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January 11, 2008


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conspiracy theorist

"At the same time, the media has missed the fact that Obama just received an email list of MILLIONS OF NAMES of people ready to kick in money, time, and blog power."

i'd like to see you back this up.
millions of people? if it's millions of people then surely some of us are on that list, why aren't we getting emails?
why do you think these people are so dumb and easily influenced? why would they just give money, write blogs, dedicate time just because they get some email?
be a little bit more sensible.

i think this is just rubbish.

conspiracy theorist

David, I posted the first comment. thank you for your clarification. i still find it very hard to believe and i'll follow up. in the meantime, i apologize for my harsh first reaction.

David Meerman Scott

Conspiracy Theorist:

Howard Dean and John Kerry spent six years building this list of supporters. Now Barack Obama has use of it. When either Dean or Kerry needed some cash, appeals to the email list could generate a million dollars in a single day.

I included a chapter on Dean's Internet Machine in my second book "Cashing in with Content." I interviewed the people in charge.

To research the story, I subscribed to Dean's list. I then was transferred to Kerry's list in 2004. And today I received an email from Obama.

I went to the Democratic National Convention on a press pass in 2004 and did more research on this list.

This is not a political blog and I am not making a political statement. As I said, this is the most significant development on the MARKETING front in this presidential season.


mike Ashworth

I wonder whether the people whose email addresses were sitting on that database gave permission for them to be handed around between candidates?

I'm hoping they did give explicit permission as otherwise it would be a breach of their trust.


A few years ago, my comedian brother Eugene Mirman raised some money for Alan Keyes. The results - what Keyes did with his info, and what then happened - were unexpected:



Lou Covey

From my experience in politics, I think this may be significant in the primaries, I'm not sure this is helpful for a nation run. You're assuming that most of the 3 million people on the Dean/Kerry list were NOT on Obama's list, and I find that hard to believe. The 3 million are not political virgins, but those who generally ahve a great deal of interest in politics. The Dean supporters were probably on board the Obama train early. And considering the bad blood between the Clinton's and Kerry, I'm sure a lot of Kerry supporters came into Obama's camp early on. Once you subtract duplications, I think you'll find less than a 10th of the list were people not on the Obama's data base. We're talking about 300,000 names now. Again, that's significant for a primary and could be significant in a close presidential race. But I can't buy that this is a significant boost against the Clinton machine.
And let's not forget: Kerry and Dean both lost.


It's also a chance for millions of people to report Obama as a SPAMMER because they didn't opt-in to his list.

David Meerman Scott

As I mentioned earlier, I opted in to Dean's list early on when I was analyzing his Web marketing.

THe way it works is that you get an email from the current list owner who says they are now supporting the new guy and you're given a chance to opt out. Then the new guy send you a message welcoming you.

So I was on Dean's list. He sent me a message saying he now supports Kerry. I can opt out. Then I get messages from Kerry.

Fast forward a few years and Kerry endorses Obama. I get an email from Kerry saying Obama is his guy and a change to opt out. The next day, Obama sends a message.

(And of course, you can opt out at any time).



Her's how it really works from someone who has multiple email lists:

Most of the time when you opt-in to a list, there's a disclaimer that says - "We'll never rent, sell or trade your email address because we hate SPAM and value your privacy."

If there was one on Dean's original opt-in box, he's now a liar. And if Kerry peddled my name to Obama, I'd have a righteous hate for him too, as I didn't give him permission to do that.

I'm betting you don't have a lot of lists and deal with this daily or you'd know that the majority of humans, the one's that aren't as internet savvy as you are, HATE to get emails from people they didn't subscribe to even more than they hate to get them from people they did subscribe to.

AOL users especially love to hit the Report As SPAM button, even though they went thru a double opt-in process. AOL has taught them that their butthead of a button is quciker and easier than properly unsubscribing.

We have thousands of people on our lists and as of now, block AOL, Hotmail and all those junk addys, just because they cause more customer service problems than they are worth.

Even I wouldn't allow myself to be shuttled between list owners, especially politicians.

He'll get thousands of unsubscribes, little value and less money from this than you think.

The worst part is this will further erode the trust of every person on that list. It'll prove to them how badly they'll be treated when they give out their email addy and it'll end up making harder for those of us who don't abuse our double opt-in confirmed email lists.

But you didn't think of the damage...only the potential gain.

There's two sides to every story and for every action there's a reaction.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, just reminding you of those age-old truths.

conspiracy theorist

having talked to the reporter of http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/11/kerry_bolsters_obamas_fund_raising_clout/

and after following up with the obama campaign, the news is in fact correct and the number is actually 3M+ (although many were already on the obama list). unbelievable!

David Meerman Scott

And nobody is talking about it...

Jim Peake

list? what list? where was it published he was passing on the list? let's face it we are living in glass houses and many people know a lot about each of us.

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