How much influence can bloggers, Twitteratti, and other social network inhabitants have?
Moments after CNN has called the Presidential Election I can’t help but think that the campaign that became a movement is a direct extension of the movement that is now referred to as web2.0. The Internet was long a place for corporations to broadcast their message and to prop up their brand. Over the last couple of years technology has given regular people a voice and a choice. The Obama campaign, backed by millions of supporters, leveraging that same technology, has been swept into the White House.
As a numb-thumbed Twitter user I saw supporters not only outnumber other candidates, but leverage the tools of social media to out-email, out-blog, out-Tweet, and generally out shout supporters of other candidates. The Obama campaign, unlike most corporations, went where users congregated online, talked to them in their own language and empowered them to reshape the Obama brand into something that represented their voice and encouraged them to spread it. And did they!
Citizens, sick of accepting what they were given as the “presumed” candidate, decided with their blogs, their wallets, and their votes, not to except what they were given, but to demand a better candidate. The candidate himself has said that he listened to his supporters to help shape his candidacy.
We can only hope that all of the hard work, hopes and dreams of Obama’s supporters is met with the same care, transparency and two-way communication as the campaign has shown by the new administration. At no time have so many people been so engaged to make things happen in this country. If the Obama Administration resembles the Obama Campaign, historians will call this one of the most pivotal episodes in the history of the United States, to be compared with the Revolution and Civil War.