NDN Blog

MySpace Launches on Cingular

At the last NPI event, I mentioned a number of trends in the private sphere relating to mobile that I saw as being of key importance for the political arena as well...

One key trend was the merging of social networks and the mobile space, and I mentioned that it was likley that we'd see a number of significant announcements as this trend accelerates.

Well, today was a big announcement: Cinglular announced Myspace integration to their service. From their joint press release:

"MySpace.com, the world's leading lifestyle portal, and Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, today announced an exclusive partnership to offer enhanced MySpace functionality to all Cingular customers via their mobile phones. The landmark deal marks MySpace's largest-scale mobile partnership and gives Cingular's customers exclusive access to MySpace Mobile's rich tool set including the ability to edit MySpace profiles, view and add friends, post photos and blogs, send and receive MySpace messages, and much more -- all from the mobile phone."

Later the CEO of Myspace says: "Not only are we excited about the ability for customers to stay connected to their MySpace community while they are on the go, we think this will open up a new world of interaction and content for them to share via MySpace. The photo upload feature of MySpace Mobile means Cingular customers will now have the ability to capture, record and share their world as it happens via their MySpace profile, creating a more enriching experience for our customers as well as their MySpace friends."

The new service will be an additional $2.99 a month, and t will initially be available to over 30 phones, with 20 more coming shortly after.

A big announcement, and it won't be the last of it's type.

Word of mouth, Social networking, Personal Media and Mobile will be increasingly intertwined as this space evolves at a breakneck pace... co-incidentally doing so as we move toward the next election.

ThinkingBlue Search and Google Co-op

My cohorts and I at my company have been interested for a while at some of the functionality that Google has been opening up in their API’s and other services. I’ve been specifically looking as to how they could be put to use to help the liberal and progressive online (and mobile) community…

The first experiment is us playing with Google Co-op… http://google.com/coop/cse/overview
This Google service allows third parties to set up highly focused search engines powered by Google searching out specific subject matter, content and specific groups of websites…

So out of building something we could personally use, but also that might be of use to the larger community, we set up ThinkingBlue Search.

This is a custom search engine powered by Google Co-op focused specifically on searching out across the spectrum of politically progressive ideas and discussion.

ThinkingBlue Search is currently covering about 400 web sites, including every major progressive think tank (over 40 of them including NDN and NPI), every major progressive blog that discusses politics and policy (over 200 of them so far), every major official Democratic web site including every single local State party website (about 70-ish of them), every major liberal political journal and magazine in print and online (over 25), most of the major progressive syndicated columnists (right now just over 20 and growing), most of the progressive watchdog groups (also about 20 at the moment) and lastly, it also searches the early progressive political wikis that exist (about 10 or so).

..and we’re adding sites daily.

See what you think. Try it out, and as ThinkingBlue Search is very much a stable alpha at this point (and Google Co-op itself is a beta) but I would love early feedback, which you can leave in the comments here... or email to tchambers AT media50group.com..

AP News: "Youth turnout in election biggest in 20 years"

From Rueters News on the youth vote and the election, here are excerpts: 

"Young Americans voted in the largest numbers in at least 20 years in congressional elections...

About 24 percent of Americans under the age of 30, or at least 10 million young voters, cast ballots in Tuesday's elections that saw Democrats make big gains in Congress. That was up 4 percentage points from the last mid-term elections in 2002.

"This looks like the highest in 20 years," said Mark Lopez, research director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which compiled the data based on exit polls....

 Rock the Vote, a youth-and-civics group, said young voters favored Democrats by a 22-point margin, nearly three times the margin Democrats earned among other age groups and dealing a potentially decisive blow to Republicans in tight races...

 Future elections could also be at stake. The "Generation Y" of Americans born from 1977 to 1994 -- shaped by the September 11 attacks, the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina -- in nine years will make up a third of the electorate."

YouTube to be fully on Mobile Devices by 2007

This Reuters story shows YouTube/Google’s strategy for mobile devices more clearly than anything I’d seen publicly before…They plan to have the full service mobilized by end of 2007. And folks thought viral video was a factor in this years election, just wait for 08:

“Chad Hurley, YouTube chief executive and co-founder, told an advertising conference that offering video services on mobile phones was a key opportunity for the company.

“Within the next year we hope to have something on a mobile device, it’s going to be a huge market, especially for the video mind-set we’re dealing with, it’s a natural transition,” said Hurley…

In May, YouTube launched its YouTube To Go service to enable users to upload clips directly from their mobile phones to view on the Web site on their personal computers.

Already many of the clips seen on YouTube are captured by users with their cellphones. A new mobile service could enable users to share videos with others in the YouTube community directly via their phones.”

Two New Media Political Efforts to Check Out

In the final days of the campaign two new media efforts caught my eye...

Firstly, as much as viral video has been a part of various elections, I came across one implementation that would reward attention.

In the online video space in addition to YouTube and it's various clones, another there is a company called Brightcove...I've been a fan of their solution for a while now...it is a commercial platform for ad supported or subscription commercial net delivered video content. This allows small or large businesses to stream their content to users over the Internet, but it also gives buisnesses nearly complete control over the user interface, branding, unlike services such as YouTube.

The first political effort I've seen using Brightcove solution is Deval Patrick in the Massachusets Governor's race...Check out Deval Patrick TV to get a sense of what Brightcove enables, and what they did with it... Good stuff.

Secondly, in a season that saw the first nascent mobile efforts by folks like John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger's, Rick Santorum, etc...I've come across the best integrated mobile call to action in a traditional campaign commercial that I've seen yet. It's from the Coalition for Progress...Here it is...


AP/AOL Poll: 35 Percent of Americans Get Election Info Online

One more bit of political technology polling news, this time about the web and politics. AP and AOL News studied Americans use of the Web this election. It's results strongly supports the NPI New Tools Campaign, and it's push for campaigns to engage the blogs and the web...

This AP news article summarizes: “The poll, released Friday, suggested that some 35 percent of Americans, or 43 percent of likely voters, go online for election information.

More than half, 51 percent, of those who describe themselves as liberals are more likely to obtain election information from the Internet compared with 42 percent of moderates and 39 percent of conservatives, according to the AP/AOL News poll.

The poll also found nearly a quarter, 24 percent, of respondents who spy the Net for political news indicated they have accessed a blog during this election season. About 10 percent of Internet users have accessed a message board, chat room or blog to participate in election discussions.”

Also, along with the power of the blogs, this highlights the power of political web sites in general: 45% of Americans who go online for political news went to non-blog “political sites” to get informed about issues and candidates in prep for the next election. From the polling:

“For each of the following, please tell me if you have used this resource as a way of obtaining information about candidates and the campaign for the upcoming congressional elections on the Internet, or not. How about . . . ?”

News sites Yes: 86 No: 14
Political sites Yes: 46 No: 54
Candidate sites Yes: 36 No: 64
Blogs Yes: 24 No:76

Pew Research: 1 in 10 Americans Have Cut the Cord and are Cellphone Only

Here is an interesting poll just out measuring the effect of cell phone only users on political polling….

Highlights to me:

  • It concludes that 1 in 10 Americans have no landline connection and use their cell phone exclusively…
  • It concludes that this fact doesn’t - yet - skew poltical polling as this subset of the overall population is relatively similar to the larger superst of all of us

But it does show a few political differences between the Cellphone-only sample and the general population:

  • Cell phone only users are younger (49% of them are under 30 years old, vs. 13% of the general sample)
  • They are slightly more likely to vote Democratic this election (by about 4%)
  • They are slightly more progressive than conservative (by about 6%)
  • They are more Hispanic by more than double than rate the general sample (15% of the cell users are Hispanic vs 6% of the general sample)
  • They are other mixed ethinic by double than the general sample (9% vs 4% of the general sample)
  • They are slightly more African American than the general sample (16% vs. 11% of the general sample)
  • They are MUCH more likely to be single and never married (55% vs. 15% in the general sample )
  • They are currently less likely to be a registered voter this election (49% of them are currently registered vs. 76% in the general sample)
  • They are more likely to be a first time voter (17% of them are, vs. 5% of the general sample)

Online Tools For the Last Weeks of the Campaign

As we approach the final weeks of the campaigns, just wanted to point out a few progressive efforts at distributed net outreach:

The DSCC has a volunteer "badge" that you can add to your blog, myspace page, etc. as a tool to drive volunteers to Senate campaigns. it allows you to customize it for the races you most care about and want to point volunteers to...

The DNC has it's 50 State GOTV event finder...

MoveOn.org's "Call for Change" internet based volunteer phone banking is live...They are attempting to generate "5 million phone calls into 30 highly competitive congressional districts plus selected Senate races..."

And both Myspace and Facebook launched voter registration drives, that make it easier to reach out to your social network and get folks registered... Speaking of Facebook, they just launched "election pulse" where you can see various politician's facebook profiles organized by their district or state race and it how many "friends" each of the candidates has on the social network...

As I've just moved to DC, and have had to re-register the Chambers clan to vote, I'd personally vouch for GoVote.org run by Working Assets as a great online tool to register yourself and to point friends to. It made the process almost painless.... If anyone else has seen innovative uses of the net and new media please post in the comments here...


Announced: AP Mobile Election Results

The Associated Press (AP) just announced a new mobile service covering election results:

"The service, called AP Mobile Election Results, features Crisp’s content management, delivery and application development platform and is designed specifically for the AP’s customer base, which includes newspapers and broadcasters.

"The mobile device is rapidly becoming the tool for mobilizing social and political audiences, and the delivery of on-demand election information has tremendous political, social, and commercial value to a wide variety of customers," said Boris Fridman, CEO of Crisp Wireless. "The Mobile Election Results service combines content from AP, one of the premier global news organizations, and an easily-customizable news service...


Instat Research: By 2009 10% of all Mobile Users will be Mobile Video Subscribers

In keeping with the theme on the blog watching viral and  personally created online video, there is good new data from Instat Research out today on Mobile Video. In short, they predict that long form mobile video should come together by 2008-2009,  and by 2009 1 out of 10 mobile subscribers will also be mobile video subscribers. Here is a snippet from the Instat press release:

“The market for long form mobile/portable video content (video content of greater than 30 minutes) is currently in an experimental phase, and will likely remain at this stage for at least two years, reports In-Stat. By 2008, however, the industry will begin to gain traction and demonstrate its long-term potential…”

  • It is not clear if users will prefer an all-purpose multimedia cellular phone or separate voice and multimedia devices.
  • Mobile video subscribers stand to represent over 10% of US wireless subscribers by 2009.
  • Roughly one out of eight respondents in an In-Stat survey of mobile users expressed interest in mobile video for the cellular market.
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