Obama, Biden and a Call for a SMUG Associate Professor

It turns out that mainstream media still got the scoop on Sen. Obama’s choice for VP, despite the campaign promise to break the news to supporters first via SMS and e-mail. Here’s the AP story:

Obama’s decision leaked to the media several hours before his aides planned to send a text message announcing the running mate, negating a promise that people who turned over their phone numbers would be the first to know who Obama had chosen. The campaign scrambled to send the text message after the leak, sending phones buzzing at the inconvenient time of just after 3 a.m. on the East coast.

I guess if you’re a strong enough supporter to give your cell phone number to a political campaign, you’ll probably forgive both the broken promise and the 2 a.m. CDT message disrupting your sleep.

I hardly ever get into politics on this blog, but I was a political science major and worked for 14 years in politics and government. It’s hard for me to fathom that an announcement like this — the most important one of the campaign — would be leaked accidentally to the media after the campaign had made such a big deal about texting the choice to supporters first.

Disclosure: My political background is on the other side of the aisle, and I’ll be voting for the “Wrinkly, White-Haired Guy.” And I’m thinking our Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty, will be his running mate.

I have been interested, though, in how Sen. Obama’s campaign has used social media, but I haven’t wanted to give my e-mail address or cell phone number to the campaign to experience it directly. You can’t even get into his Web site without providing your e-mail.

So this is a call for someone to join the SMUG faculty as Associate Professor and do an analysis of the Obama campaign’s use of social media. I’m sure that among our 150+ SMUGgles we have several who received that early-morning SMS. If you’ve experienced the on-line Obama campaign first-hand and would like to write a post about what strategies and tactics you think have been most effective, you can become an Associate Professor in the SMUG Department of Political Science.

If anyone else wants to write a post about Sen. McCain and the RNC’s use of social media, or any of the other campaigns’ activities (such as Ralph Nader’s or Cynthia McKinney’s), those would be welcome, too.

Ground Rules: This will not be a discussion of the merits of candidates or their policy positions. There is no lack of sites where those debates are already taking place, both on the right and the left. The SMUG discussion will about how the campaigns and their supporters are using social media tools.

Apply for a Associate Professor position via e-mail at the address listed in the “Contact the Chancellor” sidebar item.

If you just want to share your brief impressions of the campaigns’ use of social media, you can put those in the comments below. Same ground rules apply.

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

3 thoughts on “Obama, Biden and a Call for a SMUG Associate Professor”

  1. Lee –

    I did in fact receive that early morning text message, email, and also a Facebook post.

    I’ll see about a review of the Obama campaign’s use of social media (need to get through my pile of work and a 7 yr old birthday party yet this weekend first). However, I think I can provide one correction, in that you can in fact get into the Obama website (http://www.barackobama.com) without providing your email address. Just click the link at the upper right (“Skip Donation – Go to Website”).

    Thanks again for the great work, Lee.

    Chris

  2. Lee, you pose an interesting question for SMUG. I like the idea of exploring the ‘how’ of Sm in politics. (Disclosure: I received the message this morning and will likely vote Obama-Biden.) I was a poli-sci minor in college and am also fascinated with and exploring social media from a communications/PR perspective.

    I’m one of those weirdos that geeks out on politics especially during election time.

    In fact I was already thinking through some points for my blog on the subject. I look forward to see if anyone steps up. If you have no other takers, shoot me an e-mail and let’s start that conversation.

    Keep up the good work.

    Richie

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