Thanks to my friend (and open source guru) Raven Zachary, I had the privilege of beta testing the new Obama ’08 for iPhone application. The idea, the potential and the implementation is tremendous – create grassroots opportunities to participate at the ‘edge’ of the internet. In other words, let people participate in the campaign from their perspective, instead of uploading their data to a central place or getting anonymous instructions from a central place.
How specifically? The key feature is that this iPhone app looks at your address book, sorts your contacts by battle-ground states, presents you with those people and then keeps track of whether you’ve called those people.Â As the help says:
As you make calls, you can keep organized by updating the status of your contacts.
Â Your privacy is important: no personal data or contacts will be uploaded or stored. Only the total number of calls you make is uploaded anonymously.
I love this idea because it allows me to help in a more hands-on way, but without having to deal with trade-offs like being a parent and employed vs. spending five weeks in a battleground state.
Additionally, it serves as a nice central place for me to find out more about the campaign.
Kudos to Raven and his team!