Bristol Palin for Govenor!

If you’re a political party, what type of people do you engage through mobile communication?

Not only in the United States, but also in developing countries, what does mobile ownership and usage pattern say about the type of person you can mobilize? I loved Castells South Korean case example- but wonder: what if the candidate had needed to mobilize older voters?  Or, what if this had taken place in the United States instead of Korea?  Can such a strategy be as successful outside of its specific cultural context of high –internet penetration, youth support, and last-minute rallying calls?

Picture this, for example:

It’s Election Day, and you somehow haven’t voted.

Maybe it’s a midterm election and you’ve been writing these really long papers for all these crazy professors who go on and on about networks and congruent parallel mixed methods designs and larping and internet technology in Japan in 1994.

In any case, you’ve got till midnight to submit a paper and you’re really not ready to go stand in the cold and vote.

And then you get a rallying text message on your phone:

Initiative Measure No. 1082,  which would authorize employers to purchase private industrial insurance beginning July 1, 2012; direct the legislature to enact conforming legislation by March 1, 2012; and eliminate the worker-paid share of medical-benefit premiums,


SO what do you do?

Nothing, right?

Now what if you got this, instead:

Polls show Bristol Palin is last-minute write-in contender for governor of Maryland! Says she will show off new dance moves at swearing in!

My gut tells me you’d be much more mobilized (har har) by the second one, whether or not you’re interested in seeing a  sequin and feather bedecked gubernatorial acceptance speech or not.

Also, I’d love to see some more on  how this will be impacted by convergence technologies.  Do you think that it actually gives apps or facebook/twitter campaigns power now that Smartphones are becoming more the norm in with the politically-ripe 18-35 year olds?

Or, as peoples’ online social networks grow larger (sometimes I have a hard time remembering who my facebook friends are, ) will these uses of technology become overused/impersonalized and lack the impact that they did when first in place?

Castells:The Mobile Civil Society: Social Movements, PoliticalPower, and Communication Networks

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One Response to Bristol Palin for Govenor!

  1. Lindsey B says:


    e-gov (or m-gov?) is a growing trend in some parts of the world, and as one of the biggest users of internet, i’m surprised the US hasn’t done much to take advantage of these potentially money-saving opportunities. Most of all, I think our often phone-obsessed but lazy age range, when it comes to voting at least, could really benefit from that kind of ease-of-voting. And its hard to be any more uninformed than people are now, so I’m all for it!

    Even if its only novel for so long, the ease and cost-saving measures of looking at these possibilities would be totally worth it. (As I write this from my Droid…)

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