Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone explained how US society has become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbours, and democratic structures over the past 30 years. Has Obama succeeded in using the internet to build bridges in US society?
On a superficial level it certainly appears to have worked in terms of giving people the sense of having a stake in the campaign. However, democracy is not just about casting votes. This greater meaning is captured on Obama's site, which asks readers to believe 'not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... I'm asking you to believe in yours'.
Whether Obama can sustain the energy he has kindled remains to be seen, but the signs are promising.
Brendon Craigie, director, Hotwire