Loads has been written of late, about how impressive the social media and online presence was in Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign. Akamai Technologies, which delivers Internet video for a range of different websites, said that the inauguration was a record for them. 7.7m people watched video streams at the same time, according to The Associated Press. Apparently the Internet’s top 40 sites have slowed down by up to 60% when the event started!
Obama himself was a Social Media dream – maintaining an inauguration blog at which was up kept by the good people at at Tumblr who updated it throughout the day. “Barack Obama Inauguration” had a Facebook, so one could join the event while people could submit photos, videos, quotes, links and blogs for the site and even upload photographs to be considered for the official inauguration book. Twitter, of course, had an official presidential Twitter stream as well as one exclusively for the inauguration. Flickr (the Yahoo!-owned photo sharing site) hosted an Inauguration 2009 group for people to add their photos to throughout the day.
So as a homage to Barak himself and his clear adoration of all things Social Media, here is the inauguration speech one more time – but this time it’s Leapfrogg style!
“My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank Google for its service to our internet, as well as the innovation and versatility it has shown throughout this transitional period.
These words have been spoken during rising tides of websites and the still waters of commerce. Yet, every so often an oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, Leapfrogg has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because the staff and clients have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Internet users.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our World Wide Web is at war, against a far-reaching network of black hatters and unsecure badly optimised websites. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make the changes needed and prepare our websites for a new age. Sites have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Competitors’ optimisation is too costly; their training fails too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use the Internet strengthen our search and could bring us an increased ROI.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our Web – a nagging fear that marketing is needed is inevitable, and that the next generation must push harder.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, web users search needs- they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen expertise over armature, a high level of friendly service over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our industry.
We remain a young industry, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our passion; to choose integrity; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from web developer to content creator: the God-given promise that all websites could be equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of profit.
In reaffirming the greatness of Leapfrogg, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer no text over engaging, optimized copy, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the PPC team, the SEO team, the content creators and Social Media Strategists- some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards high-ranking positions and exceptional conversion rates.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and travelled across Brighton in search of a new way ensure that the web is a better place to do business.
For us, they toiled in the old smelly office and settled the nicer big office; endured the lash of Rosie’s whip and ploughed through search terms, link work, and content and ad copy.
For us, they searched and optimised places like Babyoka and Aurora; Mayo Wynne Baxter and Wow estores.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were hurting so that we might find it easier to find what we want. They saw the Internet as bigger than the sum of our individual ambition; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most innovative, ambitious, exciting industry on earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of black hat techniques, of phishing and spaming – that time has surely passed. Starting today, Leapfrogg must pick itself up, dust itself off, and begin again the work of making the Internet a better place to do business.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the Kidstuff calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create better search, but to lay a new foundation for Social Media growth. We will build the sites and meta tags, the copy and ad campaigns that feed our ecommerce and bind us together. We will restore the Internet to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders and lower your cost. We will harness the power of the Web and the traffic and fuel our sites and run our businesses. And we will transform our tools and copy and search to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this company has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether Digital Marketing is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps users find sites of a decent quality, products and services they can afford, a brand that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, our work will continue. And those of us who manage the bids and ecommerce will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad search terms and landing pages, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their Internet.
“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that Leapfrogg, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
Online business users and Internet users. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With expertise, Passion and integrity, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and Google’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great need for acquisition and conversion and delivered it safely to future online SMEs.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the Internet.”