Some people consider 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama to be the most “wired” candidate in either major political party. That is, he has utilized online social networks and even streaming video channels to his advantage – showing that he’s hip and understands a younger generation. He even has a MySpace page profile that had 160,000 “friends”. An Obama supporter has been running it for nearly three years, with the blessing of the Senator’s campaign team. They suddenly decided, though, that they were uncomfortable with an “outsider” running the page, which of course represents Obama’s viewpoints, etc.
The campaign team wanted control of the profile page, and the supporter, Joe Anthony, a paralegal, was fine with that, though he wanted nearly $50K in total fees to do so, which the Senator’s team said no to. Big mistake. At $50,000 of effort put in by Anthony to build 160,000 friends, each “friend”, and no doubt supporter of Obama, cost only about thirty cents. The stink that ensued caused Myspace to step in and decide that the Senator’s team could have control and Joe Anthony could take the contact info. All 160,000 friends. So what if it was supposed to be volunteer work?
Does this translate into 160,000 lost future votes? Maybe. Maybe less, maybe more. Who can know? The fact is, there are now only just over 21K friends. Obviously, it was a monstrously stupid move for the campaign team of a seemingly well-loved, charismatic candidate who has been a historic figure and may continue to be. Someone on the campaign team should be fired. It’s not like the campaign money isn’t there. But even more to the point, Anthony obviously was a good buffer and did a tremendous job building goodwill for the Senator.
Will the MySpace page be the same with the official campaign team running it? I doubt it. However, the Senator phoned Anthony to offer his apologies and try to win back his vote. Had the campaign team invited Anthony to be part of their team, everyone would be way ahead.
Originally posted on May 3, 2007 @ 2:29 pm