gowalla-political

Crist and Perry Test Gowalla Check-Ins for Political Events

  |  August 4, 2010   |  Comments

The location-based service created a political category for campaigns to show momentum at fundraisers and rallies.

Political campaigns are using display ads, mobile apps, Facebook pages, and Twitter, so it's no surprise they see potential in location-based check-in services. Gowalla is hoping political campaigns follow the leads of Senate hopeful Charlie Crist and Texas Governor Rick Perry in using offerings it introduced today.

Gowalla, a service that allows people to check-in at and share locations and events with friends, noticed an interest from political campaigns in using the service, and as a result created a political category for "Gowalla Passport Holders" to create events in the system associated with election campaigns and advocacy-related events.

gowalla-politicalThe Charlie Crist for US Senate campaign, for instance, is using a custom stamp for use during rallies, fundraisers, town hall meetings, or other campaign trail events. The goal is to show the momentum behind a candidate when people display the emblems through their Gowalla pages, or through integrations with Twitter and Facebook.

According to the company, candidates can allow anyone to follow them so supporters can keep up virtually with their campaign whistle stops (in-person or otherwise).

"Jim Ward checked in at Tele-Town Hall Meeting," stated a recent post accompanied by a custom campaign stamp from the Arizona Republican, who is running for the state's U.S. District 5 Congressional seat.

Users can upload images from events, or make comments, pushing them out on Twitter or Facebook, said Josh Williams, Gowalla co-founder and CEO. He also said that with some back-end tinkering, campaigns could enable a stream of check-in information on their own sites using Gowalla's open API.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has used Gowalla to create custom "trips" to demonstrate the impact of politically-manipulated redistricting on elections. One 90-minute trip, for instance, makes three stops along Florida's I-95, and, according to the ACLU, passes "through all seven U.S. House Districts that cross I-95 in South Florida." The trip description on Gowalla adds, "Voting YES on Amendments 5 and 6 would make legislators take into consideration existing, sensible geographic boundaries to draw contiguous, fair districts."

Digital political strategist Jordan Raynor, president of Tampa, Florida's Direct Media Strategies, believes location-based check-in services like Gowalla and Foursquare could have an impact closer to election day - and on election day itself.

"I see the value of these networks to help encourage people to get out and vote more than I see the benefit to partisan political campaigns for mobilizing supporters," he told ClickZ News. "Location-based social networks such as Foursquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR and a whole score of others have a tremendous opportunity to promote civic participation on November 2."

In fact, Raynor has promoted his "I Voted" Foursquare badge idea to the company through a petition using Twitter petition service act.ly. "Foursquare should create an 'I Voted' badge for anyone who checks-in at an official polling place on Election Day or during Early Voting. Sign the petition today!" he posted on Twitter recently. Around 450 people have signed and tweeted the petition message.

"The data visualization and mapping potential of these Election Day check-ins is very exciting,” Raynor added.

At the moment, said Gowalla's Williams, his firm's services are free to political campaigns. In the future, for advanced campaign event customization, he said, Gowalla "may have to charge simply as a matter of scale."

Digitalpolcamps101-footerFollow ClickZPolitics on Twitter at @ClickZPolitics

Download ClickZ's free
Digital Political Campaigns 101
resource today!

 

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter. Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Resources

Jobs

    • Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative
      Recent Grads: Customer Service Representative (Agora Financial) - BaltimoreAgora Financial, one of the nation's largest independent publishers...
    • Managing Editor
      Managing Editor (Common Sense Publishing) - BaltimoreWE’RE HIRING: WE NEED AN AMAZING EDITOR TO POLISH WORLD-CLASS CONTENT   The Palm...
    • Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager
      Senior Paid Search & Advertising Manager (Smarty Had A Party) - St. LouisCompany Description: A warm, loving, [slightly wacky] startup, we view...