LinkedIn Comes of Age in 2008 Race

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The rise of online social networking has roughly coincided with the lengthening of the Presidential campaign process. The parallel rise of the early primaries alongside the political usefulness of social networking sites like Moveon.org, or professional business sites like LinkedIn, have led Presidential campaigns, unused to the lengthening process, into entirely new political — and financial — reservoirs.

The emergence of the LinkedIn as a player in the competitive fundraising game between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton is further evidence that the sophisticated use of social networking technology will have to be a major part of any winning presidential campaign strategy. From CNNMoney:

”Obama on Wednesday posed a business-related question to LinkedIn members related to his efforts to defeat New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and others vying for the Democratic nomination. (His question: ‘How can the next president help small business and entrepreneurs survive?’ to which he received 135 answers by mid-morning Wednesday.)

”For the Illinois senator, his debut on LinkedIn gives him the chance to connect with movers and shakers in the business world. And for LinkedIn itself, Obama’s decision to partake in the often lively forums on the site gives it a boost of street cred in a new and growing niche for online social networks — as a well-traveled political town hall that could provide a strong revenue source in the future.”

Obama’s engagement with LinkedIn follows right on the heels of the Huffington Post Candidate Mash-Up Presidential Debate that was hosted by Charlie Rose and the New York Times-MoveOn.org debate still buzzing in the blogosphere.

(image via smallbusinesscomputing)