Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

And the award to best use of social media in politics

Scoble’s question a month ago on which of the three democrats’ election campaigns has really ignited conversations, still remains unanswered, so instead I thought I’ll take a stab at finding out how successful their campaigns have been at driving traffic to their website?

A cursory glance at all three websites of the leading Democrats — Edwards, Clinton and Obama, shows that they all follow the beaten path of new media. However, if I were to rank them in terms of how focused the sites are on social networking, here’s my ranking of the three sites: 1. Obama (MyBarackObama), 2. Edwards (OneCorps), and 3. Clinton.

Of what use is all the buzz if we cannot measure its impact. The closest approximation of the its effectiveness is to compare the Alexa rankings of the individual websites (given below). It looks like Clinton (blue) and Obama (red)’s sites had a spike in traffic around the time their websites/campaigns launched but Edwards’ site (green) seems to be trailing.

Also, check out this article that provides a detailed overview of my space colliding with the political space (via Church of the Customer)

So why do you think Edwards reaching out to bloggers didn’t have the desired effect?

Filed under: Uncategorized

7 Responses

  1. “So why do you think Edwards reaching out to bloggers didn’t have the desired effect?”

    Because I think that these folks have largely decided who they are going to vote for already. In other words, the targeting of folks that are already in your camp probably wouldn’t influence other folks to move your direction.

    Despite your rankings on social networking, it is important to note that traditional polls have it ranked:
    1. Hillary
    2. Obama
    3. Edwards

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  2. Mario Sundar says:

    D,

    I agree that most folks may be gravitating towards one candidate vs. the other. However, social networks affords your passionate evangelists to do their job — evangelize, by giving them the tools they need to do so.

    For e.g. Obama’s site offers you a chance to blog, create group meetings, contribute, etc…

    Also, as much as I hate to quote Fox News, I found this recent article interesting — “Obama, Clinton in Dead Heat in Latest New Hampshire Dem Poll”: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,238636,00.html.

    Do you think the tide will turn?

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  3. Mario Sundar says:

    Also, Damon, I thought you may find this recent spat between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s camps, interesting.

    Here’s the CNN piece, titled ” Clinton, Obama camps mix it up verbally”: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/02/21/clinton.obama/index.html.

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  4. Hi Mario,

    “However, social networks affords your passionate evangelists to do their job — evangelize, by giving them the tools they need to do so.”

    Perhaps. But you know that it really only matters if you win in politics, so I still think the social networking is still “preaching to the choir”. Most folks focus on the candidate they like, then focus on another candidate if theirs doesn’t make it. If Obama wins the primaries, for example, most of Hillary’s folks would vote for her in the real election (most people vote down party lines).

    Much of politics, whether we like it or not, is still won by folks doing a lot of the traditional things (fundraising, schmoozing in real life, etc.).

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  5. Mario Sundar says:

    Well, politics is definitely “preaching to the choir” as well as (in some cases like JFK), preaching across party lines.

    The difference here, is that technology could enable ease of use for the choir to maximize their influence. How well they utilize it to organize events, raise funds remains to be seen.

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  6. […] Mr. President 2.0 — In recent times I’ve blogged on the intersection of social media and politics. Karl Long had a great post recently on the […]

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  7. […] on change (Iowa primary), his campaign’s successful embrace of social media (origins, in the primaries), etc… Vote Obama […]

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