In August, I discussed how avoiding technology can be costly and dangerous and how McCain was a self-described "illiterate" when it came to the Internet.Well, that illiteracy has cost the McCain campaign dearly. Money is pouring into Obama's war chest and much of it is coming from the web. Obama's campaign announced earlier this month that they have received money from more than 100,000 people including 50,000 Internet donors -- more online donors than his chief Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, had total donors. And it is growing.
A quick look and it is easy to see why. The campaign sends out provocative video which can be easily be forwarded to friends and family. There is even a feature where you can upload your entire address book and send the page out. Before you exit the site there is the "ask" for money. It's not a big "ask," just five bucks. Many people think nothing of that contribution. Then you receive periodic e-mails from Obama with a personalized greeting.
Slick? You bet. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Obama gets it. He knows how to connect with the public -- especially the under -50 crowd. He recognizes the power of the internet and how to use it effectively. He is the first candidate to really use the World Wide Web to build his coalition and long-term voter loyalty. As his data base builds, he will have direct access to voters to solicit information, money and opinions. He will be able to promote his agenda and get an immediate "read" on voter reaction.
Welcome to the 21st century.