So far this year, Barack Obama, the Democrat hopeful for the United States presidency, has raised over $50 million for his campaign, a lot of it using the Internet.
How? Well, firstly he launched his own social network, at MyBarackObama.com where his supporters can sign up to plan events, meet up and, importantly, donate to his campaign chest. Taking low denomination donations of around $5 and up, he has ensured that any and all of his supporters can contribute. This has allowed the Barack Obama campaign to raise more money to date this year than any other presidential candidate for next year’s election.
Secondly, Obama has a very active presence on all the ‘happening’ social networks: Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, as well as his own web site at BarackObama.com with a very smart email-capture form on the home page. The site itself is clean and very informative.
On Facebook, he has 139,481 friends/supporters as well as a Obama Campaign application. The Facebook application description reads
“The Obama application puts the most recent campaign video and news on your profile and in front of your friends. It also enables you to easily communicate with your friends in early primary states where support for Barack is especially important.“
Facebook, a network both Sol and I will be writing a bit about in future articles, is the most popular social network today and Obama’s campaign manager clearly knows how to leverage it.
Search for Barack Obama on YouTube and you’ll get a list of various videos posted by his campaign as well as by supporters.
His MySpace page is one of the cleanest I’ve found on MySpace – most pages are so congested with all sorts of flashing stuff that MySpace is something I very rarely visit these days. It has a good amount of information on the man himself along with photographs, video and a blog.
So what does all this mean? Obama’s tapped, successfully, into the ‘now’ generation. He’s reaching the grassroots at their computers, where more and more people are spending their free time, quickly out-pacing the TV.
Nothing gets information out faster than the Internet and evidently it’s not too bad at getting money in quickly either!