Messaging Blues

The Magic of Messaging: This blog contains stuff related to E-Mail, SMS,Text Messaging, Instant messaging, MMS etc (Mobile/Internet/Wireless/Text/IM)

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Monday, March 13, 2006

SMS to encourage voting among youth

Nonprofit agency Music For America plans to kick-off an SMS campaign called TXTVoter at concerts throughout the U.S. in June that aims to increase voter turnout in the 2008 elections. The campaign takes celebrity involvement in "getting the vote out" to the next level: Musicians will ask concert goers to register for the SMS service during the live show by texting a word of the musician's choosing to a short numerical code. Fans will then get a reply asking for their name and address to receive voter registration forms in the mail. They'll also get an SMS reminder to vote on Election Day. The MfA claims more than 350 member musicians, including Green Day, Moon Zappa and Death Cab for Cutie. Mobile Voter partnered with the MfA to enable the technical aspects of the campaign.

The Election Day reminder is a nice touch, but there's a disconnect there between soliciting the concert goer's name and address and actually getting them to sign up. Celebrities lobbying young voters to register has proven effective in the past, but really harnessing the mobile to do something as easy as voter registration could allay a lot of the frustration and laziness that leads to low voter turnout. Mobile content can also be sold this way, on the spot at concerts and at the behest of the performers.

For more on SMS and voting:
- take a look at this article from CNET