How the Internet helped America decide

Obama's campaign showed us a thing or two about using the Web to shape public opinion.

obama text message of biden  248 (photo credit: Courtesy)
obama text message of biden 248
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Much has already been said about how well the Obama campaign used the Internet to win the elections and the hearts of many voters, especially young ones. In fact, it was a central component of his overall marketing strategy. The use he made of the online world's interactive tools was truly impressive and can definitely be counted as one of the major factors that sealed his historic victory. Obama's campaign showed us a thing or two about using the Web to shape public opinion. Obama's site was filled with tools that distinguish the Internet from other media - interaction. A user who came to his site felt that he/she was entering into a dialogue. And so the site (campaign) took the user's hand and led him to be part of electing Obama as the next President of the United States. Even bringing the user to donate money can be considered a type of an interactive activity. Think about the psychological effect. Millions donated online but Obama gained much more than just money. He gained a commitment from the users to go out and vote come Election Day. When people donated, a seed was planted in them that pushed them to vote for the man they donated their money to. Speaking of interaction, Obama leveraged his online presence to create a cross-platform dialogue with his supporters. For example, three million people got a text message in their mobile phone notifying them about Obama's VP choice - Joe Biden - even before it was sent to the press. It sure is a smart way to use technology to create a buzz effect, which eventually leads people to take action. So what's the lesson that can be learned here? As I see it, the text-book use of the Internet could not have succeeded if it weren't part of an overall strategy - from using more traditional media whether television, print and / or radio, to a widespread presence on the filed level, all of which contributed to the election of Barack Obama. Another interesting phenomenon connected to the US elections online was the rise in traffic of related Web sites. I've chosen 5:,, and, (click here to see the graph). Looking at the graph, we can see an obvious correlation between Obama, politico, real clear politics and huffington. All show a steady rise in traffic. It's also interesting to see The Drudge Report's traffic. This site, which proves every Internet logic wrong and only highlights Matt Drudge's extraordinary talent to sniff out the most interesting content on the Web, maintains an impressive but steady graph. By the way, the numbers on itself show quite a jump in traffic, which can be best attributed to election fever. Perhaps Google's crawlers fail to properly index the site… The interesting question of course is what will the graph look like now that the elections are over? I got my own assumption but I will let you try and guess your own. The writer is the CEO of