May 1st, 2012
Big day for technology rollouts! The Republican Party proudly released its new grassroots-engagement Facebook App today, which got coverage in a few outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, where I got a couple of solid quotes:
“At some level, what they’ve done is they’ve taken the same kind of tools that were in the MyBarackObama.com toolkit four years ago and posted them to Facebook,” says Colin Delany, the founder of Epolitics.com. “But at the same time, they will be able to leverage a certain amount of social data – what’s being shared, what’s being viewed – and there is a possibility that they’ll get a higher adoption rate because it’s within Facebook.”
“It’s good for engaging the loyalists and giving them something to do,” he says, but “not likely to make a huge difference in the outcome of the election.”
Yep, that about sums it up, though also note our friend Karen Jagoda’s excellent analysis in the same article. The tools are pretty standard (find volunteer opportunities, participate in a virtual phone bank, etc.), but they’re packaged up within the native Facebook environment so that people my be more inclined to use them. And while they were discussing the rollout with reporters, RNC folks touted the data they’ll have access to as people use the tools and share stories, plus the benefit of social sharing of people’s activity within the app across Facebook.
Useful no doubt, particularly in giving people outside of battleground states opportunities to get involved (one of the big advantages of MyBO, note), but a game-changer? Let’s see if the results match the hype.