Obama 'User Generated Politics': The cat's meow?

Does Barack Obama really get it?

Joe Rospars, Barack Obama’s chief blogger, proclaims today at the “group blog for staff on the New Media team at Obama for America headquarters,” that “First 24 hours: Over 1000 grassroots groups and growing.” 

Are congratulations in order? Who knows!

I asked earlier today “Is Obama’s social network anti-social?” The question is still open. 

Rospars blogs: 

Everyone sort of suspected that there was a lot of support out there ready to mobilize for Barack Obama. Between the draft folks and the Facebook phenomenon, people have been taking this campaign into their own hands since before there even was a campaign. 

The “draft folks” link leads to a live third-party Website. The Facebook phenomenon link, however, leads to the virtual wall illustrated below.

Rospars says "This will not be a campaign where the willing and able must fill out a web form to volunteer and wait for a response in order to make a meaningful impact," but the current "My.BarackObama.com" experience suggests otherwise.

As I pointed out earlier today:

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…”

Rospers, Obama’s head New Media strategist, happily recommends that readers of the Obama blog visit what he calls the Obama “Facebook phenomenon.” In sending prospective Obama supporters on their merry way to a Facebook page demanding “You must login to see this page,” however, he risks alienating them, for good.

Rospers cheerfully notes that “people have been taking this campaign into their own hands since before there even was a campaign” and "The variety of these groups will hopefully bring a smile to the face of anyone."

He may be right about the smile, I certainly did when I took Rospers up on his recommendation and searched for an Obama “group” in my neighborhood. Number one result? CATS FOR OBAMA!


More in this Digital Markets Special Series:
Barack TV vs. Hillary TV: Obama ‘08 announces, ‘the campaign is about you’ and
Joe Biden has 226 MySpace friends: Can he connect? and
Presidential Campaign 2008: Rudy Giuliani ‘In to win’ too? and
Is Obama’s social network anti-social? and
Hillary TV: Will ‘User Generated Politics’ get Clinton to the White House? and
Social media conversations: Talking or selling?