From the moment I wake up in the morning and even while I’m sleeping at night(I keep it under my pillow), my Blackberry is never more than an arms reach away.  My current job occasionally requires me to go into meetings where all cell phones and PDA’s are not authorized in the room, and it never fails that about 40 minutes into the meeting, my heart begins to race and I pat my pockets and begin searching for my Blackberry only to remember that it’s outside on the table having a play date with all of the other phones. 

I check my phone compulsively.  I admit it and I am not ashamed.  Whether I’m shopping, driving, working out, in class, in a meeting, I have a slew of applications that I systematically check including Twitterberry, three different email accounts, GChat, and Blackberry messenger, Facebook for blackberry, and of course Google News.   

If I’m at a restaurant with friends and we get in a debate over something, I Google it.  When I’m watching a movie and I can’t remember the name of an actor, I Google that too. 

I check my Facebook at least 50 times a day.  The same with Twitter

We haven’t even begun to talk about text messages.  Thank God I have an unlimited data and text plan because I send and receive almost 5000 messages per month. 

This includes messages from friends, family, as well as subscriptions for example The Washington Post political news updates, CNN breaking news, and updates from various local television stations, all of whom I also follow on Twitter.

Ok, so maybe I’ve taken this whole social-networking-on-demand-mobile connectivity thing a little over board, but it’s practical.

If I’m lost, I can simply use the GPS or even better Google Maps.  When I have a meeting to go or an event that I’ve been invited to (via Facebook or an evite in my email of course) I simply place it on my Google calender which I have in sync with my Blackberry calendar and tadaaa! I’m ready to go.

I can stop if I wanted to.  Really I can.  For example, just this morning, the flashing red new message light lit up on my Blackberry, and I waited 2 whole minutes before I looked to see what new and exciting information I just received. 



 In the past week or so, the DOD has prohibited the use of flash drives and other external media due to an alleged cyberattck by China, the leading news story was about how Obama couldnt’ take his Blackberry with him to the White House, and Obama also uses YouTube for his presidential(elect) weekly addresses. 

change.gov image

change.gov image

How fitting that of course the big question in cyberspace and the blogosphere is how President Elect Obama will utilize technology to change the White House Experience.

From You Tube to Twitter, there are an array of possibilities as to what White House 2.0 will look like.

You Tube is the poor man’s DVR x 1000.   Everything from speeches to television shows and movies, You Tube allows anyone anywhere to see something.  Naturally, the president should take advantage of this platform, but what else?

Twitter? Several goverment agencies already use this handy tool to announce the happenigns of their organization to the masses.  It’s a give the future POTUS will us this as well.

Other ideas that have been thrown out there include digitizing budgets and hosting town halls via webcam.  Possible?  Sure, why not. 

Innovation is the Obama Team’s forte. 

What about lobbying?  This AFP article  speculates on the Obama camp using the millions of names, address, and cell phone numbers they’ve gathered over the span of the campaign to promote advocacy and mobilize communities using zip codes to lobby to their congressmen on issues that are important to the camp.  That’s a thought. 

Regardless of whether the Obama team inteneded to spark an intrest in online movements and empowerment, or if they just wanted to win the election, many American people have taken it upont themselves to try to help Obama out for example FixThis,Barack  which allows users to submit issues that they think need immediate attention, and also allows other users to vote the issues up or down on this list.



White House2 is a similar site, their motto: “Where you set the nation’s priorities”.

Regardless of what platform(s) the Obama camp uses, putting the people in charge is what got him to the White House, and empowering Americans is a force that I believe will be present throughout his time in office.


The election is over—it was historic, and filled with all types of surprises.  From Edward’s affair to Obama girl, here is a compilation of some of the more memorable moments...the good, the bad, and the funny.


1) George Allen introduces “Macaca”


It’s all fun and games until someone tosses around a racial slur.  Although George Allen swears he made up the term, after Tim Russert hits him with the run down of his questionable actions that could be deemed by some as racism in that past, including a confederate flag and a noose on display in his office.  


2) “Satire is good for the Country”- Obama Girl

 Bill O’Reily talks to Amber aka Obama Girl about the 30+ Obama girl videos she’s created. Amber says she’ll continue to work for Barely Political. 

 3)Palin Mania

It seems everyone from Matt Damon to P. Diddy had something to say about Sarah Palin.  Love her or hate her the Hockey Mom from Alaska made quite the splash on the political scene as McCain’s’ running mate, and is still in the news for everything from lying by the pool with an expensive bag, to giving an interview if from on some Turkey’s being slaughtered for Thanksgiving. 


Diddy’s Blog Entry #24- Sarah Palin Scares Me
The Interveiw heard around the globe
Matt Damon on Sarah Palin 
Saturday Night Live’s Lisa Fey does a great Palin
Palin’s Joe Six Pack, Heck of A Lot, Folksy Debate performance, bless her heart!

4) The Rev. Wright

5) The Edwards Affair

After months of deny, deny, deny, Edwards finally admits to an affair.  The story, which first broke with the National Enquirer, left a bad taste in the mouth of many, especially when his wife’s cancer came back.







The 1984 apple computer spoof  “Vote Different” anti-Hillary Clinton ad had more than 5 million YouTube views.  I still remember the first time I saw this ad, and it truly showed that this election was like none other.


7) A Perfect Union

March 18, 2008.  Coming on the heels of the controversy over incendiary remarks by Obama’s pastor Rev Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s race speech, to some, served as one of the moments that really changed his candidacy in the minds of many.  At this time, Hillary was still in the race and the polls were extremely close.  The speech 37 minute speech has had more than 1.4 million views on YouTube, not to mention those who watched it on television.  


With more than 13 million YouTube views– The Will.I.Am Yes We Can video has officially been inducted into the Election ’08 Hall of Fame.  Well, not really, but if one existed, it would be inducted!


9) The Camera is always rolling: Bomb Iran, Clinging to Guns, and Jesse Jackson said what?!?!


McCain and Obama and even Jesse Jackson learned the hard way that in this election, NOTHING is “Off the Record”


McCain’s rendition of the Beach Boy’s classic


Obama’s “Guns and Religion Comments”


Jesse’s crude remarks



10) Mike Huckabee


He lost a bunch of weight and hung in there for quite sometime.  Mike Huckabee’s Chuck Norris commercial just might be the funniest commercial of the ’08 season.



The Internet and politics used to be  like oil and vinegar. 

That was the case prior to Howard Dean and the campaign that PEEYAAAAAAAAAAAAED us into the future. 

I remember when Howard Dean came to my campus down in South Carolina.  He was an instant hit among the hundreds of students crammed into the gardens on one of the quintessential dog days of Charleston.  It wasn’t until many years later that I truly realised how his campaign changed the world of politics.

The Internet in politics went from a unique, thinking outside of the box kind of campaign to status quo in less than eight years. 

From blogs to viral videos, the way the campaign of 2008 was run (and won) is only the beginning.

Doing something that has never been done before can be considered crazy.  Running and winning a political campaign using website and social media tools originally created to keep college kids in touch with one another is doing just that. 

I think the biggest takeaway from all of this was best said by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the box office smash Titanic, “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Enter insurgent candidates like President-Elect Obama. 

So for now it’s Facebook and Twitter, but the Obama’s to come will find the next innovative way to reach people.  Conventional and status quo is boring.  The goal is to go where the people are.  So while technology and politics is the new black, the gloves are off in 2010.  Only time will tell. 

target2-75Microtargeting is the “new” black.  It’s fashionable if you will, and if you want to win an election, microtargeting is what you do. 

Invasive? Perhaps to some.  But, no more invasive then posting a slew of personal information online so 700  of your closest “friends” can not only see it, but track what you’re doing from “private” thought to “private” thought which is possible thanks to websites like Facebook and Twitter.

I’ll gladly text a number I don’t know to get the punch line to the radio stations joke of the day, so why not give my number to the Democratic Presidential nominee so I can be the first (along with millions of others) to receive the name of his veep pick.

When considering the trade-off of personal privacy  versus getting more specific and tailored political messages…one major factor is SO WHAT?

Some people vote down party lines, but the independent voters typically focus on the issues, and then chose the candidate that they have the highest common denominator with.  In politics, the base is the base.  Yes it’s important to know your base and where they live etc so you can ensure they are kept in the loop, but the swing voters, the independents are where the money lies. 

From the perspective of the politician, it is extremely important to know these voters.  Their habits, hobbies, what car they drive.  It’s important so they know where to find them and the best methods of reaching them.

In my opinion, microtargeting is like an enhanced version of the age old PR, journalism, and advertising tactic of knowing your audience. 

If this technology did not exist, not only would you lose some voters who may feel bogged down or overrun with information that they just don’t care about, but you would (and this may be the most dangerous consequence of them all) allow the voter to have to actually do some research and look through all of the information to decide who they want.

In this on demand society, could voters really have it any other way?


Last night was a night that I will remember for the rest of my life.


The tears, the cries of joy, strangers hugging, dancing in the street, cars blaring their horns.

This was my first time being in Washington for a presidential election, but even I knew that this was not the norm.  What I didn’t know is that across the district, as well as across the nation and even around the world, people all over were doing the exact same thing.  Celebrating.

Watching the election results pour in on gigantic flat screen televisions, sending tweets on Twitter, texting family members who were in other parts of the country.  This is not the way things played out four years ago. 

CNN was the station that was on at all of the events I went to last night, both bipartisan and party sponsored events.



Wolf Blitzer, Roland Martin, and others used state of the art technology to give us, the viewers, up to the minute results.  With clocks on the side of the screen dictating when polls close, a running tally at the bottom of the screen, even during commercial breaks, and an INCREDIBLE map that could zoom to the smallest of towns. 

To me the reactions of others was one of the more exciting parts of the night.

When I, like so many others, rushed out into the street, almost everyone had some type of recording device, be it a camera phone, or video camera feature on a cell phone.  They too wanted to capture- even if it was just for 30 seconds- history in the making.

The Twitterberry and Google News applications on my Blackberry greatly assisted me through the night.  So when I was waiting in line to get into an event, or I went to the bar to grab a drink or to the ladies room, I could constantly have up to the minute information.  

Thanks to technology, I was able to keep track of everything, from the emails in my inbox that told me where the parties are located, to the updates from the local stations and NPR that I follow on Twitter alerting me whenever another poll closed or more results came in.


Let’s just say this song…..now has a WHOLE new meaning!!!



You Tube Favs

I can still remember the first time I heard about You Tube.  It was probably a lot later than most people.  It was the summer of 2006. I had just moved to Washington and was temping all over the city, and my friends who were in the military would continuousluy send me links to different videos, ranging from cute dogs to people dancing or falling over.  Clearly this was before the DOD decided to block You Tube and sites like it. 

At first I began looking up stuff from my youth.  TV shows  like Nickelodeon’s Today’s Special and early ‘80s music videos.

It wasn’t until this presidential race that I began to use Youtube to catch things I missed on television (Yeah, I still don’t have DVR). 

Of the political videos of this election, I have two that are my favorite.  The first is the Chuck Norris and Mike Huckabee commercial.  I actually caught the tail end of the commercial on TV and went straight to YouTube to try to figure out what the heck I just saw. 

I think the video was effective because it allowed Huckabee to be a little silly, but still made folks really stop for a second and watch. 

From a strategy standpoint, as discussed in The Fix

Huckabee gained notoriety from this video because his name began actually making the news.  But, did it help his case in the presidential campaign?  Chris Cillizza points out something that is very true…that many people would not “get” the relevance of the Chuck Norris Jokes.  They wouldn’t connect with him etc.  Be that as it may, I think it was the first (and last) time a presidential candidate went out on the limb with a cutesy video and I give it two thumbs up. 

Huckabee and Norris took advantage of the spotlight giving several media interviews including this one on The O’Riley Factor

The other video that I really enjoyed on YouTube was the Sarah Palin Katie Couric interview.  I didn’t see this interview, except online, and I am grateful for YouTube because it gave me the personalized experience to watch it. Not just the snippets on MSM.  That is the beauty of You Tube when it comes to politics.  It allows everyone to take part in the conversation.

My favoirte exerpt from the Pailn/Couric face off…the Roe v Wade question.