White House, so we have to see how this one goes, but as far as being web-savvy goes, Obama's team gets an A+ from us.