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Daily Digest: Let Freedom Ring(tone)!

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, March 12 2008

The Web on the Candidates

* The presidential campaign is everywhere, including on your mobile phone. Over at RingTones08, the most popular ringtones that people have downloaded (for free!) to their phones are excerpts from the Yes We Can Obama song/video, the hilarious "Baby Got Barack" rap, and a Ron Paul reggae tune. RingTones08 bills itself as the "only free site for posting and sharing ringtones about the US election," and its founders, Jo Lee and Katrin Verclas, have hit on a great way to engage activists and new voters alike. We've mentioned this project before, but the site is no longer in beta, and it now includes new features like an easier to use process for submitting tones.

* If you're an Obama supporter, you can also personalize your web presence at "We’ve been noticing a trend of people displaying their support for Barack Obama’s Democratic presidential campaign by using his logo as their avatar, or visual representation on the web," write the site's founders at So they created this site, which they curate to make sure inappropriate images aren't uploaded. In just seven days, nearly 10,000 people have visited the site and more than 2500 people have already created their personal logo, which you can view on Flickr. It's more evidence that if you offer your grass-roots supporters real autonomy to spread your message, they'll run with it. The kids, what else will they think of?!

* Answer: Mobile video messages from voters straight to the candidate's mobile phone! That's what a new company called MoGreet is promoting, with a free "MoGreet the Vote '08" campaign. You pick a candidate and one of a number of pre-taped video messages on topics like the war, immigration, abortion, etc. Both sides are represented. Then you key in your cell and email, add a 60 character personal message and press send. According to the company, each of the campaign's communications directors have received a Mogreet phone to receive these messages. Somehow, I can't imagine them interrupting the candidate to share the latest, however. But with more and more young people abandoning land line phones, MoGreet may be a fun new way to connect with them, and the company says about 20,000 such messages have already been sent to candidates. (Read this part really quickly: Standard messaging and other charges may apply--and MoGreet charges 99 cents per message for their non-presidential video messages on top of that.)

The Candidates on the Web

* Over at ClickZ, Kate Kaye reports that the Clinton campaign is revving up its web advertising and changing its email tune to focus on small donations from $5 to $50. She quotes techPresident blogger Michael Turk questioning whether the low ask could actually hurt their returns, since the average online donation has been reported at $100 to $125. But starting small may lead to bigger results down the line as these donors often give multiple times.

* Todd Ziegler of the Bivings Report noticed that Barack Obama is the most followed person on Twitter, the micro-messaging service that is all the rage. (My god, even Frank Luntz is on it.) He notes, "despite this popularity, Obama’s team doesn’t use the service that aggressively. They have only posted 78 updates. The second most popular user, Robert Scoble, has posted 7,499 updates." But since his post, it looks like Obama's campaign team is picking up the pace, with 3 more tweets in the last 2 days.

In Case You Missed It

Michael Turk takes another whack at Hillary Clinton's email messages, but he insists it isn't "Beat up on Hillary Week."