July 1, 2007
Text-Friendly Hopefuls Vie For Hearts And Thumbs
A small but growing list of presidential candidates, all Democrats, are jumping on the text-messaging bandwagon. With more than three-quarters of Americans estimated to own cellphones -- and more than 15 billion text messages sent within the country each month -- campaigns believe it's a technololgy they can't afford not to exploit. [via The Washington Post]
"... With their foray into text messaging the campaigns are taking a cue from corporations and nonprofits, large and small, that have used text messaging to get their message to an increasingly mobile population.
... There are already a handful of examples of American politicians using the technology: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), both Republicans, used text messaging in their reelection campaigns. But the better examples are found overseas, in presidential elections in the Philippines, South Korea and Spain.
Oberman, known as "the mobile guy" on techPresident, the group blog that keeps track of how the candidates are using (and misusing) new media, has closely followed the mobile campaigns.
"Of the three, Obama has had the smoothest release of a mobile campaign so far. You can tell that his camp has really thought it through. Edwards, I think, has been the most innovative -- the 'stop the war in Iraq' petition, the prerecorded fundraising pitch. I'm a little disappointed with Clinton's," Oberman said.
"A text-messaging campaign shouldn't be about telling me to go online and vote for a campaign song. It's about Clinton telling me to meet somewhere for a local Meetup event. It's about Clinton telling me to sign a petition. It's about something that takes into account my surroundings. Remember, my cellphone is with me everywhere, so what comes to my phone better be personal to me. Otherwise it's unnecessary."
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