Yesterday’s Boston Globe magazine had an exceptional article, “The Geeks Behind Obama’s Web Strategy“ by David Talbot, chief correspondent at Technology Review magazine.  The piece discusses the web strategy and social-networking features of–referred to as, MyBO, and the builders of the “digital backbone”, Franklin-Hodge and team at Blue State Digital.

Obama’s web-strategy should serve as inspiration to businesses, non-profit organizations, and all individuals who want to communicate with the world about the causes they care so deeply about.  Not only did the campaign’s web strategy deliver ground-breaking results, it has provided technological lessons we all can learn from–and evidence to the social media naysayers who continue to debate and negate the role of social media. I think it’s fair to say, social media has moved from “new” media to the media for communicating in 2009 and beyond.

Below are some of the facts and results gleaned from Talbot’s piece:

  • Obama’s campaign platform promised using technology to create a new level of transparency, accountability, and participation
  • Obama took online campaigning to a new level with an e-campaign which included not only MyBO but the “powerful leveraging of everything from text-messaging to YouTube video propagation to supporter networks on platforms like Facebook”
  • Today more then 40 million Americans have Facebook accounts
  • Franklin-Hodge said that the Obama campaign embraced their approach, and recognized the ways in which technology could be a “transformative force”

Features of included:

  • Donate by clicking a button
  • Find area house parties by viewing maps displaying locations and details
  • Information to assist site visitors so they could organize their own event
  • Downloadable Obama messsage of the day
  • Assistance for visitors to establish fund-raising efforts, and watch “thermometer” rise
  • Receive an email signed by everyone from Michelle Obama to Al Gore
  • Click of a button allowing volunteers to make calls to voters


  • In the four days before Election Day, thousands of volunteers used MyBO to make more then 3 million calls
  • The Web was to Obama what television was to John F. Kennedy
  • Obama’s campaign garnered $500 million in online donations from more then 3 million people
  • Within MyBO, supporters’ self-directed fund-raising efforts raked in $30 million from 70,000 individuals
  • People spent 14 million hours watching campaign-related Obama videos on YouTube–50 million views in all
  • Obama’s radio addresses are now also YouTube video addresses
  • The Obama campaign collected the email addresses of 13 million supporters and equally important, knows a great deal about them, thanks to their web activities: what issues they care about, what organizing and donating they’ve done, who belongs to their social networks
  • In the final two months of the campaign, American voters provided 223 million pieces of data about themselves to callers and canvassers

Personally, I’m counting the days to Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.  I know there’s a lot of hard work in the days which lie ahead.  As a believer in social media, I’m very excited about the ways in which we can use the lessons learned from Obama’s campaign, and implement social networking strategies to help businesses, non-profits and causes– communicate more effectively, and get us back on our collective feet.