Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Mobile Technologies, How to Raise Volunteers Like a Rockstar

This panel was moderated by Justin Oberman and included such guests as Eric Gundersen, Jo Sullican from ASPCA and Dan Weaver of Mobile Accord.

This panel was designed to discuss the inclusion of a mobile initiative in a campaign in addition to an internet campaign. The integration of an SMS system into the campaign was a large part of the concept.

Text messaging from e mails is a large part of this idea. For example, Mr. Gundersen used Chris Dodd's e-mail to his e mail list was highlighted to show that he let his followers know about his appearance on "The Daily Show" about the kind of mesage that could be sent to his followers cellphones. Then, he shrunk the message into 160 characters, the maximum length of a text message, and simplifys it into a clear text message.

The hypothetical shortening of the text message led to a quick question of how you can get your followers phone numbers, just have a forum for users to post their numbers on his website.

Another example is the use of shortcodes, which are short 5 or 6 digit numbers that represent a phone number specifically for text messages. These are extremely useful for setting up large organizations by having their people send a text message containing a keyword to the number, and recieve a quick, almost instantanious automated response to that message. The example was text the words "Pro Choice" to 6693 and see what happens.

A list of terms covered:
SMS -Short Messenger Service
PSMS - Premium Short Messaging Service
Short Code - 5 or 6 digit codes, basically an SMS address

Some of the other key points of the presentation included:

How the use of the Mobile Text Messages gives the politicians and their campaigns another way to reach people.

How text messaging makes the candidate appear as Tech savy, even if the actual sign up rate is not that high, because it generates great press.

That text messaging can also be an effective way of creating a viral message to advertise something, an event or a person.

Another easy way to generate text messenger clients is to send people an e-mail, and have them sign up through the e-mail.

And of course, the always important concept:

Make sure that you have a way for people to cancel your text messaging services easily, because without that you could lose the ability to gain any other subscribers.

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