UXIdeas blog

User Experience ideas and inspiration

Obama 2.0: Lessons in social media from the Obama Presidential Campaign

leave a comment »

Barack ObamaSocial Media played a large part in the success of the Obama election campaign. Here’s a few notes from an InternetWorld seminar i saw by Leo Ryan from Ryan*MacMillan.

– In 2004 Howard Dean was the first presidential candidate to really understand the power of social media in his 2004 campaign. He utilised blogs and used the Internet to raise a large sum of money for the elctoral campaign. For more info on his campaign look here.

– On the other end of the scale, in 2006, Replublican Senetor George Allen used what appeared to be racist language towards a voulenteer for one of his opponents, during a speech. The volenteer was filming him as he said this and it wasn’t long before the video had spread like wildfire accross the Internet.

– In 2004 the Democrats created ActBlue, a website dedicated to the constant promotion and fundraising for Democratic politicians in the States.

– To successfully support a campaign online, engage with voters by creating a tool and effectively use other existing tools to;
1) allow quick and easy donations to raise money
2) engage with voters and promote the campaign
3) Foster organisation of supporters

– In the race for presidential nominations between, Obama used new media far more productively than Hilary. While Hilary only allowed users to send messages to her through her website, Obama¬† was fostering communities of supporters to come together and promote his campaign (using tools like Meetup). Also, while Obama followed nearly as many people on Twitter that followed him, Hilary didn’t follow anyone, which was effectively like telling the world that she wasn’t listening to them.

– Obama embraced every social media channel he could during his presidential campaign including Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, Meetup.

– When reports came out that Obama’s friend; the Reverend Wright caused controversy, Obama chose to make his response through the Huffindon Post, allowing him to give a full statement without it being twisted by the mainstream media.

– Will.i.am made the unofficial campaign song ‘Yes we can’. Although not endorsed by the Obama campaign, it was incredibally viral and Obama was in a good position to respond and take advantage due to his massive online presence.

– After 100 days in power Obama sent out an email listing all the things he had done since being in office. In the email he prompted people, that if they liked it, to forward the email on to their friends. This is a very democratic email.

Leo Ryan then ended his seminar by saying that it is important to remember the thousands-of-years old ways that we communicate and that it is important to continue these online. Remember to be human and don’t be nasty and people will respect you more than if you use social media as a means of spreading slander etc.

Written by tommoody84

May 14, 2009 at 11:36 am

Casting the net wider – Building engagement across the web

leave a comment »

Sara Linfoot

Sara Linfoot – Head of Digital Innovation @ The Guardian

Sara’s job is to maximise the Guardian’s revenue through the development of new digital concepts. Here are some key points from the seminar:

1) Understanding user engagement

Guardian divide their users into ‘Casual’ and ‘Committed’ users
‘Casual’ users will come onto the Guardian website through search engines etc. and are not regular visitors. They don’t know much about these users and do not spend much time trying to engage them. ‘Committed’ users engage frequently with the website, leaving comments, entering competitions, etc. They are invaluable to GNM and a lot of research goes into users in this group.

Guardian consider several elements when engaging users
1) Respect users – Don’t be sneaky with CRM etc. Curate online conversations. Ask them for their opinions. Don’t filter negative comments out but learn from them.
2) Give immediate responses – Show you’re listening.
3) To moderate or not? – Only take down conversations if someone flags it as ‘offensive’. Consider how a commercial conversations should be moderated (will there be slander from brand competitors, etc)?

Help users to get involved
Allow them to; comment, tag, share, add, stop, take, skip, save, mash, react, subscribe.

– Guardian got users to upload their pictures and messages for Obama in the lead-up to his inauguration.
– They identify super-users and engage with them, asking them to carry out tasks for them (e.g. give them a camera and ask them to go down to G20 protests and report back etc). This really utilises citizen journalism.

Engagement is hard to measure
When it comes to measuring the success of Guardian communities, it is important not to focus on classic metrics but to focus on measuring engagement/influence. Some companies claim to be able to do this but the Guardian believe these techniques are too long and complicated and the area is yet to be properly understood.

2) How GNM (Guardian News & Media) is embracing content distribution

Guardian’s open-platform allows users access to Guardians content and data sets, which they can integrate with other internet applications.

– One person used Guardian’s data on MP expense claims + mashed them up with Google maps, showing where in the country different claim amount were being shown.

– Another person used Guardian’s computer game reviews and mashed them with Youtube videos of those games.

3) Maxising amplification beyond GNM channels

Guardian currently engage with users through;
User-generated content, Audio, Video, Mobile, PDA, Magazines, Online, Events, Emails, RSS and downloadable PDFs (G24) and traditional newspapers (which are still central to the Guardian business model as they can me more in depth and people still like the experience of reading them. Now though the traditional journalists are more integrated with the online journalists and sit together).

In the future they also intend to diversify into other platforms
This includes Twitter and other social media. The future of GNM is focussed on engaing users outside the Guardian channels. The aim is to provide content to users wherever they might want to consume it. The more online communities they can tap into the the better. They will communicate with people using a combination of Text, Multimedia, Data (including data visualisation) and Community.

Old and new communication models need to be integrated
Before the Internet the Guardian was a broadcaster and it’s readers consumed its messages. In early Web people started to communicate in small clusters (in forums etc). Now with the wide range of social media available, the everyone including the Guardian is interconnected. The old models are still important though and need to work with each other to be most effective.

Written by tommoody84

May 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm

EuroIA 2008: Adam Greenfield (keynote)

leave a comment »

EuroIA 2008 kicked off with a keynote speech from Adam Greenfield of the Nokia Service User Interface Design (SUID) team. In his speech he outlined his perceptions of Information Architecture as a practice and community and how it has missed some key opportunities to move away from endlessly designing for the Internet and branch out further into ubiquiteous media projects.

This appealed to me greatly as I have only been working in User Experience for just under a year and already find working on endless web projects frustrating.

However. I felt that his talk failed to offer any conclusions to the problem he outlined. Of course it is up to the whole community to make things happen but I would have liked to hear his ideas on how the practice should move forward, instead of merely stating that it isn’t. Otherwise, this talk got me thinking as I’m sure it did others.

Written by tommoody84

September 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Euro IA 2008

leave a comment »

Last weekend the DLKW User Experience department flew out to Amsterdam to attend this year’s EuroIA conference. It all went down at the Tuschinski theatre in the centre of town, which was is a strange, haunting place and a damn nice place to spend 2 days.

Amsterdam its self is a fantastic place. Everybody is really laid back and the girls are amazing. We stayed on a house boat on the Amstel, where we held a lil’ drinks party for some of the other IAs at the conference. Met some really interesting people at the conference and really got a feel for the IA community (Hello to all of you).

All in all a brilliant few days. Next year is in Copenhagen so keep your eyes out for that. I will be putting up some notes on some of the speakers soon so watch this space.

Written by tommoody84

September 30, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Free online browser testing

leave a comment »

Interesting online browser test. Browsershots test your page against dozens of (unknown) browsers and OS and gives you a screengrab of your website in each browser. Quite handy and free.


Written by igordutra

August 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Posted in user experience

Tagged with ,

Orangina (pure sex) ad

leave a comment »

This is one of the most sexual ads I’ve ever seen on TV!

Written by igordutra

August 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Ideas, inspiration

Tagged with , , ,

Some olympic news websites

leave a comment »

One more post about the Beijing Olympic games! Since the games are happening at late (and early) hours I’ve been following the news from different websites but mainly from BBC and Estadao (for Brazilian Olympic news). This morning I was also checking other websites for curiosity. Most of them follow a similar layout pattern with featured articles on top, headlines, number of medals and in some cases multimedia content. I’d like to see more different approaches for this subject… I’ll try to find some more and update this post later. Suggestions are welcome!

Official Beijing website

BBC Olympics

Yahoo Sports
http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing (US)
http://au.sports.yahoo.com/olympics/ (Australia)
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/olympics/ (UK)



New York Times

Brazilian and Portuguese

Written by igordutra

August 11, 2008 at 11:46 am

Posted in Ideas, inspiration

Tagged with ,

Something for the Olympics

with one comment

Guardian’s Map of Olympic Medals

Somebody at our office sent round this link. It gives a graphical display of all medals won by which county at the Olympics since 1896. Wonderfully done. Really like the arrangement of balls into a world map. Balls.

Oylmpic Map

Oylmpic Map

Written by tommoody84

August 7, 2008 at 9:09 am

Aurora: future web UX?

leave a comment »

Adaptive Path and Mozilla Labs have launched Aurora Concept Video with their ideas about “one possible future user experience for the Web”.

See below the 1st part:

Written by igordutra

August 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Posted in Ideas, user experience

Tagged with , ,

Visual chart

leave a comment »

Nice chart sent by Andreas this morning:


Written by igordutra

August 4, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Ideas, user experience

Tagged with , ,