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Elections at the speed of the Internet.

Alex Christie

7 November 2008

The world let out a collective sigh of relief on Tuesday night after witnessing the monumental accomplishment of Barack Obama.

Whether he is able to pull the nation out of its economical situation is yet to be seen. But his accomplishments and views are without a doubt truly inspirational, not only to American Citizens, but to Citizens across the globe.

Yes, the world can be a better place, and I do believe that it will be.

Over the last 10 years, my Father would often remark that things need to be done at “Internet speed”. He accredits a lot of his success to his embrace of technology and the way that it speeds up processes and communication.

Barack Obama’s campaign had a clear understanding of the elegant advantage in using technology as a communication tool. Being able to reach millions of people through websites, and millions more through social networking, has taken Barack Obama from a largely unknown Senator to the Oval Office.

His rise to Presidency through the use of technology is a textbook example of the power of Social networks and Web 2.0.

"It was a peer-to-peer, bottom-up, open-source kind of ethos that infused this campaign. Clearly, there was a vision to this." – Ralph Benko of Capital City Partners.

His campaign managed to attract Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes to build them their own social networking site, myBarackObama.com.  Subscribers could find other supporters in their area, learn about upcoming events and fund-raisers, and even make donations to the campaign. 

Senator Obama managed to raise over $600 million in contributions, many of which came from online donations.

His popularity amongst the online community is second to none. His Facebook page has 2,776,766 members, myBarackObama.com has over 1,500,000 members and in the last year and a half there has hardly been a day that has gone by without a positive Barack Obama story appearing on the front page of Reddit.com. There was even an iPhone application that organised your contacts by area code, highlighted the people you know in the Swing States and urged you to contact them about voting for Obama.

New Media has played a huge role in the makings of a new President, who would have thought?

I hope that this fresh, forward thinking mentality will be adopted by his cabinet. We may well be looking at the beginning of a whole new era.

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