But for now, it’s party time. At the end of June, after Clinton suspended her campaign, MyBO put out a call for the faithful to organize house parties under a “Unite for Change” theme. More than 4,000 parties were organized nationwide on June 28; I logged in and picked three parties from about a dozen in the Boston area.
My first stop was a house party in the tony suburb of Winchester, where several couples dutifully watched an Obama-supplied campaign video. Host Mary Hart, an art professor in her 50s, said that Obama and his website made her “open my house to strangers and really get something going.” She added, “I’m e-mailing people I haven’t seen in 20 years. We have this tremendous ability to use this technology to network with people. Why don’t we use it?”
Next stop was a lawn party in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, whose organizer, Sachielle Samedi, 34, wore a button that said “Hot Chicks Dig Obama.” She said that support for the Obama candidacy drew neighbors together. At the party, Wayne Dudley, a retired history professor, met a kindred spirit: Brian Murdoch, a 54-year-old Episcopal priest. The two men buttonholed me for several minutes; Dudley predicted that Obama would bring about “a new world order centered on people of integrity.” Murdoch nodded vigorously. It was a fine MyBO moment.
My evening ended at a packed post-collegiate party in a Somerville walk-up apartment. Host Rebecca Herst, a 23-year-old program assistant with the Jewish Organizing Initiative, said that MyBO–unlike Facebook–allowed her to quickly upload her entire Gmail address book, grafting her network onto Obama’s. “It will be interesting to see what develops after this party, because now I’m connected to all these people,” she shouted over the growing din. Two beery young men, heading for the exits, handed her two checks for $20. Herst tucked the checks into her back pocket.
David Talbot is Technology Review’s chief correspondent.