How do they get the “we” back?
Good question. We all remember how Obama broke new ground in the 2008 campaign by using social media as a powerful political tool. Obama’s campaign created an expansive Internet platform, MyBarackObama.com, that gave supporters tools to organize themselves, create communities, raise money and induce people not only to vote but to actively support the Obama campaign. What emerged was an unprecedented force, 13 million supporters connected to one another over the Internet, all driving toward one goal, the election of Obama.
When they chanted “Yes we can,” it wasn’t just a message of hope for the future – it was a confirmation statement of collective power. They weren’t waiting to be told what to do; they were actively engaged, calling friends to come to events, learn what was at stake, contribute ideas, and help out in some way. The power of “we” was awesome to behold. The “we” not only raised hope for people but also unprecedented sums of money for the old-fashioned campaign on the ground.
But this time, “Yes we can” has been replaced by a new modus operandi for the Obama campaign. It’s “We know you.”
The Democrats are investing heavily in what’s called Big Data to give them significant new insights into the everyday behavior of each one of their supporters. Big Data allows companies, or political campaigns, to probe and analyze information about you – your friends, your shopping habits, what type of events you go to and when, and what issues you care about. With this information, they can presumably be more accurate in sending messages out over email or in identifying the trigger points that send you to events and get you to donate money.