By C. Antonio Romero
SAN FRANCISCO, 18 AUGUST 2008 -The Obama
campaign has once again demonstrated their media savvy with the
recently announced plan to announce the Democratic Vice
Presidential candidate pick using text messages to the cell
phones of the faithful.
At first it sounds like a cheap gimmick to look all "Web 2.0" and connect with
the kids and stuff - and, frankly, it is. The obvious spin is
that Obama gets to bypass the "mainstream media" and connect to
his supporters directly with his major announcement - along
with a lot of others who will sign up just out of curiosity.
This is the "cheap gimmick" part. (Although a cheaper gimmick
would simply have been to make his announcement via Twitter, or to change his
Relationship status on Facebook.)
But dig into this idea a little more and its brilliance becomes
apparent: Barack Obama gets his supporters to volunteer their
cell phone numbers (which have traditionally been off-limits
for telemarketers). He can use these to contact them to spread
viral messages, deliver voter registration reminders and
orchestrate get-out-the-vote efforts on Election Day. Assuming
he wins the election, he can even appeal to subscribers to
flood Capitol Hill with messages supporting his causes.
And, more importantly, the Obama campaign can run instant
fund-raising appeals using this database: "Text 'give 10' to
62262 to donate $10 to the Obama campaign." Which is where the
real Web 2.0 smarts come in - Barack Obama
may well have figured out how to monetize a database of users
without running ads and without selling them anything (unless
you think of Obama himself as the product).
McCain's people could never have come up with this,
notwithstanding his speechwriters' apparently recent discovery
of Wikipedia - probably
the result of their having looked up Georgia in "the Google."
C. Antonio Romero is the Nouveau and Technology editor
of Culturekiosque.com. He last wrote on Hyperion Nuclear Batteries: Clean Power from
Obama Campaign Website
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