The Obama / Biden campaign launched a free application for iPhone last Thursday. The application is the newest way that the candidates have used social media to appeal to a broader audience and amplify their message.
- Call Friends – organizes your contacts by key battleground states, and allows you to update the status of your contacts
- Get Involved – find local campaign headquarters and find out how you can get involved
- Receive Updates – allows you to sign up for email or SMS updates
- News – Delivers national and local news about the campaign
- Local Events – Uses your iPhone location to tell you about campaign events in your area
- Media – view and forward videos and pictures from the campaign trail
- Issues – choose from Civil Rights to Energy & Environment to Iraq, and see Obama’s stance on particular issues
By far, Issues was the the most interesting part of this application from my perspective. In the Education link, Obama gives a brief overview of the problems and his solutions for everything from recruiting and rewarding teachers to higher education. It’s a great way to learn what the candidate stands and how they plan to fix certain problems in America today.
However, I’m sure that the campaign would tout the handy “Donate” link as one of the key elements of the application.
One downside is that the “Call Friends” feature does claim that while no personal data will be uploaded or stored, the total number of calls you make will be uploaded anonymously. I’m not too keen on having any of my data uploaded or sent back to an anonymous source. (I know – it happens all the time – however, I don’t have to like it.) Your call statistics are then compared to the number of calls made nationwide, by others who have downloaded the application. As Declan McCullagh, from cnet news, mentions the Obama campaign is trying to motivate people by making them “feel like they’re part of something bigger.”
Let me say to all my friends that may invite me to their side of the campaign, or those that think I am supporting one side over another – I’m just showing how this election continues to use the power of social media to get people involved. I would greatly welcome the same application from the McCain side – OR even a bipartisan application that compares the issues between the two.
Remember, sign up for Twitter before Tuesday to tweet the debate with me.