A Few Highlights from the Election

originally posted on Concept Hub

There are enough information and unique strategies from this past election to fill college books for multiple classes.

With so many bloggers, consultants, and journalists recapping the campaign this week, I thought I would throw in my top three favorite things.

1. A little more than a week prior to the election I noticed that one of my Facebook Friends, Leatrice Elzy, had “donated her status updates” to a cause to get the vote out. I immediately donated my status updates as well. What that meant is that I chose to allow a Facebook App to update my personal status every hour until election day to remind my network to get out the vote.  I saw a report last night that called that single Facebook App the largest single online rally in history.  1,745,745 people donated their status updates sending out 4,896, 031 messages.

The success of this application was that there was very little effort on the part of the end user, I just agreed to allow the app to take over my status updates. It was viral. Because of the Facebook Newsfeed my contacts saw my status updates every time they logged in and were able to easily click on a link in my status to join the cause. The cause was for everyone, Obama supporters, McCain supporters, or simply people who wanted to “get out the vote.” And the timing was perfect. It was right before the election, not too soon where people would get tired of the campaign, but not so late where it would not have made a difference.

2.Moveon.org produced a “news” video about the single non-voter.

Every time I was able to observe someone watching their customized video for the first time I witnessed shock when they saw their name, intrigue about how that was possible, and finally entertainment of the content of the video. Even McCain supporters were sending this video around and embedding the video in their blogs.

This video had all the ingredients needed to be a successful viral video. On October 28 I received an email from Moveon.org that reported ” this nonvoter video has now been sent to over 6.3 million friends. It’s going out to more
than 30 new people per second.”

3. Finally, the success of the Obama campaign came not from the technology deployed or messages broadcasted, but from the idea that people will care and will rally around you when you allow them to own a little piece of the effort. Throughout the campaign, Barack told his supporters “This isn’t about me, it’s about you.”

Barack became one with his supporters, not above his supporters. On election night before taking the stage an email message was broadcasted  “We just made history. And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.”

Every message was individually addressed and signed simply “Barack”.

The Obama campaign understood more than the technology that powers social media, they understood the shift in how people want to be treated, empowered, and appreciated.