Mar 27, 2009

Obama series 3/3: User Generated content and Community

In the final part of the three-part series on Obama we’re looking at User Generated Content and Online communities. 


Obama used, very effectively, 16 social networking sites – ranging from ‘Facebook’, ‘MySpace’ and ‘Twitter’ to ‘AsianAve’, ‘Faithbase’ and ‘Eons’ – to build a community of supporters aggregated in one place to whom he could blog (well, someone on his behalf we imagine), and importantly with whom he created a two-way dialogue (as opposed to a web-based corporate bill-board of promises summed up in values, behaviours and future projects).  Our generation probably learned more about Obama from social media than we did from his website, or any written document. Log on to any of these and we can rate him, tweet and retweet him, vlog in response to his vlog or offer an opinion.  In so-doing we felt listened to. Furthermore Obama espoused the generation y motto ‘ask, don’t tell’.  It’s genius.  Generation Y wants a ‘conversation’, not just a static page of content and a load of promises.  In these communities we can find out more about him whenever we want. He appears ‘transparent’.

Obama won this race with our generation because: his story had ‘viral’ quality (and we passed it round); He gave Generation Y a vision (and asked for their support to achieve it).  He gave us ownership for achieving it (and used social media incredibly well to create a dialogue) with this voter demographic. Oh, and did we mention that behind every successful president is a 27 year old speech writer?         

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