2008 is proving to be a fruitful year for Web 2.0 and the election. Barack Obama, the current saviour du jour, is leading the way in embracing the web and us the ‘prosumers.’
Searching Google Trends on site stats for both McCain and Obama show the Obama site seems to have that gooey factor that websites strive for.
The graph below shows the amount of searches for each site. As you can see Obama peaked near the beginning of the year and McCain has been pretty stagnant although his peaks do match Obama but on a lower scale.
Similarly if we look at site traffic to both candidates Obama is again outshining the McCain camp. Looking at Compete stats the peaks are the same but Obama is getting more visitors
What is Obama doing right that McCain isn’t?
There are obvious factors as to why this is and one is the message: no matter where your political allegiance lies the Obama camp is reaching out to people with what they want to hear. The current administration has polarized a lot of voters and with a war in Iraq and Afghanistan voters are looking for change and it appears that Obama is promising that.
At least that’s what his site header says
McCain’s site is message is a ‘Country First’ promise that speaks to the heart of a lot of people in the US but as a marketer I’m not dissecting these sites based on message or whom I am going to vote for(I’m a Canadian so I can’t) I want to point out WHY one site is better than the other
Embracing Web 2.0
Obama’s site and Web 2.0 campaign is simply more effective. Oh sure there is more that they could be doing but as the first ‘Candidate 2.0’ or the ‘Facebook President’ Obama’s marketing campaign is very effective.
Say what you want about the design of each site, McCain’s is busy and colour conflicting where Obama’s is soft and uses negative space but I want to talk about the use of spreading the word.
McCain uses a lot of calls to action but no direct link to make it easy for people to get involved in Web 2.0. Oh sure the argument could be made that if you simply click on the image that says ‘Spread the Word’ you could probably find some options there but NO you can’t. It leads you to the McCain ‘Action Center’
In contrast on the lower right of Obama’s page there are links to *16* social media or network sites making access to him seem easy enough.
Looking to connect to Obama on Facebook? No problem https://presby.facebook.com/barackobama. McCain is there too https://presby.facebook.com/johnmccain but where do you find that on the home page?
What about Flickr? Obama is here https://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom. John McCain? Can’t find him
Twitter? Sure Obama is right here https://twitter.com/barackobama. McCain? Can’t find him but then again this is a guy who has trouble using email
Breaking Down the Wall
It’s this type of access that sites for politicians but also companies and individuals need to embrace. Obama’s site makes it easy to find out information about him and connect to him. In this political climate most young people want to feel that someone or some company is accessible. Being from Canada where our Prime Minister is held accountable by his peers and media everyday that government is in session, it is nice to see that the ‘wall’ to the American presidency is becoming more and more transparent.
The question now becomes – will it remain transparent with the almost certain election of Obama?
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