Online Balls


It has probably been at least a couple of weeks since I pointed out that President-Elect Barack Obama’s campaign/transition team has been the most Web-savvy operation in political history.

From the e-mail alerts at the drop of a nomination, to the online marketing of Obamamania, to the latest announcement–an Internet-connected people’s inaugural ball–the President-elect has made nary an online misstep. 

Makes you wish he had fired off a text message to Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California about Leon Panetta getting the top CIA post.

But I digress.

Verizon may not be looking forward to dealing with the potential volume of calls around Inauguration Day (Jan. 20), but the idea of linking neighborhood inaugural balls around the country with an anchor ball in DC attended by the President-elect and featuring text messaging and Webcasts and other electronic connections is quintessential Obama.

It is yet another recognition of what community now means, which is far more electronic than geographic.

That recognition should also inform the new president’s view of Internet access. That means balancing the desire to protect the next garage start-up with the recognition that to handle a community linked by the Internet, companies who have to build and maintain networks have to have some flexibility in managing traffic.

They are part of the new media community, too.