Cross-posted on techPresident
As the Democratic primary process grinds on, the candidates’ supporters are using just about every electronic tool available to swing the race their way. Two cases in point from the Obama side: super.del.egates.us is a wiki-based contact list for voters to use to reach the precious unpledged delegates to the Democratic Convention, while Yrmomma4obama aims to help young voters (and those too young to vote themselves) to use text messages to persuade their friends and family to jump on the Obama bandwagon.
Super.del.egates.us is based on a classic wiki structure, familiar to anyone who’s spent time on Wikipedia.org. It collects the contact information for the Democratic superdelegates, including web forms for those congressmembers who don’t accept direct emails, with details being entered by volunteers. The site launched last week, and as of this writing it’s only partially filled out, but it’s a fascinating example of the new kinds of citizen activism the ‘net is enabling this year. As with any online effort that requires a critical mass of participants to work, Super.del.egates.us will live and die by promotion if no one hears about it, it’s not likely to do much good.
By contrast, Yrmomma4obama has been around for a couple of months and works as a standalone application. The intended audience is young, so the site has features for both voters and those still unable to cast a ballot. Its core function: the site lets you send a message to your cell phone, which you can then forward to friends and family. Of course, you can also sign up for text alerts for upcoming primaries, and the organizers have also created a Facebook group. A site like this doesn’t require the same critical mass to be effective as the wiki above, so it may be useful no matter how many voters it reaches. Online enabling of offline behavior, anyone?