“Tower to Salsa, Multiply and Ruck.us, you are now cleared for takeoff.  ”  (h/t Mashable via James O’Brien)

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Almost one year out from the 2012 presidential comes a timely question: How to measure mobile technology’s growth in the coming cycle? What will progress look like?  What are the benchmarks?

It’s not an easy question to answer, let alone make a forecast. Three years ago was eons for mobile devices and the mobile platform. The last presidential is scarcely adequate. Heck, developments since the last US congressional elections, 11 months ago, have moved at a rate far outpacing the election schedule or even the early adapters in politics. Tablet computing? I-Pad 2? Kindle Fire?  Now what about SMS in Egypt and Libya? We even have it on some authority that there are market leaders this cycle in the tech space preparing to lead with Ipod Touch as the device du jour instead of the I-phone, because the Ipod Touches are already in the inventory.

But to measure progress one has to start somewhere.  Some nominees for best benchmarks against which we can measure progress include, from a domestic U.S.  perspective, and from the broader world that NDI, IRI and IFES inhabits.  Fave factoids: 35% of American adults have Smartphones; 28% use mobile and social location services. And 47% use mobile to get some of their news.   Overseas, is SMS still king? Probably, but NDI is heavy in Egypt. So that could change.

Wither mobile for campaigns and elections? Higher adoption rates than the market at large? Or will this market lag? To  be continued…

Put these together and imagine what this means for ICT in Africa and Asia.    Technology that doubles the capacity of cell networks without having to build new towers sounds too good to be true – but what if it isn’t?  Meanwhile, back here in the states, the cost to consumers of a world-beating tablet computer was halved today.

Did you ever wonder why Albritton’s money hole, Politico, has a free Android App, while The Washington Post’s sinkhole of Kaplan cash, has none?

Record growth in mobile phone subscribers over past year a.k.a. “that’s where the consumers are going.” ( Voters too.)

Philly-based Rob Stuart is skeptical about making too much of the trend to mobile and other technologies at the expense of TV, mail and the other grizzled vets of the campaign consulting trade. But:

“The 2012 campaigns may be different if candidates begin to make news (because of how they are using mobile).”

Read the whole thing on HuffPo.

 

 

 

This morning’s mobile morsel comes from one of the MediaPost newsletters devoted to mobile – imagine this in the hands of a team of door to door canvassers, it’s called

 

BuzzMob. The simple idea is that anyone — an audience member, a neighborhood watch commander, a concert or sports venue — can create a ring around a local area that will let fellow app users share thoughts, images, and content of any sort related to the space at the moment. It is an ad hoc and transient mobile social space where the host and people in the zone can create content and augment a space.