Hillary Clinton formally announced her entry into the 2008 Presidential race today. And like Tom Vilsack, Senator Clinton appears to have spent some time with the Cluetrain Manifesto (“markets are conversations”).

The tagline “Let the Conversation Begin” is plastered all over her site and she begins her annoucement video with this quote: “I’m not just starting a campaign, I’m beginning a conversation.” I hope Cluetrain authors Chris Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger are getting some royalties here.

The site itself is pretty good. I’m a big fan of the look and feel of the Clinton website, just like I was a big fan of the five or six Senatorial candidates who used pretty much this exact same design in 2006 (most are down or have been edited heavily, but you can see the similarities on Maria Cantwell’s site).

In terms of features, here are the things I found noteworthy:

  • As a way of facilitating the “conversation”, Clinton will be participating in live webcasts at 7:00 pm EST January 22-25. Seems like a good idea.
  • The site’s blog apparently isn’t ready yet, but Clinton is asking users to write posts on their own blogs sharing “your ideas on how we can work together for change.” I guess the Clinton campaign will pick the best entry and highlight that as their first blog post. This is sort of a clever idea. If it works, Clinton will get a bunch of bloggers writing lover letters to her on their own sites in an effort to win the contest. How viral. Not sure many political bloggers will take the bait though.
  • The site includes an online fundraising feature called Hillraisers. Basically, this functionality allows volunteers to run their own online fundraising campaigns. This is a great idea in theory (and great for bloggers/people with websites). But in reality if a friend of family member emailed asking me to give money to a political cause I literally could not delete the email fast enough.
  • Clinton’s site also features a party planning feature which allows users to plan their own Clinton-themed event. It is sort of interesting that no one is using Meetup.com anymore for stuff like this. It seems like every campaign I saw that did this last cycle had built their own event planning module.

Others on the announcement:

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.