Obama: Social Media Beyond the Election

Posted by Jadey Ryndak on November 10, 2008

I watched the election returns last Tuesday in Chicago (in my living room instead of Grant Park darn it! … but that is another story).  While the gray states turned blue, my thoughts turned from the historic political moment to communications. It then turned to engagement and thoughts of the effective use of social media in Obama’s campaign.

What a powerful way to harness and heighten the energy and enthusiasm of Obama’s supporters. Much has been written on the subject throughout the campaign.But now what?

What can be done with this incredible living, breathing momentum? What a shame it would be to have it dissipate after the election.How can it be used to help govern as well as elect? Literally as I said those words, President elect Obama released an email stating he was on the way to the Grant Park rally:

Jadey —

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


I’ll be in touch soon”. . . . there it was. The promise that the mediums will be utilized to further the national agenda. And there is more. . .http://change.gov/ the President Elect’s website.The site provides information but also solicits ideas, stories, applications for positions. It is a give-and-take with the engaged public – transparent and two sided.Can this level of social media management be maintained? Will it become a part of governing? Will there be a staff role for this media alone? If so, will it report to the press secretary? Will other governmental agencies begin to adopt its use?In Obama’s words- his team is “Midwifing a new new kind of politics”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD099nxF3L0

It is exciting time for communications in America.

Here are a few recent references that comment on this subject for further reading:

Obama won the election – not social media – Jennifer Leggio on ZDNet

Social media Obama McCain Comparison – readwriteweb.com

How Will President Obama Use his Massive Social Media Influence

Ad Lab Tech Review on Obama’s Social Media

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