Web Strategies of the 2008 Presidential Candidates

There’s a battle being fought between Generals and they’re using the internet as the battlefield. I’m using this post to track the Web Strategies (how organizations use the web to reach to others) of the 2008 Presidential Candidates. I usually focus on Corporate Web Strategies, but am fascinated by the political battles being waged. Learn more about me on my profile page, or subscribe to my blog if you are interested in Web Strategy.

[One of the largest battles of the 2008 Presidential War is being fought on the online battlefield. Various Web Strategy programs, attacks, and counter-attacks are being deployed]

Why the web? The web is faster, cheaper, national, and most importantly, where many votes spend their days and nights. We know that the Web is the number one medium in the workplace, and is quickly closing ground on TV at home.

Key Web Strategies and Battles of the 2008 Presidential Election:

John Edwards Web Strategy uses Social Media
I noticed that John Edward’s camp was one of the first to use Social Media features early on in his campaign. I’ve documented that he’s deployed: “John Edwards has this website, a group blog, his personal blog (does he write it himself?), podcasts, videos, and even a myspace page. Holy Geez, that’s more social media than I have!”

Blogger Relations
John Edwards was one of the first to invite bloggers along with him on the trail, he let PodTech’s Robert Scoble share his intention to run for presidency. Watch the PodTech video, where I work. -PodTech, Jan 07

Obama makes announcement using YouTube
I’ve documented this: “Obama has made a pretty important announcement by using Social Media. I enjoyed this comment: “Change happens at the grassroots”. It’s unclear what he plans are, but it looks like he’s doing an exploratory program. You can view all of Obama’s videos on YouTube on his YouTube profile page.” -Jan 07

Blog Widget Marketing for Fund Raising
I was one of the first to notice this trend about a year ago. Rudy has a widget that can be added to any blog, which helps him raise money. “To raise money, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is using one of the newer tech innovations, a “widget.” His site offers supporters computer code to paste on their own blogs. Blog readers who click on that widget are sent to Giuliani’s JoinRudy2008 site, where officials can collect their e-mail addresses and other information.” -USA Today, April 07

Hillary launched her campaign with video –deployment somewhat successful
The ‘viral’ video that Hillary launched did not have full social features, it was not easy to share. I documented on this post. Jan 07

YouTube attack against Hillary (Citizen Advertising)
“The political world was rocked two weeks ago when a video attacking Clinton spread from video-sharing site YouTube to blogs and then mainstream media. The video, dubbed Hillary 1984, a slick “mash-up” of Clinton speeches and a famous Apple TV commercial with an ominous Big Brother overtone, was produced by a supporter of rival Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.” Sadly, I learned the creator of the Advertorial left his job, details unknown -USA Today, April 06

Social Networking on Campaign Site
“Presidential candidates are giving their own sites a social networking spin. At My.BarackObama.com, supporters can create profiles and blogs, and link with friends.” -USA Today, April 06

Presence and Instant Messaging on Twitter
John Edwards was one of the first to have a Twitter profile, which is frequently updated. It is suspected that it is updated by one of his aids. Since then other candidates have jumped on the twitter bandwagon -March 07

John McCain’s MySpace Hacked

A vandal “enhanced” John McCain’s myspace profile: “Davidson decided to play a small prank on the campaign this morning as retribution. Since he’s in control of some of the images on the site, he replaced one that shows contact information with a statement:” –reports TechCrunch, March 07

Summary of Joe Biden’s Web Strategy
Biden has Twiter (joebiden). Video programing “headtohead08” via YouTube player. Blogger Relations: Responded to Jeff Jarvis’ (PrezVid.com) prezconference-tagged videos . MySpace and Facebook profile: “Recent news from the campaign seems to indicate they’re going to use the Democratic Party website’s social organization tool PartyBuilder for getting people together and organizing events.” –Shelbinator via comments:

Head to Head 08 (Video Battles)
Joe Biden puts his videos right up to other candidates on Head to Head 08, so direct sound bytes can be accessed and played on demand via YouTube. –Shelbinator via comments

Tech President
This is a very resourceful site that is tracking much of the battle, they’ve analysis that even compares the amount of myspace friends from each campaign group. Worth checking out the techPresident blog.

Chris Dodd uses Ustream for real-time conversation
The official Ustream blog reports that Chris Dodd takes real-time questions and has a conversation. Now we’re talking, (literally) as information moves faster real time and bi-directional. (I’m an advisor for Ustream)

Facebook users are sporting support banners
Facebook users have started their own campaigns by creating widgets in Facebook, Chris has the story.

Live streaming of the Presidential Debate Ustream will be streaming this event: “On Saturday at 1pm CST, Ustream.TV will stream LIVE the Presidential Leadership Forum (a Democratic Presidential debate) featuring all the big names: Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Chris Dodd, Governor Bill Richardson, and other candidates. Additionally on Saturday at 8am CST, Ustream.TV will provide LIVE coverage of the Ask The Leaders Forum featuring Bob Geiger, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Charles E. “Chuck” Schumer, Sen. Harry Reid, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

Breakdown of Social Media tools by candidate
I like this graph, that breaks out which candidates are using which social media tool. Barack Obama is clearly in the lead followed by Ron Paul. Democrats are using these tools over the Republican party.

Know of more? Add a comment

If you know of any other tactics use, feel free to leave a comment. This is NOT a political website, it’s a website focused on the tools used on today’s modern web, and is not intended to be a political debate.

Related Topics

I’m a Web Strategist, my mission is to help corporations understand and devise strategies using these tools. If this article was relevant to you, I also recommend you read:

  • The Many Forms of Web Marketing for the 2007 Web Strategist
  • 10 Social Media Strategies for the Fortune 1000 Corporations
  • Corporate Podcasting Strategies for 2007