Magazine article Mother Jones

Stalk the Vote

Magazine article Mother Jones

Stalk the Vote

Article excerpt

How Obama for America gets to know Jane 0. Voter

1 Information flows from Jane to the Obama campaign via several data streams.

2 The campaign then sends Jane targeted messages via. canvassers,' phone calls, ads, and its increasingly sophisticated email blasts.

3 Jane's responses - whether she clicks on an email link, say - provide the campaign with more data to hone its message.

Following a Twitter link to the site, Jane Is prompted by the portal Dashboard to enter her name, address, zip, email, phone number, gender, ethnicity, and education. Cookies track her activity, telling the campaign that after watching a video she looked for Information on women's health and the environment. Obama for America (ofa) will also encourage her to join like-minded groups of supporters, finding out that she's a young, Spanish-speaking nurse in a military family who lives in a rural community. This Information will be used to determine how best to keep her engaged.

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ofa has worked with Catalisi, the data collection company founded by über-operative Harold Ickes (see page 36). Catallst buys consumer databases showing that Jane subscribes to, say, Wiredano Yoga Journal, drives a Prlus, and shops at both Victoria's Secret and While Catallst can't share Jane's precise details, It can provide lists of voters with similar Interests and habits, helping ofa further hone its messages.

Facebook also encourages Jane to log In with her Facebook ID, which provides ofa access to public portions of her profile. …

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