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Obama campaign's $250 million fundraising platform

Obama campaign s 250 million fundraising platform


Stashed in: Web Designs, Software!, Awesome, Obama!, internet, A/B Testing!

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The numbers

6 month life span

$250 million dollars, 4,276,463 donations

81,548,259 pageviews, 17,807,917 unique visitors 

60% faster time to paint than previous platform 

240 a/b tests, 49% increase in donation conversion rate 

1,101 frontend deploys 

4,000 lines of JavaScript 

23% of traffic is mobile (including tablet)

The web stack

Static HTML pages generated by Jekyll 

Served by Akamai CDN, origin hosted on Amazon S3 

Version control with GitHub 

Conversion optimization with Optimizely 

LESS for CSS preprocessor, JavaScript compiled by CodeKit

Redundant, REST payment processor 

Blue State Digital API Internal PHP based API

Amazon EC2 hosted

Optimizely and Blue State Digital and Jekyll, you say?

Kyle Rush adds:

To ensure that the platform was as stable as possible we worked with backend engineers on the campaign’s Tech team to make the Blue State API redundant. The Tech engineers built out a duplicate payment processor/API and hosted it on Amazon EC2 (itself redundant across data centers). At this point we had two APIs that we could switch between if one went down, but our Devops team had a great solution to make this automatic. They sprinkled a little Akamai magic and we had an Akamai health check which would automatically divert traffic to one API or the other based on the health check. By the time this was fully functional there was not a single moment in time that our new platform was not able to accept donations.

Nice scaling! Well played, sirs!!!

The fundraising API helped Obama raise $250 million of $1.1 billion total.

This platform very well might have changed the outcome of the election.

 I'm sure many parts helped change the outcome of the election; I have no doubt that this was one of them.

The key point is that Obama used software brilliantly.

But they had the benefit of experience of 2008 and 4 years with which to prepare. 

I have to chuckle at the Obama-Romney comparison, and yet, the incumbent has a clear advantage in this way and many others. 

That doesn't take away from their brilliant use of software; I just think it wasn't a level playing field, obviously.  

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