The United States of America has, in case you’ve been hiding under a rock these past couple of months, a new President. Bye bye Bush, hello “Change” and a big dollop of hope.
Like many others I’ve been a little swept up in the general goodwill that President Obama seems to carry with him, and whilst it is obvious that he is an intelligent and charismatic man, I’m not entirely convinced his perceived persona is fair.
It’s easy to forget, as most of us are slap bang in the middle of it, that the way we use the internet has changed in the past four years and whilst the way the Obama campaign used the internet is well documented I think there is a more subtle effect of their “internet aware” campaign that is glossed over. It’s not just about the money that they generated, they were also very smart at getting the word out. Call it soft marketing (I hesitate to use the word ‘viral’ here) but the fact remains that I’ve read and know more about President Obama than any previous President.
That may be partly down to the fact that I share many of his views, partly because he seems closer to my generation, or just because he seems like a smart, reasonable man. But the fact remains that word of mouth, via the myriad of social networks in which we all dip into, has been a driving factor in his campaign.
Given how internet savvy his campaign was, I’m certain I won’t be the only person looking at how his Presidency continues to leverage the benefits of being internet aware.
Bravo to the Obama web/marketing machine, and here’s hoping the man can live up to the hype (anyone else think we are setting him up for a fall already?). Time will tell but for now I’m keen to see what he’s made of, what decisions he takes (he’s off to a great start on that front already) and how patient the USA, and the rest of the world, will be.
And, if proof were needed, the Whitehouse blog is already up and running.