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Obama and the Internet

Although much of the media attention Barack Obama is receiving now is focused on his governance and Health Care, it’s important for other politicians and businesses alike to keep in mind the paradigm shift of the Obama election.

Obama transformed campaigning and politics through his use of the Internet as a campaign tool.

He did not stop with a simple website, as many candidates have posted in the past, or a simple money raising campaign as Howard Dean and Ron Paul effectively ran.

Obama created a complete internet package for his political campaign that took full advantage of the new medium in ways that had not been fully imagined before.

Remember his videos – which he compared to Roosevelt’s “fireside chats” — on YouTube? Those were viewed millions of times — for a total of 14.5 million hours. How much would Obama have had to pay for 14.5 million hours of television advertising time? According to the New York Times, $47 million.

And with the YouTube videos and internet messages, Obama was able to get his own message out, the way he wanted it told and as long as he wanted it to be. He wasn’t constrained by 30 or 60 second advertising spots, and he wasn’t filtered and quoted by journalists.

His message was framed, produced and presented entirely according to his own standards and what he wanted to accomplish. Best of all in a political campaign, the cost was negligible to reach those hundreds of thousands of potential supporters.

For politicians, this internet opportunity is the merging of all the best possible factors for campaigning: unfiltered messages going directly to supporters, low cost, wide accessibility, and good credibility as a source of information – great messages for individuals and businesses to keep in mind as well.


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