Is President-Elect Barack Obama a Social Media Stalker?

President-elect Barack Obama to have his Blackberry-induced smile wiped off his face?

The world is made up of two types of people – those who think Barack Obama is the Messiah, and those who think he’s a very naughty boy. In amongst that lot are a curious group of Web 2.0 evangelists who think the election was really a win for social media.

Whatever…


Obama’s campaign obviously used the tools at his disposal wisely and correctly amongst various demographics. Good marketing relies on horses for courses – his utilization of the pony express to tap into the Amish community was just as inspired as setting up a facebook page. Oh, and never mind the fact that he had more money at his disposal than a small third world dictatorship.

There’s some lip-smacking irony, though, in the news that Obama (do I have to call him President-elect? What’s the protocol?) might not be able to use his Blackberry while in office. No, it has nothing to do with John McCain spitefully revoking licenses on the device he allegedly helped invent, but concerns about security and the Presidential Records Act. It also probably looks a little dubious if you’re caught texting Scarlett Johansson under the table at the some G8 get together.

Reports suggest he may find his Blackberry habit particularly difficult to kick. So, in order to calm the cravings, he’s looking to be the first president to have a laptop in the Oval Office. I hope he doesn’t intend on using it to record his weekly addresses to the nation on YouTube. I think the Commander-in-Chief can afford to forego authenticity in the form of jittery lo-res camera work and other amateur production values.

I presume we also won’t be subject to any tweets referencing boarding Air Force One while feeling giddily pumped about meeting Gordon Brown.

Now if you’re excited enough by Obama that you’d like to work in his administration serving the American people, there’s a section of the President-elect’s transition Website – Change.gov – that allows you to formally apply.

Does anybody know how you used to apply for this kind of work in the good old days?

Before you start dusting off your resume, you may want to make yourself aware of some of the hoops you have to jump through as part of the vetting process. The seven page questionnaire involves:

• 63 requests for personal or professional records
• Asking if you or a family member owns a gun (presumably an appended question inquires how hard you cling to it)
• Including links to all your blog posts and social networking pages
• Listing all your aliases and handles on the Internet

Obviously I’ll hand this over to you in the comments as to whether you consider this to overtly invasive and excessive.

Were the Stasi in East Germany ever this intrusive? Should your online pursuits be private and placed in a similar non-discriminatory category as religious views or sexual preference? Or is it just a case of sorting the wheat from the chaff before the FBI wastes valuable time sorting through applicants’ virtual dirty laundry?

Or is it just the type of change only men with overtly jealous partners can believe in?

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