DIGITAL AMERICA

I-Campaign Funding?

// Posted by on 02/11/2012 (8:08 PM)

Imagine being able to accept credit card payments from anywhere. Imagine holding a bake sale to raise money for a charity and being able to take donations straight from your phone. Well that’s what Square does. With the simple device and a easy to use app, you can take credit card payments/donations from anywhere. The entire setup is completely free you get the device and the app for free but there is a percentage taken out of each card swipe that the company keeps. The money is deposited into your account the next day and then you are good to go. Kevin Rose gives a quick demo just to show the pros and cons of the device.

But not just everyday people are using this app. Politicians are jumping on this bandwagon and using Square to start funding there political campaigns. President Obama has always been campaigning in new and upcoming ways. In his 2008 campaign he had an app designed to let his voters read news about the campaign, check local events, and help with campaigning. Now these presidential campaigns are adopting this new technology where supporters can download the app and collect donations for the campaign from anywhere they want. The use of social technologies like twitter, facebook, and myspace have only made the switch to the anywhere donations so much easier. Supporters can follow links and donate straight from there, but now with square anyone can collect donations for these political campaigns.

So what does this change? Campaigning has changed so much over the years and in so many ways. It has become more dependent on technology to spread the word and find more supporters. Is this a good thing or has it become to easy. Are Politicians getting let off easy in there campaigning? Do things like Square make it better for the supporters or easier for the candidates? Is it still a political race and not a popularity contest? Are we voting for people because they have apps and facebook pages or are we voting for people because their views coincide with ours?


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Comments:


Abbey said...

I think this technology is both good for the voters and the candidates because it makes it easier to raise funds and easier to show support. After reading about this new political use for these gadgets, I immediately thought that it is a win-win for potential voters and for campaigners as well. If it is made easier to donate money then both the campaigners will benefit from more people donating and it may spark the desire to get involved or at least become more aware of political campaigns on the part of potential voters. If donating money is made easier and causes more people to do so, they may feel more of an investment or connection with the campaigns and pay more attention to them. It may lead to a more informed and involved society. I’ve also been reading about a new way this technology is being used with a company called PhoneTab, which allows you to close your tab at a bar before leaving without having to wait in line or for a bartender to be free. This new convenience has the potential to change the way we shop, drink, and even vote.

// 02/12/2012 at 3:13 pm

Allison said...

This technology will undoubtedly benefit both the politicians and the donors. No longer will people be able to say, “Sorry, I don’t have my check book on me.” Undoubtedly they will collect more small figure donations this way. People have a hard time saying no! Likewise, people won’t need to remember their checkbook in order to give a donation! I imagine that today most people depend on the quick swipe of their card rather than having to make stops at the ATM or keeping their check book close by. For the organizations raising money, it takes many steps out of their work as well. They do not have to collect the checks, find the total sum, and make a trip to the bank to deposit those checks.

// 02/12/2012 at 3:25 pm

Kelsey said...

I too think this technology will benefit the campaigners and the voters. Like Ali said when your money goes into something you’re more likely to pay attention to it. Not to mention the information a person would have to gather to be motivated to donate to a campaign in the first place. The main use of the internet is to quickly look up information and this easy access to the candidates makes it easier for citizens to find the candidate that they agree with and then to use things like facebook and twitter to stay informed about what they are doing and saying.
This is a fascinating piece of technology and it will be interesting to see what kind of ramifications it makes both positively and negatively. One thing that comes to my mind is its use in the restaurant world. There was an article in Wired, if I remember correctly, about an app that would allow restaurant customers to order their food from the table and after the meal to pay for it. If this app and the square were to take off in the restaurant world kiss that summer waitressing job goodbye!

// 02/13/2012 at 9:26 pm

Max said...

While I think that this technology is something that will most certainly help small denomination contributions (think student contributions on college/high school campuses) this doesn’t take into account how political largely run. I worked for a major GOP candidate this summer and I’d estimate 85% of contributions are from people who’ve previously supported that candidate and are large denomination. They usually are received over the phone or in person at gatherings across the country. Don’t forget that the Super Pac of Newt Gingrich is almost singlehandedly supported by the contributions of Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul. Now this isn’t discrediting the technology: it is perfect for a ‘grass-roots’ campaign focused at younger voters, like the one that contributed to the election of President Obama.

// 02/15/2012 at 8:06 pm