The reelection of Barack Obama was won by people, not by software. But in a contest as close as last week’s election, software may have given the Obama for America organization’s people a tiny edge—making them by some measures more efficient, better connected, and more engaged than the competition.
That edge was provided by the work of a group of people unique in the history of presidential politics: Team Tech, a dedicated internal team of technology professionals who operated like an Internet startup, leveraging a combination of open source software, Web services, and cloud computing power.
A truly impressive story of systems engineering, from the macro to the micro level. I really commend the Obama tech team on their impressive re-imagining of how big data and scalability could change the way political parties interact with voters. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that their system gets re-packaged and licensed out to future political orgs. Heck, I can think of a few corporations that could use this kind of model, too. Like mine.
President Barack Obama’s surprise appearance on Reddit could not have been better timed. As Mitt Romney and the Republicans engaged in the vestigial tradition of counting delegates, hoping their speeches would filter down to the electorate through the media, President Obama reached millions of people directly by answering questions on arguably the biggest social media site that could still be considered underground. On his MacBook, of course.
The president was only logged on for half an hour, only answered ten questions, and yes, his answers were as rehearsed as in any public venue. The best AMAs are those where the subject literally means “ask me anything.” By contrast, Obama left upwards of 10,000 questions unanswered. Many people couldn’t even access Reddit during the event because the site was so overwhelmed with traffic.
The democratic process is alive and well… on Reddit!
Reporting from Washington —
Declaring that he and the country have “better stuff to do” than fight about where he was born, President Obama on Wednesday morning released his long-form Hawaii birth certificate and asked that the “sideshows and carnival barkers” stop raising the issue.
Unfortunately, he apparently DOES have time to deal with this issue, which is just really, really sad statement about America. The GOP has done an incredible job during Obama’s presidency of stalling, distracting, and deflecting any substantiative issue of national policy, instead spending time on ploitical fluff like this.
The sad news, is just how terrible the other side of the aisle is, at doing the same.
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