Obama releases iPhone campaign tool

CNET colleague Stephen Shankland discovered a neat way that Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is using technology: political recruiting, direct to your iPhone.

Obama iPhone appCNET colleague Stephen Shankland discovered a neat way that Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is using technology: political recruiting, direct to your iPhone.

Styled much like his iPolitics-looking website, the tool has several features: one feature "organizes and prioritizes your contacts by key battleground states, making it easy to reach out and make an impact quickly," according to the software.

Uh oh. That means my Pennsylvania area code might show up in friends' lists.

The "get involved" feature uses the phone's GPS-based location sensing to find the nearest Obama campaign headquarters, and "local events" pulls up a list of activities sorted by proximity.

ObamaphoneThe "media" section provides links to video and photos, but Shankland notes that YouTube showed errors following some of the links, guessing that perhaps the newer videos hadn't been prepared for iPhone display yet.

The application also shows Obama statements to the news media and a guide to Obama's positions on various issues.

Sounds like a fine way to inform the people (albeit the ones who have iPhones). McCain campaign -- where's yours? Really, though, comparing positions on issues seems much more useful. So how about a little crossing-the-aisle technology initiatives, boys?

Of course, it's just another effort by politicians to capitalize on technology, as they have been doing this cycle with YouTube, Web-based fund-raising, Facebook pages and fan groups, and e-mail recruitment drives.

The Obama for America iPhone application is available for download through Apple's iTunes store.