My Barack Obama

Barack Obama seems to be learning from pop music promoters when it comes to social media. Don’t pussyfoot aroundd wondering whether a blog, a forum or videos on MySpace are the way forward.

Do the lot.

Yep, that’s right when it comes superstars of the music or political world – and let’s face it, for many the Preseidential election process may seem like an extra-long X-Factor (American Idol, if you’re in the US) without text message voting – you need a foot in every social media platform going.

Obama – who will probably end up as running mate to Hilary C, but there’s never any certainties in this show – has, take a deep breath: a Facebook group, vids on YouTube, a MySpace page and, er, everything else you can think of.

Now he’s launched his own social network on his website,, which social network-watcher blog Mashable is impressed by (and Mashable ain’t easy to impress) albeit with some caveats:

Surprisingly, it’s not totally lame: you can organize fundraising, create events, find Obama events near you, build a network of friends (that email invite system is crucial), send messages, join groups and write a blog about how you’re helping Obama, or how you feel about the Obama campaign. Groups are the way to connect to strangers on the network, since there doesn’t seem to be a browse feature (you can, however, search by name or zipcode). In many regards, it’s more like Facebook than MySpace or YouTube – simple, text-based and focused on connecting with people you know or those around you. But it also lacks the openness of hi5 or Piczo: self expression tools like embedding your own video clips from other sites, adding slideshows and uploading lots of photos just don’t seem to be present. In other words: it’s Obama’s space, not yours.

Antony Mayfield
I'm Antony Mayfield - to find out more about me take a look at my LinkedIn profile (see the button on the home page). You can contact me by email at antony [dot] mayfield [at] gmail [dot] com. Google


  1. Ahem, American Idol is actually a spin off of the UK version known as Pop Idol. X Factor is a somewhat different format where the contestants are split up into three categories. These being the youngsters, the oldies and the groups (the groups tend to usually have a male four piece harmony group, who sing some Boyz2Men track, think they’re from the US and act “ghetto” when really they’re from Swansea)whereas Pop Idol/American Idol is an individualistic competition.

    Just thought I’d clear that up. I never watch them by the way. :-)

  2. I knew you were a Journey South fan but… really – this is the hair you want to split? ;-)

    Since we’re going that way – what happened to Pop Idol in the UK? Er, replaced by X-Factor, no?

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