Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for Twitter

Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for Twitter

Summary: The Obama campaign is hoping to turn Apple's iPhone into a political recruiting tool like none seen before, while Twitter usage and sign-ups received a healthy boost during last Friday's first presidential debate for the 08 campaign.

SHARE:

Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for TwitterDuring each presidential election the techniques and practices employed to organize and engage voters becomes ever more sophisticated, with new technology increasingly playing its part. Enter Apple's iPhone, which the Obama campaign is hoping to turn into a political recruiting tool like none seen before.

The most notable feature of the new "Obama for America" iPhone application, available as a free download via the iTunes store, is the ability to tap your iPhone's existing address book in order to prioritize your contacts "by key battleground states", presumably so that you'll call them up to persuade them to vote Obama. It's key battlegrounds - states that could go either way - that Obama will need to win if he's to become president.

The application will also keep a score of how well you're doing (the number of calls initiated through the Obama for America app), annonymously of course: "Your privacy is important: no personal data or contacts will be uploaded or stored. Only the total number of calls you make is uploaded anonymously."

Another clever feature - "get involved" - makes use of the iPhone GPS functionality to help potential Obama campaigners find the nearest Obama HQ and upcoming local events. The application also delivers the latest Obama campaign news links, video (YouTube) and photos, along with a guide to Obama's positions on various issues.

(via CNet)

Twitter benefiting from US presidential election debates

Twitter usage and sign-ups received a healthy boost during last Friday's first presidential debate for the 08 campaign. The official Twitter blog reports that, despite Friday traditionally being a slow traffic day:

  • Friday updates jumped 18.5% from previous Friday.
  • Updates during the debate increased 160% compared to same time last week.
  • Signups on Friday were up 23%.
  • Signups during the debate were up 135% compared to same time last week.

Although, as Wired notes, the shot in arm for Twitter also co-incided with the company's launch of a dedicated politics tracker - Twitter’s new Election 2008 site - and the blog/mainstream media attention that followed. Of course the fact that this has translated into increased sign-ups and use suggests that chicken or egg, the strategy is paying off.

Topics: CXO, iPhone, Mobility, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

18 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • more reasons to dump the iPhone

    Any true American will ignore this liberal application, and even drop the iPhone for a Blackberry.
    I?ll take a device that was created with McCain?s help over the Gore?s iPhone any day!
    Linux Geek
    • You'll be waiting a while

      Obama has shown more of an interest in leveraging technology than McCain has, which benefits Obama, whether you want to hear/read it or not. This is what happens when you have two politicians with a 30 year age gap.
      DonRupertBitByte
    • I suspect that Grandpa is going to be a tad slow

      on the uptake:P

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
  • RE: Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for Twitter

    Considerations on the App aside, this clearly shows which administration believes science and technology take a major role in the future of the USA. But it was already clear. Good job for the Obama staff onto this one.
    anacardo
    • What a bunch of BS ...

      If anything this proves that a candidate can create anything STUPID or even a VIRUS and fanatics would see something super good about it.

      The fact that Obama would spend money on a USELESS application, shows that he has no clue or even control about spending. If anything it shows that he would be the worst candidate for fixing the economy.

      For stupid people, a useless application that has no real value is a sign of good tech policy. For the rest of use, with a brain, it is a HUGE SIGN that Obama is an irresponsible spender who will cause mayor economical problems by wasting money on junk projects just because they sound cool.

      More spending means more taxes. More taxes means harder times for the working class.
      wackoae
      • More spending? Huh!?!

        You do realize that the current Republican Admin has been
        spending money like a drunken sailor on leave for 8 years
        now right?

        You do realize that the Republican Admin had control of
        the House and Senate for at least 4 of those years as well
        right?

        Even when the Dems got control back in the House and
        barely in the Senate where was Shrubs VETO pen?

        Look I know this is hard for you to swallow but Obama as
        been BRILLIANT with technology. He's gotten more money
        than anyone off of just folk from his fund raising on the
        web. He uses email to keep everyone who supports him
        up to date and notified at a moments notice. Now the
        iPhone App will likely be used to get out the vote when
        that will be key. Notices like DON'T FORGET TO VOTE AND
        DRAG A FRIEND ALONG. Will be coming to the iPhone
        elections night and kicking people into gear like never
        before.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • Today

        Any money spend inside the country and using local workforce is worthy, but any money stored in a bank(the bank can use (the do) this money to invest in a foreign market) will hurt the economy.
        magallanes
      • He understand the use of technology

        Your comment is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. It is not that hard or expensive to create a little app - he understands the use of technology and how his audience gets information. It is obviously not geared to the likes of you - I don't like iPhones but when you want to get your message out to a wide audience it makes sense to use all communication channels that many in a specific demographic is use to and in fact demand. Stay in the 90's and see where it gets you. - jerk
        powerbroker
      • What a bunch of BS

        It's obvious that according to you it's crap, but if it had McCain's name on it, I am sure you would kiss the *ss of whoever created it. The only thing that is BS in this article is what spews out of your mouth.

        Get a life!
        sdlecover
  • That is nice, but I don't want to get myself an iPhone.

    It would look nice in an HTC Touch Pro, though.
    Grayson Peddie
  • Hmmm...

    I wonder if the McCain campaign chose to submit an App to the iPhone store if it would be approved by Apple?
    ExCorpGuy
    • Good question and I think it would be yes....

      However first grandpa has to think it up and take action.
      Don't know if he has a feel for this new fangled do dad stuff
      quite yet.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • Of course not

      Everyone knows Apple is just a bunch of crazy liberals!

      They don't like making money. They sit around all day singing cumbaya, holding hands, and drinking chai.

      Having an App from the Republicans would be too hard for them to swallow, no matter how much money the McCain campaign would pay to have it in the App store!

      Down with those crazy liberals! Where would our world be without these crazy people that always whine about global warming, are worried about the planet still being livable for our grand children's generation and beyond, don't want the US to show how much it can kick the ass of other cuntries just because, etc etc? We'd be WAAAY better, that's where we would be!! Resources are meant to be USED. If our grand children want to live in this world they better work for it when they get here. We earned using the planet up during out time here, dammit!
      tikigawd
  • RE: Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for Twitter

    Are you kidding me - now an Application is a Liberal Application? You Neo Cons have gone off the deep end. So what exactly is a conservative application? Hmm let me guess - A hammer, a chisel and a piece of stone.
    powerbroker
  • RE: Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for Twitter

    I fully agree - to bash an application like I have seen in the responses is just crazy - someone called the app a Liberal App - I mean what are these people smoking - I would think that folks on this Website were pro technology and advancement of science - seems to be mistaken
    powerbroker
  • RE: Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for Twitter

    This is a good sign for those in tech field. Any administration that embraces technology the way that Obama has can only be good for those in the tech field, science, research and development and education. Anyone can create an App for iPhone for anyone to use - who says a candidate cant do the same? Remember this is America and you are free to use what you want - dont like it? dont use it! - Move the hell on.
    powerbroker
  • Typical liberal FUD

    People are MORE important than the planet, there is NO such thing as human-caused GW (see that big yellow thing in the sky out your window: that's the sun - it has the say-so on temp, no us), and YES, we should yes our resources: wisely and with thought, but not taxing ourselves into oblivion for less than half-baked remedies. You want to get at the real heart of the problem? Look to the greed of the terrorist Arabs who need all that oil money to take over the world...
    naibeeru
  • RE: Obama launches iPhone app; US election good for Twitter

    Of course we are talking about a Democrat. So, who is "tapping your phone book"?
    timspublic1@...