We are officially in the age of “Election 2.0.” The whiz-kids with HTML code on their fingers and binary code in their eyes have replaced the precinct bosses of old. Smoke filled backrooms are now filled with vape clouds. Canvassing the streets has become traversing the App Store. Campaigns have to haul keister on the information superhighway if they don’t want to get left out in the digital dust.
Now, I’m no luddite (The Dig has been a major player on BBSes since the Gulf War!) but even hip techies like me can get lost in the modern jungle of apps and sites. With that in mind here’s my guide to this year’s must-have apps for every campaign:
Facebook – The app that started them all. Like any piece of tech, Facebook has its good parts and its bad ones. On one hand, a presidential hopeful can calculate just how “on-message” they are by counting how many “Likes” they get per “post.” You used to have to pay Frank Luntz for something like that!
On the other hand, you run the risk of getting too sucked in to addicting games like “Candy Crush” and “Alpha God Of Poker” and losing weeks and weeks worth of paychecks on in-game items and energy boosts, which is a totally normal thing to happen and nothing to really get ashamed over. Still, Facebook is a “friend request” to millennials that a campaign can’t ignore.
Reddit – Reddit is shaping up to be the Periscope of late 2015. With a user-base of millions of mewling, barely human adult children who make up our youth electorate, you simply can’t call yourself a real candidate until you’ve done a Reddit “AMA” (“Ask Me Anything”).
Just be ready to answer questions about selfie sticks and celebrity up-skirt photographs. Tech-savvy candidates can also create subreddits to organize supporters. Just be wary of the rude, unsympathetic slobs of R/LegalAdvice who will call you an “epic clowntard” if you so much as ask about suing a judge. Other parts of Reddit contain invaluable knowledge about pop culture, politics and women who have “gone wild.” If you can get beyond the curious, possibly-bought advice of certain users and the overall repulsive self-time smell you can practically inhale through your screen, you’re in for some prime web surfing.
Tinder – Politicos simply have got to get on Tinder. The swipe is a quick way of determining if one’s hot, or if they’re not. If Tinder was around in 1960, Richard Nixon could have just stuck his sweaty mug on the app and saw that young ladies simply had no interest in matching with his glowering, nervous visage.
Buyer beware: there are a couple drawbacks to the user base. It seems that simply nothing you message to anyone on here gets a response. I personally have no idea what these people are looking for. Do they swipe right just to see people type into the void? With their obvious fear of commitment, in my view these ladies are soft supporters at best.
Webcams – Most of these apps cost money or simply do nothing to raise capital. This right here is the opposite. With webcam tech, for just a little facetime candidates can raise money from their most dedicated bankrollers. From what I’ve seen they can even charge by the minute or based on the action performed. This is a great way for hopefuls like Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton to let voters get to know them in a different setting. Some naysayers will charge that webcams aren’t popular. This is an outright lie. Look what happens when you search “Chaturbate,” which I’m told is one of the most popular webcam apps: 18,800,000 results!
That translates to roughly 18,000,000 voters. Any candidate not webcamming is simply throwing away a huge potential base of votes and tokens. If The Dig had to bet, he’d say Chaturbate in 2016 is shaping up to be what Facebook was for Obama in 2008.
Carl “The Dig” Diggler has covered national politics for 30 years, and is the author of “Think-ocracy: The Rise Of The Brainy Congressman”. He currently resides in New York, but also spends time in Washington DC and Los Angeles (but most of all, airports!).