Barack Obama harnesses the popularity of Apple’s iPhone

October 2, 2008

Barack Obama harnesses the popularity of Apple's iPhone Once again Barack Obama and the folks working on his campaign team have demonstrated their eagerness to embrace technology powered by the web. But this time the Obama campaign is taking its message mobile, and doing it in a big way. Developers on his team have built an application for the Apple iPhone that motivates users to call their friends and talk politics.

It’s hard to think of a device available in the market that’s more chic than the Apple iPhone and now Barack Obama is benefiting from association with it. His campaign has released “The Official iPhone Application”, which offers a variety of ways to keep up with the latest news and track how much you and other Obama supporters are calling friends to rally their support.

This is putting distributed content in a whole new context as users are taking content from the web and remixing it in the real world instead of on forums and chat rooms online. By putting his content on the iPhone, Obama has essentially created a people powered web that has greater reach than any traditional Internet Application.

A key piece of the application’s functionality is its “Call Friends” feature, which according to the site is “a great volunteering tool that lets you make a difference any time you want by talking to people you already know. Your contacts are prioritized by key battleground states, and you can make calls and organize results all in one place.”

That has the potential to draw focus and action to locations where the overall consensus of the state is unclear. Who ever said that spending money is the best way to manifest results?

Beyond suggesting friends to contact, the application also keeps track of how many Obama calls have taken place on a national level, and that creates an immediate sense of community and implied competition.

The application may still be working through bugs, according to CNET, especially in which videos it links to.

Congratulations to the Obama campaign for demonstrating an eloquent way to mobilize the mobile web.

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One Response to “Barack Obama harnesses the popularity of Apple’s iPhone”

  1. Ken:

    I’m probably the only one to think this is more likely to conjure up a 1984, Fahrenheit 451 flavor than any hip, cutting edge use of tech.

    If you talk to a cult leader or maybe a CIA interrogator, they’ll tell you it’s very important to keep the subject immersed in the rhetoric supporting the cause with as little contact with outside, nonbelievers as possible.

    It does dovetail nicely with Apple’s marketing, though.

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