What Can You Learn from BarackObama.com

The upcoming presidential election in the United States is the first since Web 2.0 technologies have become widely used. Although both candidates have embraced these features, Barack Obama’s online success has been unprecedented. According to recent research by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Obama has more Facebook supports by a margin of 5-to-1, more MySpace friends by a margin of almost 6-to-1, and more YouTube subscribers by an impressive 11-to-1 margin.

The real question is what makes BarackObama.com so successful and how can you leverage this information on your website?

The design of Barackobama.com clearly directs users towards one goal; to take an action. Visitors are encouraged to make calls, volunteer, or even donate through large, easy to understand buttons. By simply viewing the home page, supporters immediately understand what steps to take next and how to complete them.

The Obama Campaign understands the power of social networking. The “Obama Everywhere” block provides links to sixteen social networking sites including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Flickr. The Campaign also realizes that simply having a presence on these sites is not enough. The content available on each site has been highly customized, is updated frequently and is targeted towards each audience, ensuring continued interest.

The blog for the website regularly incorporates high quality media include both pictures and videos. The Campaign has recruited numerous bloggers to ensure the content is fresh. On a typical day you will find a minimum of fifteen new posts. At the conclusion of each post, users are presented with options to share the post on social bookmarking sites such as Digg and del.cio.us. There is also an option to Email the post to a friend. When you consider that most posts have literally hundreds of comments within twenty four hours of posting, it is clear that the frequent release of quality content keeps visitors engaged.

The wide spread uses of media is impressive. No matter where you navigate you will find a host of high quality videos addressing key issues and targeting specific demographics. There is even a dedicated page for “Barack TV”. All videos are also available in closed captioning to ensure visitors with disabilities are able to experience the website as well. The media experience is not limited to photos and videos. Visitors can also download music, flyers, website badges, and desktop backgrounds, just to name a few. These offerings allow visitors to market for the campaign by making it simple for supporters to share their message beyond the official website.