Tuned In

Not-TV Week: VP Text and Context

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Greetings from lovely Michigan! I’ve only been able to check in briefly, as my Internet connection at my Mom’s house relies on piggybacking off a neighbor’s very weak wireless signal, and I haven’t yet found a coat hanger to fashion into a wireless booster antenna for my laptop.

I signed up for the text message from the Obama campaign to get his VP choice, not because of my personal political preference but because I like to find out things first. Like many of you, I suspect, I got the text when I switched on my cell phone this morning.

I’ll let the political blogs sort out what they think of the choice of Joe Biden. My question is: what did you think about the text? Specifically, what did you think about the timing?

The Obama campaign seem like the sort of folks who think about the social-networking potential of pretty much everything they do. Thus, I was surprised they didn’t send out the text announcement on a weekday, say around 2 p.m. E.T., when it would have set off text alerts on cell phones in businesses and homes across the country.

People—because people love to share news—would have stopped what they were doing and told their friends or cubiclemates the scoop they’d just gotten. Which means, for every person you got to sign up for the text alert, you’d have that many people across the country, talking to people who know and trust them about your candidate.

Now, you couldn’t control how those conversations would go. And maybe some of those people would start ranting about how they hated the choice of Biden. But still–why pass up the chance to literally get the whole country talking about you at one moment?

Of course, maybe the message it would have sent was: hey, that tool in your office who’s always showing off his iPhone? That jackass is voting for Obama!

So: missed opportunity or wise choice? And did you get the text?

Robo-James is up to bat again next week. See you in a week and change. (“Change” here meant in the nonpartisan sense.)