“words—
lonely written words—are all you’ve got”

—Virginia Shea

“communication happens when I know you know what I know”

—Me

Fantastic political uses for Twitter!

Early Friday afternoon I received a political robocall. I hate telemarketing of any kind, especially on my mobile phone. I don’t pay for my phone so that you can advertise your products or opinions at your convenience.

Within a few minutes I Twittered a few details more to vent than anything else: “Received political robocall from R.T. Rybak, mayor of Minneapolis, MN. Caller ID just showed 224. He is now on my shit list.”

Robocall tweet

Twitter Vote Report iPhone applicationShaun Dakin with StopIllegalRobocalls.org messaged me via Twitter later that day and pointed me to a blog post about the Robo Call Tracking Map, which points to the Twitter Robocall Tracker. This map encourages Twitter users who receive robocalls to post their details and the call details on a Google map.

When I posted my details I saw another Minnesota user in Saint Paul had posted similar details to my call. And after some research I learned that robocalls are illegal here in Minnesota without a live operator preceding the call and asking for your consent to listen.

I would have known of none of this without Twitter.

Another group wants to track election day and pre-election day voting experiences. Twitter Vote Report is asking Twitter users to describe their experiences with wait times, registration problems, machine problems and anything else that could impact voting results. Twitter users can include the hashtag #votereport in their tweets and all of them will be compiled, tracked and displayed on the website. Visitors and, more importantly, the media can track problems and be aware of irregularities before voting. Brilliant!

While tweets are the direct way of sending information I’ve opted to get the iPhone app, which will make submitting my information easier and cleaner. An Android phone application is available too.

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