Barak Obama launched his presidential campaign, talked Iraq, health care costs and retooling Washington. So what gets attention in the tech world? Obama's Web site only plays video in IE, social media features stumbled on day one and you can't import previous political blog posts.
Welcome to the Web Mr. Obama. ZDNet's Donna Bogatin and Steve O'Hear have been noting presidential candidates are honing their Web personae using every social media technique in the book. Why? Web personae will matter as 2008 will be the year social media techniques have a big impact on the election. Howard Dean's 2004 run laid the Web blueprint and now candidates are looking to advance the ball.
While these campaigns make interesting technology case studies, it's unclear whether all the vlogs, MySpace-like profiles and ramblings of the masses will get folks to vote. However, it's hard to argue that the Web will impact fundraising and image.
At this early stage the techniques deployed by wannabe presidents amount to a start-up bakeoff. What politico can use the Web best to get eyeballs, money and momentum? Is it Hillary TV over Barack TV?
Maybe none of this social media matters, but I think these candidates are on to something. What's unclear at this juncture is the return on investment from these President 2.0-type projects. The MySpace-Facebook crowd is a fickle bunch that isn't known for a big turnout. In any case, we've created a Digital Politics blog focus to track this grand experiment.