How the Barack Obama Campaign Uses Wikis to Organize Volunteers
The Obama campaign is using software from business intranet provider Central Desktop to manage "precinct captains" - volunteers who get out the vote and spread the campaign message in specific precincts across the state. The campaign started using the software during the run up to an earlier nominating contest in California - the nation's most populous state. "The Web-based collaboration platform combined with a strong organized grass-roots effort, created unprecedented public involvement that is revitalizing politics in America," said Patrick DeTemple, the California Data & Systems Manager for the Obama campaign. "Not since Bobby Kennedy has there been such an extensive Precinct Captain operation for a presidential candidate in California."
Central Desktop is a wiki-based collaboration tool that competes with 37Signals' Basecamp (to put it in some perspective). Though most users are business clients who utilize the software as a private intranet, the Obama campaign is using it to power a public facing wiki to organize information for precinct captains in Texas. The campaign is using the software on their own without much input beyond basic support from Central Desktop - or in other words, the campaign has been savvy enough to figure out how to utilize an existing tool for a completely new use case.