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David Talbot

A View from David Talbot

Obama's Neighborhood Network

The Democrat’s new online tool allows supporters to reach out to individual voters in their neighborhood.

  • September 17, 2008

Barack Obama’s campaign used online social networking very effectively to raise money and organize supporters to win the Democratic primary. These days, John McCain’s site is beefing up similar features, such as McCain Nation, which allows supporters to easily organize and find campaign events in their area.

But the Obama camp recently upped the ante with a neighbor-to-neighbor tool. It aims to send supporters out to contact individual voters in their neighborhoods–presumably drawn from databases of current or former Democrats–and follow an Obama-provided script to ensure that the faithful get out and vote. The tool “might be a sign that not only is team Obama ahead in terms of the participatory Web, but that it has figured out how to use what they’ve learned online thus far to actually win votes,” Andrew Raseij, founder of Personal Democracy Forum, a conference and website about politics and technology, wrote me in an e-mail.

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