I recently spoke on a panel about social networking & the 2008 election and at the time I went out on a limb and predicted that Barack Obama would win the election. He was not projected to win by anyone at the time but he was leveraging technology to communicate with people through a number of different mediums. He was using text messaging to contact his army of follower anywhere and at anytime. He was using social network sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to reach people on the Web. Through the use of these tools the feedback loop is nearly instantaneous. He also used more conventional methods like email to send important messages in the final days before the election. I felt he was out campaigning John McCain in a grassroots fashion similar to how a number of startups have leveraged it to spread the word. Interestingly, John McCain used the Internet in similar ways in prior elections but it seems he was out done in this election.
John McCain is a great man and a great American. He has served this country for a long time and I respect him deeply for it. But in this Election 2.0, one that will be the subject of a number of case studies, he was battling the tight social connections that technology has brought to this world and so I think Barack Obama has rightfully earned not only the title of President Elect but also the first Tech President. I just hope he continues to connect and listen to the people through these various modes of communications as he tries to bring change to the United States of America.