stays online after election

Network was used by 35,000 groups to create 200,000 events during Obama presidential campaign

Another user, "4earth," added that "we need to all take over Barack's old job of being community organizers so we can all get through the hard times. This site can be a real tool to do that."

TechPresident blogger Micah Sifry noted that Hughes was smart to reassure Obama's base that the site won't be suddenly shut down.

"But Hughes' post seems to be mostly a placeholder, a kind of status report that doesn't really resolve the fundamental question of [the site's] future," he added. "I expect MyBarackObama to get folded into the DNC, most likely by merging it into PartyBuilder, the DNC's social network. Obama legally can't take [the site] with him into the White House, since the Hatch Act precludes using government resources for political operations."

He added that Senator John Kerry uses the huge e-mail list his presidential campaign generated in 2004 to work with those people to support his legislative priorities.

If the Barack Obama for President organization morphed into a Friends of Barack Obama-type organization with possession of the lists from My.BarackObama, the group could push issues in coordination with the White House, he added. Whatever happens to the site, its real value lies in the networking among its users, Sifry noted.

"This is social capital as much as it is political capital, and arguably is as much the property of the people with accounts on the site as it is the property of the campaign," Sifry wrote. "One hopes that going forward, the Obama political team realizes that the conversation with a network of supporters is different than the conversation with a list, and that the two-way, multilateral linking enabled by the platform is its real strength."

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Heather Havenstein

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