In 2008, President Obama rode the wave of a first-of-its kind social media campaign, and it forever changed the way politicians approach a run for office.
Instead of running from it, they ran to it.
At the time, there was no concept of Facebook or Twitter as a political tool, but it was wielded like no one had ever done before.
And not only did Obama inspire a nation, but he paved the way for a generation of socially savvy politicians.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is one of them, and he is transforming the way Tampa uses that tool as a city.
He remembers watching Obama's campaign strategy that year, and after seeing its success, embraced social media.
Since then, there are few politicians out there who are more active than Buckhorn.
"I became a believer," he said, "and more importantly, during that campaign, we dominated the social media space, and I think it helped lead to a victory."
Buckhorn leveraged several different social media platforms in his successful run for the Mayor's office.
However, he didn't ditch the efforts once he was in office. He developed them, bringing for the first time a socially active mayor in Tampa.
"We're now very aggressive about it, and pride ourselves on being aggressive about it," he said.
Just last week the city announced it is actively using technology like Twitter monitoring to see where people are traveling in our area, helping leaders develop a strategic plan on how to develop Tampa for the future.
Buckhorn is always tweeting and Facebooking updates on the city from his own accounts. He's been praised by national tech websites for the way he engages with the community.
These days, the tweets, Facebook posts and Four Square check-ins are just part of the job.
Buckhorn says it's an important connection made between the people – and a leader of people.
"I understand the value of it, and I am a rabid believer in social media as a way to communicate," he said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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