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Is Obama's social network anti-social?

Does Barack Obama "get it"?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor on

UPDATE:  Obama ‘User Generated Politics’: The cat’s meow?

A VC  is chastising Barack Obama, right out of what I am calling the “USER GENERATED POLITICS” 2008 gate!”

“I had high hopes for Barack Obama's net savvy. But today his campaign blew it,” Fred Wilson puts forth.

How so? Wilson itemizes a litany of Website incompatibilities, technical glitches and Web traffic overloads to conclude in his usual to the point fashion, “That sucks.” Wilson does have a point, although I would characterize the point differently.

While preparing my coverage of the Obama campaign announcement yesterday—“Barack TV vs. Hillary TV: Obama ‘08 announces saying ‘the campaign is about you’”-- My.BarackObama.Com would not load for me either. I had video difficulties as well; No problem on the Obama homepage for his announcement speech, but the branded Barack TV video library does not work for me.

Just like Wilson, however, I persevered.

WILSON: So after being shut out of the video, I decided to play with the website a bit. It let's you create a profile. That's pretty neat. It says that they are trying to be inclusive. Anyone can have their own page on Obama's website….So then I saw that they let you write your own blog. That's smart too. But what if you already have one? No way to import my political blog posts into my profile. The people who are most likely to blog for Obama already have blogs. It's silly to shut them out.

What is even sillier is to shut out non social networking, non blogging voters and prospective voters!

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The Obama ’08 “USER GENERATED POLITICS” slogan is “This campaign is about you.” But are all of “you” really graciously welcome to My.BarackObama.com?

When a typical, not particularly net-savvy, prospective voter clicks on the branded “My.BarackObama.com, "This Campaign is About You” homepage link, a typically non user-friendly generic “you must login” form is the "welcome," requiring the standard ecommerce like password set-ups, zip code entry…

If the campaign is really all about “you,” you would be extended a friendly invitation to be part of it in a more usable and natural way. Moreover, “you” are not as welcome, if you don’t “have an account” and proceed to make “friends,” join “groups,” “blog”…

If every vote counts, than every prospective voter should count as well, social networker or not.

UPDATE: Obama ‘User Generated Politics’: The cat’s meow?

STAY TUNED TO THIS DIGITAL MARKETS BLOG FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF WHAT I AM CALLING “USER GENERATED POLITICS” 2008

More in this Digital Markets Special Series:
Joe Biden has 226 MySpace friends: Can he connect? and
Hillary TV: Will ‘User Generated Politics’ get Clinton to the White House? and
Presidential Campaign 2008: Rudy Giuliani ‘In to win’ too? and
Google already winner in Clinton presidential bid and
Social media conversations: Talking or selling?

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