I’ve noted the parallels between grassroots internet political activity and fandom on here several times, but if you ever doubted I had a point, check out, a social networking site for supporters of his presidential bid. Launching this just days after making his candidacy official in a speech in which he called for what the bloggers like to call “fatter internet tubes*,” it just goes to show that whatever his political strengths and weaknesses, this guy gets the internet and has good insight into how to get the people who want to identify with you to rally around and start working for you. He’s been called a rock star, and he’s sure working the Net like one. Here’s the touch that really nails it: At the very bottom it reads “Powered by Obama ’08 (and supporters just like you).” Genius. Though I’d get rid of those parentheses.

* Bloggers do a lot of appropriating stupid things politicians say about the internet into their own language. First they started saying “the internets” to mock Bush who used that term in his State of the Union address last year. The “tubes” terminology comes from Sen. Stevens of the ghastly DOPA legislation in a speech where he demonstrated his ignorance of that which he was proposing to ban. Co-opting language is a good form of resistance in many ways, look at “queer” for a good example, but in this case I wonder if it ends up reinforcing the perspectives of the ignorant rather than serving as a form of challenge.

Update: Fred Stutzman has posted a thoughtful analysis of the Obama site here.

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