Sunday, February 24, 2008

Obama Campaign's Success On Social Networks

Election Campaigns Transformation:
President John F. Kennedy's campaign in the early 1960s transformed the way the US presidential campaigns use Television as a medium to reach the American electorate. This year, Barack Husain Obama's campaign is re-writing the rules as it embraces Web 2.0 technologies to reach out to the young voters across the nation. The dramatic success of the Obama campaign among young, affluent voters and on college campuses has been quite a phenomenon. Obama has personally been a very active participant on Facebook. Obama's most passionate supporters and workers are mostly young, college students or recent university graduates who hang out on the social networks for hours on a daily basis. This passionate support of young men and women has translated into great success in terms of votes and campaign contributions. There are reports of both the Clinton and the McCain campaigns having money troubles, in spite of their appeal to the big establishment donors in both parties. Obama has had no such problems.

Online Campaign Statistics:
Here are some statistics published by The Mercury News that show the extensive use the online communities by all three camapaigns:

Facebook Supporters:Obama: 610,225; Clinton: 121,955; McCain: 71,079; Huckabee:65,664
YouTube Views: Obama: 22m; Clinton: 7m; Huckabee: 5m; McCain: 2m
Percent of campaign web traffic: Obama: 44%; Clinton: 26%; Huckabee: 16%; McCain: 8%

Here are more excerpts from San Jose Mercury on Obama Fundraising success on the Internet:
"....the extent of Obama's online fundraising prowess - $28 million in January, with signs that total will be exceeded this month - has outstripped all competitors and stunned many political analysts. About 90 percent of that money came in donations of $100 or less, allowing donors to give again every few weeks - up to the limit of $2,300 each for the primary and general elections.
GOP strategist All said he knew Obama was onto something during a summer visit last year to a friend in Ohio who planned to contribute $10 or $15 a month to Obama. "That campaign understood ahead of everyone else that you don't need to rely on megabucks and bundlers, and I'm afraid some Republicans still don't get that," All said.
Obama's huge donor base, now approaching 1 million, allowed a long-shot campaign to grow into a national force, outspending Clinton in state after state. And it freed up Obama to campaign while Clinton had to spend time with fundraising events.
"This is a wonderful, new development," said Zephyr Teachout, a leader of the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, which raised a total of $27 million online over many months. "Instead of calling rich people for money, you can concentrate on your campaign."
The campaign invested early in Internet infrastructure, spending $2 million in 2007 on software and hardware. Some of Obama's new-media leaders, such as Joe Rospars, came from the Dean campaign and Blue State Digital, a consulting firm."

Election Campaigns in Pakistan:
Turning attention to Pakistan, this year we saw a dramatic increase in election campaigning on the multiple TV channels and networks in the recent elections. With the growth of the Internet access, we can expect a very active Pakistani blogosphere to play a bigger role in election campaigns of the future, particularly in urban Pakistan. Social networks such as PakAlumni Worldwide and are also starting to grow and may become useful tools for election campaigns as well as growth in online commerce.

No comments: