Obama Gets a New Grassroots ‘Dashboard,’ I Get a Quote in the Wall Street Journal


Some of us in the online politics space have wondered what Obama 2012 would roll out to replace 2008’s MyBarackObama.com, and now we know: the Wall Street Journal has the scoop on the campaign’s new “Dashboard” grassroots organizing tool. The article’s behind the Journal’s paywall, but a little bird sent over a Google link that takes you to a “free sample” version. Toward the end, after tPrez’s Micah Sifry and a couple of skeptical Republicans, I get a quick quote:

The Dashboard aims to give supporters information about local efforts and let people see how their efforts compare with those of other volunteers.

The Dashboard’s appearance borrows a bit from Facebook’s white-and-blue layout. On the left, volunteers see recent local activities, including people who updated their profiles or joined a volunteer team such as “Women for Obama.” From the home page, users can get phone numbers of would-be voters. Staffers can use the program to organize and track volunteers’ progress.

“If you’re going to build an online grass-roots campaign, you need to make it as easy as possible for people to help out,” said Colin Delany, editor of ePolitics.com, a website devoted to online campaigning.

A true fact indeed: it’s dumb to make volunteers jump through hoops to get involved, a rule that’s broken ridiculously often online. And is that mention of seeing “how their efforts compare” a hint of gamification in form of competition among activists? Interesting…. Thanks go out to the Journal’s Amy Schatz for dropping me a line and asking for comments.

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