THE BLOG

Where Will Barack's E-Mail List End Up?

12/30/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

For weeks there has been traffic around the issue of how Barack Obama will maintain vital contact with the millions who participated at every level in helping his campaign.

Will there be an independent Obama movement using the various organizational techniques available to political groups? Or a transformation of the Democratic National Committee into a replica of the current Obama movement now located at myBarackObama.com? Might David Plouffe move to the DNC?

myBarackObama.com gives everyone a blog, a fundraising page, the capacity to organize by importing personal emails and sending out mail, to fight smears, to know the issues -- and so forth.

With Barack's victory, change.gov emerged as his official transition site and activity at myBarackObama.com slacked off to some extent. Change.gov is similarly interactive, enabling reaction to issues like health care, the sharing of stories and application for some 7,000 political jobs that will be filled over the coming months.

It now seems possible that Barack's formidable organization might end up with a direct line into the White House.

The answer lies in the commonly used practice of opting in.

... unknown is how Barack Obama will continue to converse with the 13 million people who signed up to receive his campaign e-mail alerts, and reach out to those who weren't his Twitter followers or Facebook friends. Under privacy laws, the president-elect won't be able to take the e-mail list with him into the White House, though he can e-mail everyone on it to ask if they want to join a new whitehouse.gov e-mail list.

Thomas Gensemer, a managing partner at Blue State Digital, the media company behind Obama's web operation, believes that Obama campaign supporters will choose to follow the president-elect, virtually, into the White House.

"People want to rally to his cause whether it's political or policy. People are going to come. It's a matter of making it open and accessible enough that you do respect all the opt-in privacy policies as well as the campaign laws," he said.

Once a new list is created, Gensemer says it could be used, in the same way as it was during the campaign, to send information directly to people, bypassing the mainstream media. It could be the start of the most interactive presidency we've seen. SOURCE

If 13 million decide to opt in, where might it stop?

Presumably one could not raise funds from the White House. So the original list will doubtless be used though if it moved to the DNC from myBarackObama.com there would need to be a similar opt-in presumably.

My guess is that the list will remain exactly where it is. Unless there is a move to merge the Obama Movement with the DNC.

But the real energy of the movement might move to the direct line between WhiteHouse.gov and the old and new Barack supporters who opt in or sign up there.