Monday, April 25, 2011

Technology and the 2012 Presidential Campaign

President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook
Headquarters. Photo Courtesy of UPI/Newscom

Like many of my friends, I'm eager to see what the social media impact on 2012 will be. Twitter, Facebook, and a multitude of niche sites (reaching out to particular demographics) powered a record voter turnout in 2008. There is no doubt that this is what helped elect President Obama.

Many have predicted that social media will have a more polished, professional look this time around because the landscape has changed dramatically. This is true. But I disagree with those who say that "email and blogs" are no longer relevant. Of course they are. Twitter was supposed to eliminate blogs. It didn't. The short-lived Google buzz was supposed to be the "email killer". It wasn't. Let's be clear: campaigns will continue emailing and blogging, even as smartphones and tablets have transformed political organizing, and become more powerful tools.

Regardless of one's views, we can all agree on this: no candidate will have the type of tech dominance Obama had 3 years ago. He launched an iPhone app, purchased a channel on Dish Network, and secured ad space on popular video games. And as impressive as this sounds, it was just the tip of the iceberg. He ran the most tech-savvy, "out of the box" presidential campaign in history. I'm certain that everyone - from his potential 2012 challengers, to the cable and network news talking heads - has taken good notes.

Look forward to an amazing election that I believe will be one of the closest in history. Technology will once again play a huge part in determining the winner.


  1. Great blog post. I am looking forward to the President's 2012 campaign. I believe it will be just as tech-savvy as before with a lot more ways to reach the voters.

  2. Besides making history for being the first African-American President elect, President Obama had opened doors to a variety of ways in which citizens are being reached in order to vote.

    Social Media is now used by candidates in Canada as well and they have Obama to thank for it as its effectiveness reaches audiences which otherwise would not get the relevant information. Social Media made it possible to transmit information in a relevant manner in which people are more likely to receive it.

    I am looking forward to the amazing 2012 election campaign as well! Great post Mr. Knight

  3. Election 2012 will be more innovative and quite interesting. Obama will NOT have the upper hand in technology again, that is a fact that he fears deeply within.

  4. Hey Gadel. I don't know that Obama "fears deeply" that he won't have a huge upper hand on technology this time. He's closely aligned to the tech community in ways we've never known in a U.S. president. And, he's tech savvy.

    My point above is that he won't be AS dominant. His challenger last time, Sen. John McCain, was not big on technology. This time around, he can expect someone more knowledgeable of the issues and products that define the tech community.

    So he may not have the "dominance" he enjoyed in '08, but I believe he will have the upper hand. It's going to be exciting.

    Thanks again for commenting.