The 2008 contest for the White House may go down in history as the first social media election. How else to explain the unprecedented role the Web played in this year’s Presidential contest, an influence scarcely imaginable just four years ago? In 2004 many social networking sites were just getting off the blocks. YouTube
, for example, was introduced early the following year. And microblogging sites like Twitter wouldn’t emerge until the 2008 Presidential campaign was getting under way.
Obama Victory Speech Viewed More Than 7M Times on Web
More than 78 million people watched election night on U.S. TV networks, according to Nielsen. And still clips of the historic night are proving big hits on YouTube. YouTube accounted for 98% of the views of Mr. Obama’s speech of the 150-odd video-sharing sites Visible Measures keeps tabs on. President-elect Barack Obama‘s victory speech has been uploaded more than 500 times and viewed more than 7 million times on the web in the last 48 hours, according to web analytics firm Visible Measures. By comparison, Mr. Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” has been uploaded 100 times since May and recieved 7.33 million views.
But this link denotes every expenditure made by the Obama Campaign, including their media buys by item.
Here’s another analysis of the media spend by the Obama campaign showing how much was spent on social media. One of the largest beneficiaries was Facebook
even though overall media spend was small.
Barack Obama launched the official government Web site for the presidential transition on Thursday, giving it a look and feel that suggests the new president will utilize the Internet to a much greater degree than his predecessor. The site is a slightly more formal-looking incarnation of Obama’s campaign web site that features a blue-shaded presidential seal and a countdown clock to the Inauguration on January 20. There are biographies not only of Obama and Joe Biden
, but also the directors of his transition team: John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse. The web site outlines Obama’s policy agenda, on issues from Iraq to social security to urban policy.
The Obama campaign’s “New Media” experts created a computer program that would allow a “flusher”–the term for a volunteer who rounds up nonvoters on Election Day–to know exactly who had, and had not, voted in real time. They dubbed it Project Houdini, because of the way names disappear off the list instantly once people are identified as they wait in line at their local polling station.
If Barack Obama ran for president by calling for a heavier hand of government, he also won by running one of the most entrepreneurial campaigns in history.
Michael Shaw of the always insightful blog BagNewsNotes writes about Obama’s use of Flickr
and how Obama informally “friends” us via the site. (Of course, this is arguably a false or projected sense of familiarity.) A commenter submits that this “takes the implied intimacy of the ‘fireside chat’ to a new level.”
The brouhaha is nearly over and there will be one winner. Actually, there will be two. The 2008 US presidential election, dubbed ‘the YouTube Election’ by pundits, has been a triumph for digital media. Both John McCain
of the Republican Party
and his Democratic challenger Barack Obama have used an array of online channels from email to video to the full. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes
joined Obama’s team last year, helping to create the first ever socially-networked presidential campaign.