Tag Archives: McCain

The Technological Political Battlefield of 2012



As I read Jose Antonio Vargas‘ report in the Washington Post   titled “Republicans Seek to Fix Short-Sightedness” on my Blackberry, I realized that this story is an excellent bookend to my previous blog about the Obama Internet machine.

In his well thought out piece he links the Republican election disaster to their lack of technological savvy.  My favorite quote in his article is:

“The Republicans are the party of talk radio, the Democrats are the party of the Internet”

A great observation was that the with the 1990’s technology of talk radio you can broadcast your message and influence the masses. With the Internet you can also influence the masses, with the significant benefit of developing mailing lists and raising money, directly.

This technological campaigning and fund raising changes in 2008 are as significant as Kennedy’s grasp of the use of Television in the 1960 campaign.

Before we once again get consumed with the 2012 Presidential election,we should ask , what will be the technological strategies and tactics of the next cycle?

Here are some of my top three predictions for the technological battlefield for 2012.

(as dangerous as it is to make predictions 4 years in advance!)

Social Networking will be big in the next election cycle
This election saw the beginnings of using social networks such as facebook®, MySpace® and Linkedin® as linkedin4organizing and fundraising tools.   Volunteer recruitment will be a social networking exercise, by 2012 these networks, and probably new ones, will be mature and even more mainstream.  The party that masters social networking will have an advantage.  A key aspect of mastering social networking will be the durability of the networks.  We already can see how the Democrats are continuing to use their social networks post election.  Starting the next election cycle with social networks measured in the 10’s of millions will be a significant asset.

Mobile equals Internet

The advances in mobile devices will largely erase the difference between Internet and mobile campaign efforts.  Direct fundraising via the mobile device will be commonplace.  The mobile will be more prominent in real time organization.  In 2004, the product of my former company (Upoc) was used by protesters in New York to direct real-time rallies during the Republican Convention.  The party that is mobile savvy will have a real-time advantage in 2012.

Management of Viral Videos matters
youtube_logoDuring this last cycle both parties were injured by popular viral videos. Examples of these videos include Obama’s Pastor – Reverend Wright, the Palin/Couric Interview and the more watched Tina Fey parodies.  The news cycle for politics is 24/7, with every moment forever archived on sites such as YouTube.  This election cycle witnessed the first “made for YouTube” videos by the Obama campaign.  The next election cycle will use YouTube as a major battleground.

Please share with me your views of important technology trends for future elections.  It will be interesting to bring this post out of the archives in 2012 and determine how well we did with the predictions.

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Filed under Election, location based services, mobile, obama, politics, social networking, wireless

The Upoc community remains consistent in its political views


 Over the past 2 months we have polled the Upoc community 5 times on presidential candidate preferences. These polls are by any evaluation unscientific.  

 Before I reveal the answers, it is important to disclose that in 2004 we polled the community on their choice for President Bush or Kerry, Let’s just say that the outcome of that poll, had it carried through to the real election, would have changed the history of the world over the past four years. Kerry won that poll by around 15%.
We asked the community about their preference of Democratic Candidates, then each of Hillary and Obama vs McCain, and lastly if Obama should take Hillary as a running mate.
 The preference of the community was strongly for Obama. When given the choice of Obama Vs McCain, Obama won by 20 percentage points. Interestingly, when given the choice of Hillary vs McCain, she also won by about the same margin. So, while Hillary was a clear second choice for our social network, if she had won the nomination they would have supported her. This is an interesting outcome that somewhat contradicts the generally accepted generation gap in Obama vs. Hillary supporters.
This past week we asked the network if Obama should take on Hillary as his running mate. The result was “Yes” by around 20 percentage points. I found this result also surprising, although had we presented a choice of several VP possibilities, the result might have been different.
It would be interesting to see similar polling from Facebook and MySpace. Is it a matter that the social networks are more left leaning (Younger demographic) in their views? Or are the Republicans just less responsive to social networking polls?

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Filed under McCain, obama, politics, polls

Upoc Rocks On!

During my career I have been involved in literally hundreds of projects. It is the rare occurrence where the application of technology so perfectly matches a public cause and produces pride in furthering a movement that you, yourself are so committed. This is the case with Upoc’s involvement in “Rock the Vote”.  As stated on the RTV website:

Rock the Vote engages youth in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and youth culture into its activities. From actors to musicians, comedians to athletes, Rock the Vote harnesses cutting-edge trends and pop culture to make political participation cool.
Upoc has been a tool of political organizers for the past two presidential elections. Regardless of political affiliation, Upoc has informed, organized, communicated and motivated supporters through cutting edge mobile applications.
Our affiliation this election cycle with Rock the Vote is truly special. Upoc will be utilizing our array of social networking capabilities to engage and energize youth voters. From SMS alerts, to polls, quizzes, celebrity debates and general topic chatting, Upoc will positively contribute to increased voter participation in the critical youth demographic.
Through its sophisticated data analysis, RTV has determined that a young voter who is engaged with a mobile community is more likely to actually vote. In the past election RTV registered over 1 million first time voters. In this election year, RTV has already registered over 500K new voters just in the primary season! When you couple the registration drive with increased voter turnout in the demographic, the youth voice in the election become undeniable.
Given the incredible closeness of the past 2 presidential elections, having this number of new motivated voters is not only significant, but could very well be deterministic.
To quote Abraham Lincoln,” Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” The activation of a large segment of “the people” materially contributes to our democracy.
In short, I am personally proud to be able to utilize all the tools of my trade to apply to such a worthy cause as youth voter registration and voter turnout. I believe that this will impact the   selection of next President of the United States and therefore the future that we will all experience.
 What could be more important or satisfying?

Rock the Vote mobilizes young people to create positive social and political change in their lives and communities…”

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Filed under mobile, social networking, wireless