"But as a practical matter, they don't need to. Not now. So while the zealot in me wants to see them exploit every advantage (and, for that matter, take a few risks in a race where they can afford to), I can understand the rationale that says you keep a few bullets in the gun for later."
-- Read all of Ricks thoughts... He's right Obama doesn't need to really work the internet that hard. I would argue it is a low cost was to build a lot of good will and/or use it to help down the ticket and down tickets down the road. If he builds a good powerful 'Dean Like' list and use it now to help people like Melissa Bean and use it once he gets in the Senate to help down the ticket... It makes sense to show the love and spend the effort now. If I was him (and I am not) I would be seeing how and doing what I could to help members of my 'Dean Dozen' and help Bean as much as posible.
Looking at it from the other side
Imagine how useful the Illinois Leader and/or Keyes list are going to be to someone in the GOP Gov. Primary in two years.
A big part of politics (mostly early in the cycle however) is the relationships that people have, most importantly the relationships between early adaptors or adoptors if you would of a canidate and the early adoptors cirlce of influence. I would argue the net helps more people feel that they are early adopters and therefore have a greater sense of ownership and will do more for you (both money wise as well as working in the field).