My.BarackObama.com stays online after election

Network was used by 35,000 groups to create 200,000 events during Obama presidential campaign

While much has been written about the impact of President-Elect Barack Obama's successful use of social networking and other Web 2.0 tools, the campaign had been mum about the future of My.BarackObama.com, the campaign's social network, immediately after last week's election.

However, on Friday, an Obama staffer announced in a blog post that it will continue to operate and allow continued collaboration among supporters.

"Over the past 21 months, millions of individuals have used My.BarackObama to organize their local communities on behalf of Barack Obama," noted Chris Hughes in a blog post. "The scale and size of this community and its work is unprecedented. Individuals in all 50 states have created more than 35,000 local organizing groups, hosted over 200,000 events, and made millions upon millions of calls to neighbors about this campaign. There can be no question that these local, grassroots organizations played a critical role in Tuesday's victory."

The Obama campaign's Web strategy, he added, has always focused on using online tools to allow "between people who are hungry to change our politics" to make real-world connections. For example, the candidate's Web site was home to an online tool that let supporters download a list of neighbors that the Obama campaign pegged as possible backers. That tool also included a mechanism for reporting to the campaign the results of conversations with those potential supporters. The site also included tools that allowed supporters to create their own blogs, to form groups and to post photos.

Some vocal users also even used the social network to organize a grassroots online protest of Obama's support for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that would continue the US National Security Agency's controversial electronic surveillance program.

"The online tools in My.BarackObama will live on," Hughes added. "Barack Obama supporters will continue to use the tools to collaborate and interact. In the coming days and weeks, there will be a great deal more information about where this community will head. For the moment, let's celebrate this victory and know that the community we've built together is just the beginning."

Users of the site welcomed the announcement that it will remain operational. User "Duane Kuehn" noted that he hopes the site will help "begin work 'from the bottom up' to keep Barack aware of our interests."

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
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