Just watched Barack’s preview of tomorrow’s announcement in Springfield. About half-way through, he talks about the new site that will go live as soon as his announcement’s official (transcription is mine, may not be 100%):
I hope that you use this website as a tool to organize your friends, your neighbors and your networks. The website will be set up to set so you can build your own profile, plan your own events, take campaign fundraising into your own hands so we can collect small donations instead of having to rely on large campaign contributions. It’s also going to give you a chance to chronicle your campaign experience on your own blog. I hope you take advantage of all these tools. Obviously, I’m extraordinarily excited about the possibilities of this campaign, but I’m humbled by the enormity of the task at hand, and I know I can’t do it by myself. Ultimately it has to be a vehicle for your hopes and your dreams, and I hope you feel the same way.
I can’t wait for this site to go live. When Zack asked earlier this week whether Barack would wear the make-up (read the post, the reference makes sense), I think this demonstrates how Barack is thinking about what role technology can play in his campaign: in a world, a central one. While Barack has a very sharp team surrounding him (including several net-savvy individuals with battle scars from some high profile campaigns), at his core he’s a community organizer. When we faced some internal resistance in getting his campaign blog launched in ’04, it was Barack who “got” it and made it core to the communication strategy. He also recognized that people didn’t necessarily to hear more from him, but that they wanted to hear more from each other. When that blog worked, it was when Illinois residents swapped stories, connected, and felt engaged with the campaign.
And it’s clear to me, from what he said above, that he more than gets it. His campaign will be our campaign. I like the direction that the Edwards campaign is already going in (no shocker there, Ryan and Matt are probably the two smartest people thinking about this stuff right now), but I’m thrilled to see that Barack is on board with giving us tools to shape the campaign in our own image. He talks of changing the nature of the debate, and of transforming how we think about politics. The campaign must not be about the tools. But with the right tools in place, we can increase the likelihood that he (and we) will be successful.
This is exciting.