Candidates' Campaign Efforts Lag In Mobile Tech Arena, Analyst Says

Barack Obama is leading the Democrats when it comes to making use of mobile communications technology.
Barack Obama leads the pack among presidential candidates using mobile communications technology, which seems to be the most popular communications technology among young people, a Jupiter analyst reports.

Julie Ask, research director and senior analyst for Jupiter Research, reported Monday that few candidates are taking advantage of mobile technology for campaigning.

Ask pointed out that Obama grabbed a branded short code (62262) for text messaging that spells his last name, while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have registered codes that don't relate to anything recognizable about them. Obama also gets points for a short keyword selection ("Go"), while Clinton and Edwards use longer words ("Join" and "Today.") Obama offers a mobile icon high on his Web page, ringtones, wallpaper, and an explanation that standard rates apply to text messages, while Clinton and Edwards offer less visibility and content for mobile features. However, some of Obama's features were unavailable when Ask tried to test them out.

In a published analysis for a Jupiter feature on hot topics in the wireless industry, Ask pointed out that other candidates have not reached out to potential voters through mobile technology.

"None of the Republican candidates have done so," she explained. "Someone should send out a newsflash to the candidates: 'Young adults communicate with text messaging on their cell phones."

Ask made an argument for cell phones' usefulness as tools for polling, discussions, and fund raising. She also offered a few pointers for improving mobile campaign tactics. They include some common sense advice like limiting texts to worthy messages -- upcoming events, for example -- and offering something in exchange for mobile phone subscriptions.