Last fall I wrote about how Obama's campaign made such good use of web marketing to mobilise grassroots supporters and spread campaign messages. His team have continued to press that advantage from the White House, most recently rallying the 13 million people in Obama's email database (and 5 million in social networks) to lobby Congress in favour of the proposed budget bill.
Derrick Harris over on GigaOM yesterday kicked off an analysis of how the Obama technology gurus (Dan Langer and Luke Peterson) harnessed integrated email databases with traditional voter calling efforts to leap ahead of the McCain camp. What is particularly impressive here is that they did it using off-the-shelf technologies at relatlively low cost and in a way that clearly scaled very very well.
In Part II of the article out today, details emerge that make this project a poster-child for web marketing best practices, and for what ambitious government IT projects could be if they were run by commercial, web-savvy people and not Pentagon bureaucrats.
Laptops, open-source databases, cloud computing resources, VoiP, mobile phone applications, and every flavour of SaaS. This is definitely not the Microsoft generation -- the campaign team used more GoogleDocs / EditGrid spreadsheets than traditional Excel.
Both the UK and US governments could learn a thing or two from Obama's team about IT procurement for data integration projects... Let's hope some of it rubs off.