Sipping my cup of coffee this morning, I thought let’s see what the candidates have done to persuade me to stay on their website. Really, isn’t that the game—get people to stay on your site. Get people to explore and click around your site.

Well, it is no wonder why Obama is winning the Internet race. On the Obama site, I was greeted with a friendly video message that inspired me and made me think I am important in this world. I trusted him. Obama clearly understands the power of linking citizenship with emotions. He understands that people seek experiences that “make us think, that make us feel, that help us grow, and that enrich our lives in some way (Bedbury, 2002, p. 106).

Then when I goggled McCain, I clicked the link and I was brought to his home page—no friendly greeting. I thought maybe there is another link that has a friendly greeting, considering it would be very easy to upload a video, but no. The greeting I was given with McCain was a picture of conflict.

Read the Speech

Then, I thought do I really want to vote for someone who showcases conflict? No. I understand politics is conflict, but I want to partner with a leader that wants to build something better—a better America.  A good lesson for McCain’s site comes from Joe Trippi. He states, “The measure of a great company will be the way it builds great communities” (p. 219). McCain is not a company but he is a brand that should be focusing on how to build a great community instead of how to push a message.

This election, like most elections, is going to be about making an iconic brand—a brand that builds a relationship with Americans.  Bedbury (2002) says, “An effective brand makes relevant and compelling connections to deeply rooted human emotions or profound cultural forces” (p. 105). It seems Obama is doing this well, and McCain has yet to understand the emotions of the Internet culture.