That Barack Obama made remarkable use of social media and the Internet in the 2008 presidential election is hardly news, but this brand new study in the Journal of Political Marketing examines the effort in detail to find "the Obama '08 campaign created a nationwide virtual organization that motivated 3.1 million individual contributors and mobilized a grassroots movement of more than 5 million volunteers."
I'd discuss it more, but unfortunately it's one of those gotta pay for it sites, so all we have to work on is the abstract.
I mention this study for two reasons. First, it's new and as we all know, new is news. Second, Obama is kicking off his 2012 campaign and given the amount of money he hopes to raise, it'll be interesting to see if his campaign can harvest social media in the same way, with the same success, as in 2008. Given the economy, his modest approval rating (49 percent), partisan sniping, and the dissatisfaction with his presidency found on his ideological right and left, I can't see the same success happening.
But get ready, budding masscomm scholars, because it'll be a neat comparison study of 2008 and 2012 -- what worked, and what didn't, and why.
My apologies for the weird formatting. Using a Mac and it doesn't seem to get along well with Blogger.