GW 2008 Innovator of the Year

Barack Obama will not only go down in history as America's first black president, he is also the first commander-in-chief to use new media as part of his successful campaign. Early on in the election cycle, the Obama campaign knew that if it wanted to bring "change" to American politics, they would need innovative communication to do it.

What Did We Say:

Obama used the Internet for both fundraising purposes and growing a community of like-minded voters who wanted to see the country go in a different direction than the one led by the Bush Administration. According to data from the Federal Election Commission, Obama raised over $470 million in individual contributions through October 15, compared to rival John McCain’s $200 million. Obama accomplished this by taking smaller contributions from supporters and creating an easy online giving process.

Also, his supporters got online to show their support for him on multiple social networks, including a YouTube video from pop star Will.i.am and “Obama Girl.”

The Obama campaign also used text messaging to announce the selection of VP running mate Joe Biden.

The president-elect has vowed to make technological innovation a priority in his administration, as his weekly radio addresses will also be posted on YouTube, bringing new meaning to the fireside chats. Also, for the first time, there will be a chief technology officer to help Obama "ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st Century."

Here at Global Wire, we are most interested, though, in how transparent Obama will be about his policy decisions, and if he will be frank or shady about discussing his decisions in cyberspace. We recommend that he take questions from the American people and answer them in his YouTube chats if he wants to keep the momentum that got him elected in the first place. Otherwise, he will be seen as just another politician that says one thing and does another. While we love that the next U.S. president is tech-savvy, we will cry foul on any questionable decisions he makes, especially regarding the war on terrorism and the growing economic crisis.

But for now, we hold our glasses up to Barack Obama on his achievements so far!

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