NDN Blog

Neilson Mobile: Mobile Use by Political Party

Neilson mobile offers new statistics on mobile media use in the US and specifically breaks down the users by Party affiliation. First it begins with ovarall national numbers on mobile media use in general:

  • 43 million US mobile subscribers use mobile Internet
  • 33 million recieve text alerts
  • 32 million use instant messaging
  • 4 million subscribe to and view mobile video 

Neilson then goes on to list out that in general Democrats are more active mobile media users than Republicans. This makes sense given that the demographics for mobile media users tend to skew younger, and more Hispanic and African American. But this is the first time I'd seen hard numbers broken down by party affiliation:

  • Overall, 62% of Democrats are data users who use one or more data service on their mobile phone (compared to 55% of Republicans)
  • Democrats are more likely than Republicans to use text messaging (53% compared to 46%)
  • Democrats are more likely to use picture messaging and MMS (27% compared to 21%)
  • Democrats are more likely to use mobile Internet, as well (17% compared to 13%)

As political progressives seek to continue to evolve the use of this new media as tools for influencing both elections and public policy, it is good to get new numbers that confirm that these are tools that Democrats do resonate with. 

The New Red/Blue/Purple Map of the US, as Redrawn Last Night

These were published today from Mark Newman, from the University of Michigan. They are newly up to date "cartographs" or visualizations of the political maps of US, based on yesterdays Presidential election.

Much better than the traditional "red state" or "blue state" mapping, this is done by county, using Red, Blue or shades of Purple, based on their percentage vote last night:

US Political Map by County, By Vote 2008


The next technique uses the same color scheme, but with each of the counties scaled to visually show their population size. This produces an oddly shaped but recognizable map, but helps us see by population, the voter breakdown:


2008 US Political Map Including Population Size

More here....

Obama Campaign and Mobile Media

At the Washington Post's "The Trail" blog, they look back on the Obama campaign's use of mobile media, and asked me my thoughts. As I've said before on the NDN blog, I'm impressed. Here is what I told them:

"In terms of both marketing and execution, the Obama campaign has been
pretty brilliant in their use of text messaging, and I was quite
impressed that they also evolved over the campaign," Tim Chambers,
co-founder of Media 50 Group, a start-up that focuses on the mobile
political space, and co-author of a study called "Mobile Media in 21st
Century Politics," told The Trail. "But I was equally if not more
impressed by their moving beyond text messaging with their mobile Web
site, and into their native iPhone application. In each case, they were
breaking new ground for political mobile action, writing some of the
rules as they went, and foreshadowing what I think will be to come."

New Official Obama Application for iPhone/Ipod Touch Launched Today

I've been a long time fan of the Obama campaigns use of mobile media to date, and today they took their mobile strategy a step further.

They lanched a native iPhone/iPod Touch application that connects you directly into the campaign over your device in a number of innovative ways.

You can download it today for free from the official iPhone Application store, but here are the features as described on the campaign page:

  • Call Friends: 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.
  • Call Stats: See nationwide Obama '08 Call Friends totals and find out how your call totals compare to leading callers.
  • Get Involved: Do more. Find and contact your local Obama for America HQ.
  • Receive Updates: Receive the latest news and announcements via text messages or email.
  • News: Browse complete coverage of national and local campaign news.
  • Local Events: Find local events, share by email and get maps and directions.
  • Media: Browse videos and photos from the campaign
  • Issues: Get clear facts about Barack Obama and Joe Biden's plan for essential issues facing Americans.

My early review of the application very positive. Especially impressive is that when you choose Local Events the App checks your GPS location (for iPhone users) to find the closest campaign office near you at that time. Nice. 

Also for iPhone users: Call friends is a great feature that remembers that this is a PHONE application not simply a small Desktop app. As the author of the app describes this feature:  "It organizes and prioritizes your contacts by key battleground states... Caller stats are then aggregrated anonymously to a leaderboard within the application displaying key stats such as the number of callers and total calls made."

The Obama campaign continues to define and evolve what political mobile media outreach is. All iPhone and iPod Touch users interested in what that can mean should definitely check out this new application.


50 State Blogger Corps Announced for the Democratic Convention

My company is the "Official Website Producer" of the 2008 Democratic Convention site, and a new announcement just occured on that site...one that ties into NDN's advice on engaging the blogs.

They just announced the credentaling of a formal "State Blogger Corps."Here is a snippet of the story:

"Months ago, we began the process of credentialing bloggers who cover state and local politics, as part of the DemConvention State Blogger Corps.  More than 400 blogs applied for the program.  And they’re incredible.  Some blogs are the work of dedicated groups of activists, a few are full-time professional endeavors, and many others are the products of busy individuals blogging about local politics in their free time.  Those selected to be part of our State Blogger Corps were announced today.  And in every case, these bloggers have become experts on the political happenings in their states....

They’ll be seated with their respective delegations at the Convention.  These bloggers will have some of the best seats in the house and they’ll be the eyes and ears of local audiences online around the country."

You can see the full list of the 50 State Blogs chosen at the DemConvention.com site.

Mobile Outreach this Election

I am always looking for how the campaigns are using mobile media... and found this quote on MyDD talking about the Obama camp use of the medium at their recent big events:

"Now today, I read an account of Obama's South Carolina Oprah rally and was impressed by the further innovation of how the campaign is continuing to exploit his crowds. This strikes me as rather brilliant.

The campaign attempted to organize that enthusiasm by asking the crowd to text their cell phone numbers to the campaign. Jeremy Bird and Anton Gunn, the campaign's field and political directors took the stage to ask the crowd to text their phone numbers to Obama's campaign. They also broke a Guinness World Record by conducting the world's largest phone bank, 36,426 people in the audience called four names of South Carolinian voters listed on the back of their tickets and asked them to support Barack Obama.

Here, we see his campaign collecting supporters' cell phone numbers rather than e-mail addresses for more immediate access to them, and has taken the exploitation of the crowds as activists one step further by actually having them make calls right there."

Cellphone Only Households and Polling

A good NY Times story that summarizes the latest information on cellphone only households in the US and how that will effect political polling perhaps as soon as next year:

A key quote:

"According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey, adults with cellphones and no land lines are more likely to be young — half of exclusively wireless users are younger than 30 — male, Hispanic, living in poverty, renting a residence and living in metropolitan regions.

The Pew Research Center conducted four studies last year on the differences between cellphone and land line respondents. The studies said the differences were not significant enough to influence surveys properly weighted to census data. With the increase in cellphone-only households, that may not be the case next year. Researchers, including the New York Times/CBS News poll will test that by incorporating cellphones in samples.

The estimates in the Health Interview Study suggest that cellphone-only households are steadily increasing.

“If the percentage of adults living in cell-only households continues to grow at the rate it has been growing for the past four years, I have projected that it will exceed 25 percent by the end of 2008,” Stephen J. Blumberg, a senior scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics, wrote in an e-mail message."

Nielson Study: Next Gen of Americans and Mobile Use

Another media related study was released today... this time on the next generation of Americans (and voters) on their use of mobile phones and their consumption of mobile media. 

This is a Nielsen study on the "tweens" or 8 to 12 year olds. There should be a rule that once a technology reaches these numbers with 8 to 12 year olds, it's crossed a certain critical mass and can be officially deemed a "mass medium."

So for this wave, the report estimates that TODAY that:

* 35% of tweens own a mobile phone.
* 20% of tweens have used text messaging.
* 21% of tweens have used ring & answer tones.

 And it adds that "while text-messaging and ringtones remain the most pervasive non-voice functions on the phone, other content such as downloaded wallpapers, music, games and Internet access also rank highly among tweens."

Imagine how deep-rooted mobile media use will be for this generation when they begin voting in 6 years. 

Globally Internet Advertising to Eclipse Radio Ad Spend by 2008

Signs of the times. AdAge highlights a new survey on future advertising spending in the next several years.

A key forecast:

"We expect [online ad spend]  to overtake radio advertising in 2008; to attain a double-digit share of global advertising in 2009; and to overtake magazine advertising in 2010, with 11.5% of total ad spend."

It also lists that globally internet ad spending would grow to $44.6 billion from approximately $36 billion -  which would increase it's share of the market from  8.1 to 9.4 percent.

Verizon's New Strategy and its Effect on Mobile Media

This last Tuesday Verizon outlined a new more open strategy to supporting "any application, any device" that meets their minimum technology requirements on their network by 2008. This dramatic move also offers that "any application the customer chooses will be allowed on these devices. "

The Verizon Wireless President called this "a transformation point in the 20-year history of mass market wireless devices – one which we believe will set the table for the next level of innovation and growth.”

With this new strategy, Verizon seems to be seeing that the benefits from being more open with their platform outweigh those of trying to maintain a more rigid, more controlled "closed garden" model.  

Some analysts believe that this move will broaden the number of "officially supported" devices on the Verizon network from what it is today (around  50 handsets) to somewhere more than 500 once developers have really begun taking advantage of this new offer.  I'd suspect that this would include many new devices that are not primarily voice based based, but that are pure data devices.

These new more broad pool of officially supported devices would then have to compete on offering a better consumer experience, and new and innovative features. 

 And this speaks to an overall trend we've highlighted before on this blog about "smartphones" getting smarter... and continuing to grow into full fledged media devices. 

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