What an incredible opportunity we had to witness and participate in such an historical election. Aside from voting (which I hope everyone reading this did), this presidential race, particularly the Obama campaign, afforded the public a plethora of online communication vehicles to garner support for their candidate, raise funds and get out the vote (GOTV). From candidates’ websites to SMS, to YouTube, to Twitter, to Facebook, to Google Maps – access to information was plentiful. For a generation that is connected to the Internet almost 24/7, there was no shortage of being able to find SNL videos, commercials posted online, speeches, polling locations, song parodies mocking candidates, etc. It’s no surprise to discover that an estimated more than 50% of young voters turned out yesterday.
Just as easy as it was to gather the information, so was it to share. The candidates turned to social networks early on as part of their campaigning efforts, and it certainly paid off with election fever spreading virally across Facebook and MySpace. In my Facebook network, friends, family members and colleagues made it easy to guess who they were voting for based on the candidate-specific videos they posted (or created), status updates they donated, and rally pins and buttons they gifted. Brilliantly, Ben & Jerry’s capitalized on this one-to-many approach and become Facebook’s sole Election sponsor.
Obama melded his grassroots efforts with social media tools to solidify his historic presidential win. In the process, he & his staff wrote a new page in how to use the internet to run campaigns and GOTV. He announced his VP selection and also brought to a close his momentous win by thanking his supporters prior to his victory speech — all via text messages. The Internet has ushered in a new era of voters that are using social media to be more outspoken and mobilize others to GOTV. Check out BusinessWeek’s list of social media sites that helped Americans chronicle this historical election – in real-time. http://tinyurl.com/57vxpv (“The Vote: A Victory for Social Media too”). ReadWriteWeb’s blog also has a nice posting titled, “Obama’s Social Media Advantage.” http://tinyurl.com/create.php