Local activism from abroad

This is quite random (not to mention old, as it’s dated Nov 3, 2008), but having a background in ICT4D I found this report on a technology blog intriguing. It goes without saying that the Internet allows people to keep in touch in radically new ways while on the go and Skype is so widespread that its very name has become a handy verb for millions of Internet users, but who would’ve thought you could use the Internet to volunteer in a political campaign back home while sitting on another continent?

Wendy’s Blog: Skype for Obama, from Cairo to Colorado

I’m spending this election season in Cairo, Egypt, attending an ICANN meeting. Thanks to the Internet, that hasn’t stopped me from some final get-out-the-vote efforts. The time zones mesh up so that after meetings conclude here, I’ve been able to log in to my.barackobama.com, find a list of voters and a calling script, and call via Skype to remind them of polling places and encourage them to vote.

Isn’t the Internet grand? I’m at the ICANN meeting trying to keep ICANN from interfering with the flexibility that allowed that unexpected political outreach.

Lucky McCain’s campaign didn’t get wind of this. I can hear Palin’s inevitable slogan now: “Obama campaign gets support from Al-Qaeda member.”*

Swiftboat-ese for a person residing in the Middle East.


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