NDN Blog

7 Minutes

In a first of it's kind study, Purdue University tested 10,000 students on how quickly a text message alert can spread throughout it's campus. This is interesting in terms of emergency announcements and response, but also from the aspect of how quickly political and social issue organizations can get key or timely news or call to action to it's entire distributed user group. The result in the case of the Purdue study was 7 minutes with reaching virtually the entire study group. "Nearly 10,000 students and faculty members agreed to receive a text message at 11:25 a.m. and respond as quickly as possible... "The answer, at least in this case, is seven minutes. That's how long it took his team to send out 9,979 text messages. Replies started coming back within the first minute, he said. Only about 30 people didn't get the text message."

Social Networks and Mobile Networks Merging: MySpace Mobile Launches Monday Accross Carriers

In a trend I discussed a number of times on this blog, you can see how online social networks are continuing a direct play into becoming full fledged mobile services... Today Fox announced that MySpace Mobile will launch across all US carriers Monday... and this story touches another trend, the rise of mobile micro-targeted search...which will be the key play for the new mobile service. Both trends will have a serious impact on political outreach and political ad buying over time. Here is the story:

"Fox Interactive Media announced an advertising-funded mobile incarnation of its social networking service MySpace, part of parent company News Corp.'s wider bid to generate ad revenues via the mobile web. Fox Interactive Media already offers a premium MySpace Mobile service via operators including AT&T, Helio and Vodafone--the new ad-supported service set to launch Monday will operate across all U.S. carriers and will enable subscribers to send and receive messages and friend requests, comment on photos, post alerts, update blogs, and find and search for friends. At launch Fox Interactive Media will focus on sponsorships and banner ads, but eventually will move to more targeted advertising based on user registration data--local ads based on GPS data are also scheduled to follow.

In addition to the free MySpace service, Fox Interactive Media will introduce ad-funded mobile versions of FoxSports.com, gaming site IGN, movie site RottenTomatoes.com and AskMen.com--several local TV affiliates will also launch free sites, and in the weeks ahead, image-sharing site Photobucket will make its mobile debut as well."

New Study on Text Messaging and GOTV

 From today's NY Times...

"A new study released this week found that young people are more likely to vote by 4.2 percentage points if they receive a text message reminding them to show up to the polls.

The survey found that most of the recipients, and especially Hispanics, found the message helpful — unlike their reaction e-mail. But here’s the result that could be the most compelling to the campaigns: Each additional vote generated by the text message cost an average $1.56.

Compare that to some phone calls, which, for the same level of effectiveness, cost about $20 a vote. Door-to-door canvassing, which can increase young voter turnout by 7-to-9 percent, comes in at around $30 a vote.

'Text messaging can be another tool in the toolbox,' said Sujatha Jahagirdar, the project director for Student Public Interest Research Group’s Young Voters Project, one of the groups involved in the study."

Reed Hundt on the Larger Trend of Mobile Media and Social Networks

Reed Hundt, the former Chariman of the FCC, writes about the true larger trends for mobile media and services over at the TPMCafe...here is a key quote from his posting:

"The inevitable corollary will be that mobile devices provide the primary mode of access to the Internet. Mobile computing devices -- laptops and "tweeners" (objects between cellphones and laptops) -- will become the primary means of using microprocessor power, at least for consumers.

The means for forming groups, gathering information, developing beliefs, sharing values, and taking action --what we apprehend now as social networks -- will become as widespread and effective as mobile communications itself. The handheld device will become the essential technology for performing the mechanical job of interacting within and between societies.

No single part of government in the United States pays much attention to these trends ...the implications of the new mobile web vastly outstrip government's capability to think about those implications ...Businesses in this field, on the other hand, are well aware of what's going on."

WSJ: "Republican Party's Woes Go Beyond Bush as It Bleeds Support Among Key Groups"

Really interesting quote from the WSJ on the state of the Republican Party:

"But if Republican erosion continues, the 2008 election could confirm a trend away from the period of conservative dominance in U.S. government and politics that dates back nearly three decades, to 1978.

The party's uncertainties turn on some of the most important groups of voters. Younger voters represent necessary new blood. Hispanics are the nation's fastest-growing demographic group, and are concentrated in big states such as Florida and California that are keys to presidential victories. Independents' ranks fluctuate but are expanding amid voters' disgust with partisanship. Each party needs them to win elections.

In the 2006 congressional elections, Democrats won all three groups. Voters 18 to 29 years old favored Democrats over Republicans by 60% to 38%, exit polls showed. Hispanics favored Democrats 69% to 30%; Republicans' share was 14 percentage points lower than its Hispanic vote in congressional elections two years earlier. Independents went for Democrats 57% to 39%; in 2004, Democrats only narrowly got more votes than Republicans.

'The state of the Republican Party is worse than any time since Watergate, and arguably this is worse than Watergate,' says party strategist Vin Weber, a former congressman, 'because that was about an event, whereas this may reflect a trend.'"

The Next Generation of Voters: Tweens and Technology

In another sign of the tech centric nature of the “next generation” of voters… A recent survey of “tweens” showed their most desired items to buy as they go back to school…

69% of the students aged between 7 - 12 years old “say they strongly desire a cell phone to complete their back-to-school wares, even naming the new iPhone as one of their choices.”

“When asked what one item they most wanted before hearing the first school bell, the 10-12 year olds who responded to the online survey listed cell phones and computers above their interests for a new backpack or book bag…”

And this is part of a larger trend:

“…Compared to the 2006 ShopLocal survey for teenagers ages 13-17, there was an 18 percent increase among those who said they most wanted a new cell phone and a 15 percent decrease in those who most wanted clothing or accessories.”

"Affinity Points" and the Online Campaigns

"Affinity Points" based services aren't new: from "Frequent Flier Miles" to "Xbox Live Achievement Points," they've existed in plenty of different forms. But this is the first time to my knowledge that online based affinity points have launched as part of a major Presidential campaign... It is a newly launched feature on the Barack Obama site.

So on your profile on their site you now get your total points to date and your overall ranking compared to other supporters. Here is their description of the new feature:

"Today we’re unrolling a new way to measure your impact on the campaign: points in the My.BarackObama network. Just about every action you can take on My.BarackObama now will give you points to make it easier to see all the hard work you’re putting in to make this campaign succeed. If you host an event, that’ll show up on your profile and you’ll get 20 points. Write a blog post and you’ll get 15....Adding a points system to My.BarackObama is just a simple way to measure the impact you are having day in and day out on the campaign. You deserve credit and recognition for your involvement and this is just one way to make it clearer how much you’re doing."

It's a smart addition that will likely become a common piece of the web campaign platforms...

New Data on Social Networks and the 2008 Election

A GMI Poll was just released on the effect of Social Networks like Myspace and Facebook on the 2008 election. It had some very interesting findings:

"The poll revealed that 17 percent of consumers have looked at presidential candidates' MySpace, Facebook, or other social networking pages."
and that "it's not just youngsters who are checking out the candidates' profiles: 62 percent who say they've looked at a candidate's MySpace or Facebook page are over 30."

After visiting a candidate's page, more than half (53 percent) say they are more likely to vote for the candidate.... Sixty-four percent say they felt like they personally knew the candidate better after visiting their social networking page...."

And also: "41 percent say MySpace and other social networking sites will affect the presidential race and 51 percent think voter turnout among young adults will increase due to social networking sites like MySpace."

"Americans Over 50 Say TV is Best Source of News, Those Under 40 Cite Internet"

A good snapshot of American's views of how to best get news and of the changing media landscape is seen in today's Rasmussen poll:

"A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that adults under 40 name the Internet as the best source [for news] while 40-somethings are divided between those two worlds...

Overall, 37% of the nation’s adults still see television as the best source for news and information. Thirty percent (30%) name the Internet, 14% say print newspapers, and 13% look to radio for news and information.

...there remains another huge gap when it comes to social networking. Forty-seven percent (47%) of under-30 adults regularly use a social network like Facebook or MySpace. Just 22% of 30-somethings do the same. Just 6% of 40-somethings use social networks a percentage that falls to 2% among those over 50."

New Numbers on Text Messaging in America

New numbers on text messaging adoption from Jupiter Research, as described in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

"About 52 percent of the roughly 226 million cellphone users across the country sent a text message in 2006, according to JupiterResearch. That's up considerably from 44 percent the previous year.

And the growth is expected to continue through 2011, when 6 out of every 10 wireless users are texting, according to JupiterResearch."

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