November 7, 2008

Obama.com



The celebration from this weeks election results are still reverberating throughout the city (I live in NYC) and cities all over the world. People are suddenly alive with chatter, intelligent, emotional, and critical chatter about the new President elect Barack Obama.

Obama means so many different things to so many different people.

Obama is a candidate that truly embodies the nation he is serving. Just look around at the faces, listen to people speak, gauge the atmosphere around yourself and you will see why Obama was the obvious choice for President.

We live in very uncertain times and in many ways Obama is a very uncertain choice for President.

A black man is now President of a very young nation that very early on in its history was a bastion of slavery and racial intolerance, that sometimes still lingers in many parts of the country.

As a nation we elected a man who has little high office experience, often preaches over inflated promises and is a mixture of races that leaves him sitting just outside both black and white lines. A man who is full of potential and who instills the desire in a nation that wants to help him realize that potential.

As a nation we have decided to break loose the grips of conventional wisdom and let a man who is more about the future than a patriot of the past. A man who is looking forward, not back, to an America that realizes its true place amongst nations.

His campaign has cured this nation of its apathy and has re-injected a new interest in how we are perceived amongst other nations. The reality of his very being is proof enough that we are a nation in transition.

Obama is a man who represents the hope in all of us.

He is the culmination of everything we want from a nation that promised us all a dream.

Obama is no super hero. He is all of us, his mixture goes beyond race, his honesty and courage is rooted in the desire for those very attributes in all of us. His determination and his rise to success from the very depths of community service is what draws us to him so closely.

We have become an empty nation and an empty people.

Our spending habits, pop culture and banking and education systems have all deteriorated due to neglect and over consumption. We are losing our houses, our jobs and our security into old age.

The nations to the east and to the south are like hungry wolves waiting for the right moment for us to weaken from the fat that we consume on a daily basis. We are fat from every aspect of our lives. Fat from gas, from money, from food and from consumption.

The past eight years have been spent dealing with the realization that we have lost our luster. Our respect and our prominence has worn off and we are now tangled in a ball of critical issues facing our country. We were left licking our wounds and trying to figure out how to clean messes rather than how to prosper.

Obama may not be the cure but he is a remedy that will lead us to a cure.

His desire for truth and for facing the issues head on through constant communication and embracing the nation wholly.

This is not a political article, and what I am about to write is not entirely political in nature.

What amazed me the most about this campaign was Obama's ability to recognize, understand and embrace the web as a tool for communication. He not only validated the publics desire for change but he also validated the power of the Internet as a means to help bring about that change.

Obama understood the the Internet was his bull horn, it amplified his voice, his persona and his soul to the furthest reaches of the planet.

From Facebook to YouTube from Google to Yahoo, CNN and ESPN. News clips, SNL and MySpace. Widgets, RSS feeds, banners and blogs.

The digital frontier was Obama's campaign trail conquered!

We no longer recognize those purple mountains majesty and from sea to shining sea is a vague term to the youth of today

Emails, websites, Sarah Silverman viral video-sites, iPhone apps and digital downloads.

Obama knew that he would be heard the loudest through the Internet and through technology that is embraced by all.

3 minutes before Obama emerged to give his historic acceptance speech in Chicago, every one of his supporters got a personal email thanking them for everything they have done to support his landslide win.

From the very beginning of this campaign there was a very futuristic feel to how Obama was speaking to the public. It was llike nothing else we have ever witnessed.

The Internet has changed the way we do lots of things in our lives and now it has changed the way elections are won. It is the new stage for politics and the most powerful communication tool known to mankind.

What impressed me was Obama's familiarity for the medium. His campaign trusted and executed flawlessly on every technology, trend, application and information platform. From design to function and beyond.

You think your popular because you have 998 friends on Facebook?

Well Obama has 2,712,479 and counting.

Names and faces of real people, real supporters, real users who feel a connection closer than any connection to any other past President. These are people who can speak up and feel that they are being heard, people with hopes and dreams and a people who wants to know that those hopes are not going unnoticed.

Democrat is now a brand.

I am a Mac = Democrat

I am a PC = Republican

Its amazing how the threads of pop culture and society mimic one another so subtly yet so obviously when put side by side.

We are obviously a nation divided by a checkered past and an unknown future.

What was is now and what is now is almost gone.

The speed of communication has accelerated us as a planet and is now forcing us to go beyond and transcend, to evolve.

Obama is the face of that evolution.

He is global, he is both sides of the coin.

His lack of experience is a strength because there is less for him to undo and more for him to grow into.

His leadership will succeed based on how committed he is to keep that light burning so that we as a people can navigate through these dark times.

His tenacity is what we will need to push through these next eight years. Hopefully he surrounds himself with the right people so he can focus on keeping that smile burning across his face. That smile that smiles for all of us.

His race, his facade, is simply that of a people who have always struggled for progress. His face is the color of adversity and overcoming it.

We all now struggle for progress, we all need redemption from our mistakes and now we all move forward together as one nation to climb out of this hole we have found ourselves buried in.

Obama is the first President in the new age.

The continents of the Earth have gathered as one Pangea once again, as it had started millions of years ago. The Internet has bridged the great oceans and has created dialog, both good and bad amongst the people of the world.

Obama is the first President of the first generation of an evolution.

The Internet Age.

As the community who designs and develops for this great voice to be projected to the entire planet, we should all be proud that the medium we love is what made a difference in the world.

UPDATE:

Today, November 17th, President-elect Obama will record the weekly Democratic address not just on radio but also on video -- a first. The address, typically four minutes long, will be turned into a YouTube video and posted on Obama's transition site, Change.gov, once the radio address is made public on Saturday morning.

The address will be taped at the transition office in Chicago today.

"This is just one of many ways that he will communicate directly with the American people and make the White House and the political process more transparent," spokeswoman Jen Psaki told us last night.

In addition to regularly videotaping the radio address, officials at the transition office say the Obama White House will also conduct online Q&As and video interviews. The goal, officials say, is to put a face on government. In the following weeks, for example, senior members of the transition team, various policy experts and choices for the Cabinet, among others, will record videos for Change.gov.

7 comments:

Brian Kadar said...

Here we go! change.gov

Anonymous said...

Obama appealed to techies through the use of Twitter, web apps (for registering to vote and finding your polling location), and overall excellent design. The official font of the Obama campaign is also Gotham. Believe it or not, I think that had a big impact.

Everything from McCain's site and documents seemed old and outdated, but the Obama camp knew what they were doing. They inspired graphics designers to create material on their own, and in return got free promotion.

I was amazed at the data-analytics being used in NYTimes.com's election tracker, they definitely impressed me in how we were able to track votes and in various graphical representations.

How about the new hologram technology CNN has been using?

Links:
http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/02/to-the-letter-born/?ex=1207886400&en=340d15647f28525f&ei=5070&emc=eta1
http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/map.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/11/06/hologram.yellin/index.html

Sean Scott said...

I certainly love to get more insights into who designed Obama's whole messaging platform from a technology standpoint. It was very well coordinated and every effort was an extension from the nerve center and not some uncoordinated attempt at trying to appear like they get it.

I do agree that Obama's digital efforts should now be a case study on how to create grass roots support for a cause/product. But we must also remember that his digital strategy in part was already layed out by Howard Dean and his unfortunate bid at the white house some 4 years ago.

Great post Craig

Anonymous said...

Let me share few things about technology, Obama and elections:

1. Obama used the Internet to build a "decentralized Army" of supporters uniting together to help him win.
2. Internet offered Obama a way to get donations from millions of people, and invest those donations into much cheaper Internet initiatives over standard TV.
3. The get-out-the vote effort on Obama side was much more powerful by spreading the word online through blogs, videos, events, setting up local groups (on and off line), building communities where people could speak up and connect. Additional 18 million people voted in the primaries alone this year!
4. Kennedy revolutionized TV for his presidency, Obama revolutionized the Internet to connect people together, to help him win this election and during his presidency he will empower all Americans to help him pass new policies by engaging us in the process. This country will be run very differently from this point on, pay attention everyone, this moment will be mentioned in books, in conversations, live forever on the web.
5. The Bush campaign has been the most secretive and closed administrations in American history, Obama has used social media and open networking to reverse this dynamic, creating a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America's citizens.
6. Social networks, review sites, directories...Obama was/is everywhere:
Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, Flickr, Digg, Twitter, Eventful, Linkedin, BlackPlanet, Faithbase, Eons, Glee, MiGente, MyBatanga, AsianAve, DNC Partybuilder, Newsvine, Stumble, del.icio.us, , Mobile. Obama's online community has over a million members.
7. Inspiring a human spirit through technology: Relevancy, personalization, customization, direct contact online, social networking, blogging, photo sharing, building communities (going where the audience is) - reaching out to everyone yet speaking to one. Finally individually we could speak up on a Global scale. When was the last time any of us have seen the entire world come together to unite and support America in their choice as they have in this election? Probably not since Kennedy's Presidency. there are 370 comments as of today (Nov 9th) following Flickr photos of the election day.
8. Obama brought us to his living room literarily, he has become an icon, a brand, a belief system, he sold us on a lifestyle using similar marketing techniques we professionals use to sell a product such as Apple. Democrats, Obama = Apple, McCain, Republicans = Microsoft.

"I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington....I'm asking you to believe in yours" -Obama

Private Note:
Craig, I thought I write an awesome to this but either linkedin timed out or you didn't post it, please post this one instead ;), I rushed the first one if you even got it. Love your style of writing btw....great blog you got there!

Anonymous said...

What he's selling is HOPE, he's telling PRIDE, he's selling a Belief system we are all familiar with as American.
America was down on the ground, this man made us stood up, take count, be proud, take action....
Inspiration goes a long way when people are desperate for it. Funny is, he was accused of not being patriotic enough,
of stating to a little girl that America is not what it used to be remember? ha! look how they turned that around, instead of
talking, he took action and that's the one huge differentiator in this election, he showed us what he could do to rally people us,
to get them involved, engaged and if that doesn't inspire you and doesn't make you think he could do this with anything, than
nothing will. Let's hope he comes through or this country is in huge trouble and people will abandon all parties if this doesn't
get though. My only fear is, we have to wait until Jan 20th....I hope his fate is not that of Kennedy, I'm sure many would love
to see him disappear.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Technology and the use of the internet in the Obama campaign has placed internet marketing on the map forever...

Not only did the election change history it also set a precedent of the power of technology and using the internet as a marketing tool for upcoming presidential candidates and commercial endeavours...

Granted the Obama campaign had the a powerful team and a passionate team believing in the cause which has the absolute key components for success. Intellectual capital and passion for the cause from the idea creators…

If you had this combination of resources in a commercial company the sky would be the limit…

I believe that Vlad’s comment that it appealed to techies is incorrect across any collage campus in the United States of America you can find average people under the age of 35 using technology like MySpace, Facebook, Text Messaging etc to communicate simple things such as meeting up for a coffee in an hour… Let alone such a powerful message for change… but I do agree with Vlad’s comment that McCain was outdated and upstaged in the area of on line campaigning…

In hindsight the statistics confirm that the group under 35 age bracket and new registers to vote had a substantial impact on the election…

I wrote about just the impact of MySpace in previous answers and questions on LinkedIn and the return of viral marketing and message being passed on by the Obama supporters themselves…

The question I think is that it worked well for Obama but McCain doesn’t have that hipster appeal even if he did have the technology behind him… Marzena’s comment Obama = Apple, McCain, Republicans = Microsoft actually makes complete sense…

Obama appeals to different people on so many levels… Age, Race, Intelligence, Background etc… Where McCain does not have the same appeal, I can not see se 25 something hipsters wearing a McCain t-shirt…

It’s the same if asked to do SEO for two different fashion labels… Lets say one is H&M and the other is Oscar De La Renta… Even though both have international business and are successful with the niche market… One would be more likely to take on social networking and internet marketing strategies than the other…

H&M could easily plug into Facebook and MySpace were as Oscar De La Renta could not as easily move into this online space the assumption is Oscar De La Renta’s client would not be on such social networks…

So fit of the person being Obama had a major impact as John F Kennedy had the perfect image for television with his wife the now Jackie Onassis who’s fashion is still revered today…

So all in all it was technology with the fit of the product in this case the candidate Barack Obama and the current economical environment… I think technology was one impact in the election there are many variables that made the successful winning package…

I agree wholeheartedly that this was the best use of technology and internet marketing in a presidential campaign and that this event has changed internet marketing forever…

Maximiliano

Anonymous said...

thanks for this, craig. very inspirational.