The countdown is finally over. Illinois Senator Barack Obama has won in a landslide victory over Republican John McCain to become the next president of the United States of America.
And before the campaign dust even settles, the wireless industry is already proclaiming their technology’s role in the most historic US elections of all time.
During this years hectic and whirlwind elections, mobile messaging has undoubtedly assisted in getting out the vote and transformed group messaging.
Mobile campaigning is credited with being a more cost-effective alternative to traditional campaigning methods, such as door-to-door canvassing which costs around US$20-$30 per voter, compared to $1.26 per SMS.
Research found that text message reminders to new voters increased an individual's likelihood of voting by close to five percentage points, according to a study by Princeton and Michigan Universities, together with the US Student Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) New Voter Project Mobile Voter and Working Assets.
John Hurley, Product Manager at Airwide Solutions, a mobile messaging firm, referring to the Democratic party's win, said, "One campaign was known for using mobile data as a mechanism for advertising itself and that one came out on top. I am not saying it is all attributable to mobile messaging, but it does show the appeal of the one campaign over the other in terms of reaching the youth."
"The McCain campaign missed a trick," Hurley continued.
"They had a blind spot in terms of mobile advertising, they did use mobile telephony but only for cold-calling and phone banks."
Another large feature of the elections was real time information via mobile phones. The social networking and micro-blogging service, Twitter allowed users to send messages via SMS, or 'tweets,' to communicate with one another. Obama's
Twitter page enabled him to get his message out to over 121,000 subscribers. Last night, Twitter was used to get timely access to election results, often moments before traditional news outlets.
The election will go down in history as one of the most mobile-friendly elections of all time, but it isn't mobiles alone.
The President-Elect has embraced all forms of technology in his cutting-edge campaign, particularly Web 2.0 technology (See- The Web 2.0 race for the White House). Obama had a very tech-driven operation with an active presence in a multitude of social networking sites and services, including over 2.47 million friends on Facebook and over 840,000 friends on MySpace.
Obama's fondness of technology is mutual as he was the favourite of Silicon Valley. According to a recent study by blogger Robin Harris at ZDNet.com, over 90 per cent of campaign donations made by employees of Apple, Google and other tech firms have gone to the Democrat.
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