Tonight, Barack Obama will formally accept the Presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. This should be good times. Next week John McCain will accept his, and the campaigns will start in earnest.
Up ’til now, the campaigns have basically been laying the groundwork for the real fight. People who’ve been tuning out until now will start to try to figure out what all the fuss is about.
And that’s why I’m so excited about a text message I just got. Like a giant nerd, I signed up to get the VP announcement texted to me. Fine.
Then today I got a text informing me that “to get involved locally, REPLY [to 62262 aka O-B-A-M-A]: VOL plus your FIRST NAME and TOWN (ex: VOL Ann Chicago).”
I also got a call from a local organizer, telling me where the campaign’s watch party will be tonight (Everett and Jones Barbecue, Jack London Square). They’ll turn out enthusiasts through those calls and texts, and then turn them into activists across the country. Just as they gear up for the big organizing push, they’ll be drawing in and pumping up a bunch of new activists. And they’re using a range of technological tools to do so, ensuring that folks of different age groups all get contacted in ways that make them happiest.
It’s smart, and I’d bet money the McCain campaign won’t have half as aggressive a system for gathering this sort of data on volunteers, nor for using that force of volunteers if they had it.