[Last week, Australia’s Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner wrote about Government 2.0 in The government wants to blog. Later today ABC Radio wants me to talk about how Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign used social media and social networking, so I’ve been reviewing my liveblog of the presentations made by Ben Self at Media 09 and Joe Trippi at the Microsoft Politics and Technology Forum. Trippi has worked on various Democrat campaigns including as campaign manager for Howard Dean‘s 2004 unsuccessful presidential nomination campaign. Self’s company Blue State Digital managed Obama’s online fundraising, constituency-building, issue advocacy, and peer-to-peer online networking during the primaries. I figured I might as well share my notes. Enjoy.]
More than two years since Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign, the numbers are still staggering. $770 million was raised, roughly 65% of that online. There were 3.2 million individual donors, with the average donation under $100.
This is completely different from traditional political fundraising, which revolved about dinners and other events costing $2300 a ticket — the maximum
unreportable donation under US electoral laws. Obama’s campaign really did reach out and mobilise millions of ordinary Americans.
Yes, millions. The progressive Democratic Party network is now 15 million people online.
Online social networking tools made all this possible, sure, but the success came through the clever application of those tools. The key word here is “personal”.