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Obama'08 Website Goes Live: Let's Click Some Buttons

BY stevegarfield | Saturday, February 10 2007

It's 9:16 AM in Boston and I just visited to check on the time of his live webstream. It's at 10:50 AM EST, but even more interesting is his new website.

Lot's to see here and explore before the announcement. The first thing you notice is the campaign's logo. It's the letter O in blue with red and white stripes at the bottom. There are menu options for Learn, Issues, Get Involved, Blog, Newsroom and Donate. You've also got In the News and an Obama Store.

There's a section called which is subtitled, "This Campaign is About You" and has options to Create a Profile, Find Supporters Near You, Plan and Attend Events, Network, Become a Fundraiser, Write a Blog. There's also an Upcoming Events section.

On the far right is BarackTV. Clicking on that brings you to a page with an embedded Brightcove video player. There's a large video on the left with a listing of five videos on the right. When I play the video is smooth with no stuttering. You can also increase the size and make it bigger. I don't see any way to subscribe though to be notified of new videos.

I'd like to spend more time exploring all the features of the site, but right now I'm going to take a closer look at the buttons at the bottom of the page.

At the bottom of the page there are links for the following:

Facebook, partybuilder, register to vote, YouTube, flickr.

Let's click each button and see what happens:


Visiting his Facebook page, I see that Barack wrote a note this morning:

Barack wrote a note. 8:54am
Barack Obama Presidential Announcement
Saturday in Springfield, Illinois, Barack Obama will make his Presidential Announcement. This event will be available to everyone through a live webcast at beginning at 10:50 EST.

Other options on the side of the page are:

Read Notes by Barack (10)
Send Barack a Message
Poke Him!
Support Barack

The "Poke Him!" option isn't clear to me. It's like mystery meat navigation. I clicked it was presented with this:

"You are about to poke Barack. He will be informed of this the next time he logs in.

Also, if you poke Barack, he will be able to see your profile for one week."

Not sure what this is all about. I remember back a few years ago when a college aged cousin was showing me Facebook he told me that he spent a lot of time poking cute girls.

Clicking Support Barack results in this message:

"Would you like to add Barack Obama to the list of candidates you support?"

I clicked on "Support Barack" and got the message, "A friend request will now be sent to Barack Obama for approval."

Ahh, so that's how you add him as a friend. Maybe the link should say something like "Add as a friend."


Clicking this takes me to a page titled, "The Democratic Party."

At the top of the page I see, "Barack Obama has 4 Friend(s)!"

Clicking on the My Friends tab prompts me to sign up. I go back to

Register to Vote

Clicking this page brings me to a page that displays:

"Register to vote now! You can't vote if you're not registered. We've made it easy. "


Clicking on YouTube first returned this error:

"Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Apache Server at Port 80"

Refreshing the page brought up user BarackObamadotcom, with this information:

Joined: 5 months ago
Last Login: 15 hours ago
Videos Watched: 69
Subscribers: 686
Channel Views: 7,177


Clicking on this link brings me to Barack Obama's photos.

Barack Obama's contacts (0)

I click "Add Barack Obama as a contact"

Now he's been added to my contacts list. In order for him to show up on my contact list he has to approve my friend request.

I'm looking forward to exploring the features of this new site and it'll will be interesting to see how the numbers of friends and subscribers change over the coming days and weeks.

Please comment with your thoughts.

Disclaimer: I'm an independent voter and haven't decided who I am supporting in this presidential race.