Technology for Business Sake Podcast - Shows

Barack Obama's Social Media Lessons for Small Business

Posted by Brent Leary on Mon, Oct 13, 2008 @ 03:01 PM

Tags: social media, twitter, barack obama, blue state digital, facebook

Show : Barack Obama's Social Media Lessons for Small Business
Guest : Jascha Franklin-Hodge, co-founder and CTO of Blue State Digital
Aired : Tuesday October 7th, 2008

There continues to be a great deal of interest in how Barack Obama's campaign has utilized social media in his race for the White House.  He's the most followed person on sites like Facebook and Twitter, two places on the web business people are using more frequently.  His videos, and those made on his behalf, have been viewed millions of times.  And incredibly large numbers of people have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to his campaign.  Which makes it no surprise that publications, from MIT's Technology Review to the Washington Post, are fascinated at the impact social media has had on his campaign.

 Our guest this week is Jascha Franklin-Hodge, co-founder and chief technology officer of Blue State Digital.  BSD is the technology partner behind BarackObama.com and the My.BarackObama.com social networking site.  Jascha shares with us how BSD got started with the campaign, the strategy behind the campaign's web presence and the way it has fostered a wildly active community.  He also discusses what small businesses can take away from the campaign with respect to using technology to engage people.

Politics aside, there are a number of great points Jascha addresses that are easily applicable to any business looking to build a successful web strategy. 

 A BSD founding partner, Jascha Franklin-Hodge brings more than a decade's experience in software development in the corporate, nonprofit, and political spheres to his role as BSD's Chief Technology Officer. He manages the company's technology staff and operations out of BSD's technology center near downtown Boston, including our infrastructure, the maintenance and enhancement of the BSD Online Tools, and our technology client services.

For Gov. Howard Dean's groundbreaking 2004 presidential campaign, Jascha led the technology team responsible for scaling, securing, and maintaining a high-visibility, high-traffic Web site, which received praise from both the political and tech communities for its usability, reliability, and depth of functionality.

Before entering the world of politics, Jascha was the director of software development for America Online's Digital Music Division. He helped architect several cutting-edge applications including Radio@AOL, Spinner, and MusicNet, as well as the digital music player Winamp. He has also worked for the Art Technology Group and Software Tool and Die (The World), and has consulted to the Computer Museum, Andiron Press, the School of The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Jascha studied computer science at MIT, and lives in Boston.


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