Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government hopes to collect €1.8bn from foreign accounts

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

Obama to announce VP choice via text message

Text by Apoorva PRASAD

Latest update : 2008-11-01

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s choice of running mate for the November elections will be announced to the world via e-mails and text messages to those who’ve signed up.

Read the Observers' "Obama the Antichrist"

 

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign plays just like a Hollywood blockbuster.

The name of the Democratic vice-presidential candidate will be announced directly via e-mail to anyone who has signed up - supporters and the curious - on his website, barackobama.com, or via text message on cell phones. 

Visitors to Barack Obama’s official campaign website will hit a splash screen that states simply: “Who will be Barack’s VP? Be the first to know”, and then asks for their e-mail address and (US) zip code.

“The Obama campaign has demonstrated a very shrewd usage of technology”, “showing innovation” and getting people “excited”, says Andrew Rasiej, co-founder of TechPresident, a New York-based group blog that covers the influence of the Internet and new media in the 2008 presidential campaign.

During pre-release hype, films attract a following through so-called “viral” campaigns, which include websites, games, teaser campaigns, cell phone ringtones, wallpapers and more – exactly what Obama’s online team, run by a 27-year old and which includes a Facebook co-founder, does.

“But it’s far more than that,” continued Rasiej, “they’re building a massive database of their supporters which allows them to contact them in the medium of their choice.”

The viral-style VP candidate announcement also allows the Democrat’s campaign to create a database of potential voters, and pepper them with pro-Obama messages during the run-up to November’s elections.

Obama’s campaign has used technology to gain supporters at a grassroots level, in a fundamentally different way from Clinton’s or, now, McCain’s. The Democrat, as befits his younger age and generation, has been seen with two cell phones and a Blackberry personal digital assistant simultaneously. The older McCain has admitted often that he didn’t really use the Internet or check e-mail, until he was shown how by staffers.

What Obama’s tech-friendly VP candidate announcement does is also raise donations through the Internet. After clicking through, visitors reach a screen that asks for an online contribution, through a helpful check-box form to fill out (up to a regulations-specified $2,300). Those less net-sure can mail in a cheque instead.

On the donation form on Obama’s website, it is clearly mentioned that he does not accept contributions from special interest groups such as lobbyists for industries.

His grassroots campaign has certainly succeeded. He has so far received 130 million dollars in donations from two million people, and a large chunk of it comes from web users.

Date created : 2008-08-21

COMMENT(S)