In what may have been the ‘real’ but ‘unofficial’ kickoff to the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign season, President Obama did a live webcast with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters right in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley – arguably the Internet’s own “Ground Zero.”
Obama’s political machine, which raised a record number of individual donations during the ’08 campaign in large part because of its Internet savvy, seems well-oiled and poised to tap into the huge potential of a social media megasphere that has exploded since ’08. “The White House Press Office now not only produces a website, blog, YouTube channel, Flickr photo stream, and Facebook and Twitter profiles,” reports ABC News, “but also a mix of original daily video programming, including live coverage of the president’s appearances and news-like shows that highlight his accomplishments.”
When Obama’s re-election committee kicks in and piggyback’s on the multiple social media platforms that are already up and running on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the results should be astounding. It’s no longer beyond the pale to think that young and media-savvy Democratic hipsters will be able to make their Obama donation online via Twitter while waiting in line at Starbucks.
But what more might you expect from the first president to carry a BlackBerry strapped to his hip? Or, maybe he’s made the switch, like so many others, to the iPhone. Even though his Facebook foray was on the “left coast,” the emphasis that the Obama campaign is obviously going to place on social media advertising, will not be lost to Fortune 500 CEOs and the social media marketing guru’s of New York’s “Silicon Alley.”