23rd February 2007

Politics and Online Community - who’s good?


Great examples of community often come at the intersections of passionate debate. So in the spirit of taking a look at communities from an “analytical” standpoint, I thought a great issue to follow would be the race for the US presidency in 2008. Below is a list I compiled that I think captures at least everyone who has declared intent to run for president. I’m sure I missed someone, so feel free to add to this list. That said, if I did miss someone, you might argue they are already in trouble – too hard to find!


Tom Vilsack: http://www.tomvilsack08.com/

Bill Richardson: http://richardsonforpresident.com/

Barack Obama: http://www.barackobama.com/

Dennis Kucinich: http://kucinich.us/

Mike Gravel: http://gravel08.us/

John Edwards: http://johnedwards.com/

Christopher Dodd: http://www.chrisdodd.com/home

Hillary Clinton: http://www.hillaryclinton.com/

Joe Biden: http://www.joebiden.com/home


Rudy Giuliani: http://www.joinrudy2008.com/

Samuel Brownback: http://www.t-worx.com/Default.aspx?alias=www.t-worx.com/brownback

John Herman Cox: http://www.cox2008.com/cox/

Duncan Hunter: http://www.gohunter08.com/Home.aspx

John McCain: http://www.exploremccain.com/?sid=msn

Tom Tancredo: http://www.teamtancredo.org/

To be fair, this will be far from the first elections to embrace communities and social networking as part of their campaign strategy.

For an illustration of how online communities are already impacting the process, check out the following article: “Obama backers find voice on Facebook."  A quick look into takes you to the following ,  where you’re presented with the following facts about this grassroots effort:

THE STATS (on the Obama facebook community)
Created January 16th, 2007
100 - (Jan 16th) Reached. Within 1 hr!
1,000 - (Jan 19th) Reached. By Jan 17th
10,000 - (Jan 26th) Reached. 6 days early!
100,000 - (Feb 1st) Reached. 1 week early!
250,000 - (Feb 5th) Reached Feb. 10th
500,000 - (Mar 10th)
750,000 - (Apr 10th)
1,000,000 - (May 10th)

A further look at www.barackobama.com shows you this on the front page:

Nice range of community features, including discussions, networking, personalization and a connection from online to offline (Find supporters near you). And obviously this scales the fund raising process like crazy!!

I also like the notion of McCainspace to at: http://www.johnmccain.com/Connecting/. Enables quick supporting web site creation and YouTube town halls for outreach.

John Edwards has been active here too.  But, his model appears to be the shotgun model, sprinkling across everything with unclear focus almost by design. - I don’t think I like this.

Now, DO NOT read this as an endorsement of Obama, McCain or anyone else (I’m a very undecided voter – and this is not a political blog)…but my short inspection of the list above suggests that as of today Barack Obama has tapped into communities perhaps the strongest at this point.

I’d love your input on this.

Who else here do you think is doing a great job with online communities and why?

Let’s keep watching this as the month’s progress and see how moods shift across candidates. As fast as communities can lift you, they can even more quickly sink you in the political realm.  I’d caution in this whole area to think hard about brand association as when you are a political candidate "you" are the brand and as others associate with you, they impact your brand (positive or negative).

Interesting? Digg it!


Popularity: 15% [?]

This entry was posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2007 at 3:07 pm and is filed under General Community Discussion, Social Media, Why Community Matters, web 2.0. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 2 responses to “Politics and Online Community - who’s good?”

Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1 On February 25th, 2007, Eric said:

    On the GOP side, I thought John McCain came out swinging with his 2.0 web platform, only to find it was broken and full of glitches.

    That is not at all a good thing considering the fact that the Blogosphere really doesn’t like McCain to begin with. He has serious hurdles to jump, and this isn;t going to help.

    I did think his “McCainSpace” websites was a brilliant idea, but was not implemented properly and the targeted audience has yet to be targeted.

    This will all be very interesting to watch!

  2. 2 On February 25th, 2007, Sean ODriscoll said:

    Thanks for the link…interesting. This should be fun to watch, no question it won’t be a lack of funding that prevents most from fully embracing…it will be about execution and having the right people there to help them.


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