According to the Chicago Tribune, five days after his site went live, 4000 people have started blogs and 2400 groups had formed on Obama’s site, "ranging from Iowa Union Members for Obama and New Hampshire Firefighters for Barack to Hip Hop for Obama."
Joe Rospers, Obama’s new media director seems to understand exactly what building an online community is about: building relationships between the members of the community.
He says, "It’s about building those relationships and providing the clue that will bind people together. The more solid the relationships are among our supporters, the more impact they’ll have as advocates in their own community."
Many of the networks formed before Obama’s site went up and have been actively organizing events. Students for Obama, for instance, is on Facebook
with an invitation to an event that took place on February 2nd. Facebook indicates that the event had 1585 confirmed guests, complete with Facebook profile pictures. You could RSVP for the event and see who wasn’t coming as well as who was coming.
So, while the mainstream media campaigns sling mud and dig up dirt and even focus that unpleasant spotlight at bloggers,these online communities within the Obama and Edward’s campaigns are busy organizing grassroot events and meet ups on line and locally….and don’t forget raising money: The Obama campaign says that over 3000 people have set up personal fund raising web pages.
Lets look once again at the word of mouth data: we trust the people we know…we are more than 50% more likely to be influenced by word of mouth recommendations from our peers than advertising. This is going to have a powerful influence on campaign 08.
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