Help shape the future of Technology in Politics – Microsoft, Qik and the Personal Democracy Forum

Technology is taking an active position in politics today. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, for example, has been on the cutting edge using tools such as Twitter and (live) streaming announcements. Back in November 2007, Obama had announced the position of a “Chief Technology Officer”. From VentureBeat:

“Obama’s CTO … would ensure government officials hold open meetings, broadcast live webcasts of those meetings, and use blogging software, wikis and open comments to communicate policies with Americans, according to the plan.”

Just today, the popular blog TechPresident announced that it will be hosting a public twitter based pseudo-debate of sorts between each of the presidential candidates representatives, which will be moderated by Ana Marie Cox of Time (Ana’s twitter handle). This should be extremely interesting - often times I’ve found debate participants exceed their allocated time or ramble on, but twitter restricts your tweets to be 140 characters long. So this debate should be very concise and extremely informational. From “BREAKING: PdF2008 Hosts Obama-McCain Twitter Debate”:

“We're pleased to announce a first for the Internet Election of 2008: Starting tonight, a designated representative of both of the major presidential campaigns are going to participate in a free-wheeling debate on technology and government …

The debate is an initiative of Personal Democracy Forum and is being launched in tandem with next week's annual PdF conference, which is taking place Monday and Tuesday at Rose Hall in NYC.”

Some time back, I’d written about how Qik is paving the way for citizen journalism and Qik’s new support for (select) Windows Mobile devices. When Bhaskar Roy and I chatted a few weeks ago, Bhaskar told me that he was going to be participating on a panel called “Building and Using the World LIVE Web” at the annual Personal Democracy Forum (PdF) conference, where the likes of Vint Cerf, Elizabeth Edwards, Ariana Huffington, Lawrence Lessig (one of my favorite speakers), Clay Shirky, Craig Newmark, Robert Scoble and many others would be speaking. We immediately thought of ways in which Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Qik could collaborate to provide the hardware, software and services needed for some of these key political bloggers and influencers to start Qiking using Windows Mobile phones.

Loke Uei Tan, Product Manager for Windows Mobile and I will be at the PdF next week. We have some interesting thoughts on how we plan on distributing a few Samsung Blackjack phones to some of the influencers there. But I’d really like to hear from you :

  • How would you like to see services like Qik and Windows Mobile devices being used by political journalists, bloggers, influencers etc.?
  • If you are enthusiastic about politics and you had a Windows Mobile device with Qik on it, how would you use it?

Help shape the future of technology in politics!

If you’d like to discuss this in person, please join us - on Saturday 6/21, Loke and I will be joining Bhaskar and the Qik team for a “Qik-up” in the West Village. Alternately, if you plan on attending the PdF, please give me a call or twitter me @anandiyer so that we can meet up. I want to hear from you.


Special thanks to Andrew Rasiej , Bhaskar Roy and Micah Sifry !

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