Obama’s YouTube Debut

Obama’s online army of internet supporters have been given their first nod by the president elect. His first video address was posted on YouTube, the first of a regular communion with the online community. His message was almost Churchillian. “While the road will be long and the work will be hard, I know we can steer ourselves out of this crisis,” he said. The Observer describes how Obama intends to use the internet for his own ends. “Obama plans to bring his online backers, who shatter fundraising records, with him to Washington. They are more than 3.1 million-strong in terms of financial contributors and volunteers. In terms of an email database of supporters, they number about 10 million ... It is a massive lobby of activists across the nation, which Obama can directly access via email or social networking websites … He can deploy them in support of his plans, lobbying reluctant politicians or businesses.” In his day, FDR broadcast his weekly fireside chats to similarly appeal over the heads of Congress.