Text DEM to 69866

Dear BlueNC, the internet is passé. I'm venturing forth into the brave new world of SMS. I'm excited to announce that the North Carolina Democratic Party now has a system to send out text messages, and receive message back from you.

Ok, I know it's not that new, but it's new to me, and I'm hoping to really rock it. The best thing (in my mind) about SMS (text messaging) is that it crosses the digital divide. Plenty of folks with limited access to email have a cell phone on them nearly 24/7. So do me a favor. Two favors really:

1) Text DEM to 69866

2) Comment below to let me know how we can make the most of this. I don't know of a model for SMS campaigning, so if you have even the bare beginning of an idea please share it.


Did it

I did it earlier and it works great. I got a sign up confirmation text almost immediately.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"


If there is an event you could send a text to everyone who lives in a specific area. I know that is really tough to do when you just have a number, but you could send a text to everyone in a certain area code.

"Barack Obama will be in Raleigh on Tuesday. Go to ncdp.org for more" to everyone with a 919 area code
Or, "Howard Dean will be in Asheville on Thursday Go to NCDP.org for details" to everyone with an 828 code.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

yeah that's right

I think I can set it up so that when you first sign up it sends you back a message asking for your county or zip code in order to facilitate this.

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

Its really effective

Just look at how the Obama campaign is doing it and follow the lead ;p

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

If you were really cool....

You'd be twittering. Or, Friend Feeding.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


Just kidding. Eventually the phones will get powerful enough to where text messaging just turns back into email (aka cheap iphone), but in the meantime, there is a profound opportunity. If I can only figure out how to get a hold of it.

Since there's no open thread up I'm gonna post this here:

Wired: Georgia Under Online Assault

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

now after I call you a jerk I come hat in hand

Hey Linda, will you front page me? (if nobody else minds)

BTW, folks signing up for this should expect about two text messages a month until election day. Under no circumstances are we going to be busting up in your phone every couple days.

FYI, ACORN used text messaging to great effect in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As soon as day two ACORN organizers were sending messages out to surviving ACORN members to reorganize the network in order to fuel relief and self-advocacy efforts. More info here.

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

Not for me - use e-mail

It is not that I don't use text messages. I send and receive sms messages to and from a very few people (including certain family members). However, I use it only for very important messages or in special situations (other person knows I am in meetings or driving and is sending text for me to read when possible).

Any message that you send by sms should also be sent by e-mail to those of us who just don't want to get text messages from you, but who want to stay in the loop.


I agree!

I get unlimited email messages! I have limited SMS on my cell phone plan, and that is mostly used by my son (who shares the plan).

And I'm not a jerk :-P. I was giving feedback, as I was asked. If we were in an "after Katrina" situation, I'd feel entirely different - and I would definitely register my phone number for texts during an emergency.

NY Times: Text the Vote


Around the world, text messaging has become the tool of those dissatisfied with the political status quo, as was first demonstrated in the Philippines in 2001 when protesters organized themselves via cellphone to overthrow President Joseph Estrada. They passed along a simple text message with the direction to rally at a specific Manila street: “Go 2 EDSA. Wear blck.”

In Spain in 2004, text messages helped topple José María Aznar’s government after the Madrid train bombings. Thousands of protestors, who rightly believed that Al Qaeda (and not the Basque separatists blamed by the government) was responsible for the attacks, forwarded the phrase “Who did it?” to spread word of anti-government rallies on the day before the spring elections.

More recently, in Myanmar last fall text messaging was seen as such a threat to the government that the service was turned off during the monk-led protests against the oppressive regime.

For American politics, the Web has proved itself to be a powerful money-raising device, but e-mails, blogs, YouTube videos and Facebook haven’t demonstrated an ability to get voters to the polls. The new technology that’s best at moving people reaches beyond the desktop.

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

A few bits of research on Text Messaging and Campaigns


Here are a few links to info on the impact of text messaging in campaigns and turnout. Since im writing my thesis on youth engagement, I happen to have these handy.

This piece of data was nice to see

"Text messaging and mobile outreach are growing tactics within the political sphere, particularly for youth mobilization organizations. Rock the Voteʼs February 2008 poll found that 85% of 18 to 29 year olds own a cell phone, compared to 75% who own a landline phone. Early research has found large impacts from text messages. A 2006 program by Working Assets and the Student PIRGs showed that a text message on Election Day increases the likelihood that a young adult will vote by about three percentage points. In the 2008 primaries Rock the Vote has found that a text message reminder of a stateʼs registration deadline makes a person about four percentage points more likely to turn in their registration form after downloading it online."

Here are the Links:


Good use of technology...

The nice part about text messaging is that SMS messages often get through even where cell calls don't because they use the "signalling" or "call-setup" channel of the cell phone.

Biggst problem is that they do cost around 20 cents each unless you have a special plan. Then again, that's less than we used to put in a pay phone to make a call. (OK. I've definitely made myself look old by knowing what a pay phone is.)

I especially like the fact of only sending really important updates - not something daily - or even more often.

being ahead of the curve

in 3 years everyone will have a smart phone with one fee for everything from movies to text to email to phone calls.

Even now, there are a lot of us that use text and email interchangeably. I don't even open my email anymore unless I need to send a long message or attach something.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

SMS-Email interoperability

Agreed. I almost never send a SMS message from my phone. Instead, I use my email to send the SMS message. Much simpler - so long as you remember that there's a limit to the number of characters. :-)


Yup. Everyone will. Absolutely everyone.

psst - Robert - your Chapel Hill is showing.

How is this project going?


"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

about 40 signups

Not bad considering the only promotion we've done is on BlueNC and Facebook.

We've got a list of cell phone numbers we'll invite, as well as the email list.

Once I build the list to a reasonable size (at least a few hundred), I'll send out a take action that I can track. Once I see how many people respond, I'll (hopefully) have an idea of where to go from there.

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

College Students

We have great College Dems and Young Dems organizations. Make sure to get their help in spreading the word.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"