Campaigning, Technology, and Supporter Generated Content

I’m accustomed to receiving invitations to donate money to political campaigns but today I received an invitation to participate more directly in a calling campaign as part of Obama’s virtualized campaign phonebank. Of course McCain and Hillary have them too. It’s not a groundbreaking use of technology per se, but it feels groundbreaking in the political sphere where we are generally expected to passively absorb.

They aren’t really doing much more than providing a number to call and a script. Perhaps if they provided an embedded VoIP client they wouldn’t have to include this statement about costs (which I guess are essentially contributions that are beyond contribution accounting).

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Obama’s site is noteworthy for leveraging the power of game mechanics and creating an opportunity to be recognized as an uber supporter.

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Though these virtual phonebanks are simple uses of technology, I hope they are a hint of the power of networks to create a more participative future political environment.

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