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Pew Conference Podcasting Presentation


Presented at PEW Make Voting Work conference, December 2008

Presented at PEW Make Voting Work conference, December 2008

Published in Technology
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  • 1. Mobile Election Notification/Electronic Election Administration Tools Brian D. Newby Election Commissioner Johnson County, Kansas December 9, 2008 Johnson County Kansas
  • 2. Choose Effective Over Hip
    • Digital democracy—Twitter, Text Messaging, YouTube, Mash-ups, blogs, etc.—definitely has a role for election administrators.
    • Johnson County has focused on the application first, technology second.
  • 3. Benefits
    • Target voters under 30.
    • Provides a reason to have a conversation rather than just saying, “It’s important to vote.”
    • Drives people to our website and allows us to engage with them more.
  • 4. Mobile Election Notification
    • Current
    • Podcasting
    • Textcasting
    • Polling Place Lookup by Address
    • Evaluating
    • Twitter-Like Instant Day-of communication to election workers
    • Inclement weather wake-up “robo” calls to election workers
  • 5. Mobile Election Notification
    • Part of a comprehensive plan to engage with people on their terms.
    • Linked to a website refresh organized by visitor segments rather than topics.
    • Segments include voters, election workers, media, future voters, and others.
    • Drives users to the website (reduce phone calls).
  • 6. Organized By Visitors Mobile Sign-Up
  • 7. What Is a Podcast?
    • For our purposes, it is a series of messages sent out for each election
      • Regularly scheduled messages
      • Urgent messages with critical election information
    • Each message will contain:
      • A recorded statement
      • A title (like an e-mail subject line)
      • A description (a short overview of the audio message content)
  • 8. Voters Can Subscribe Directly or Through ITunes
  • 9. Podcasts Are Really Simple
    • As in….Really Simple Syndication (RSS)
    • With the new version of Microsoft Windows, RSS will become mainstreamed, much like the Internet was mainstreamed with Windows 95.
  • 10.  
  • 11. Podcast Subscribers….
    • Go the website of an Aggregator and install their program
      • Attensa (uses Outlook)
      • Feedreader, RSS Bandit (“stand alones”)
      • iPod (iTunes)
    • On a web page, click on the RSS Feed button and follow the prompts to begin subscribing to their podcasts
      • CNN (links to webpage for text, audio, video)
      • Wall Street Journal (text)
      • Jo Co Election Office (audio)
  • 12. Voters Can Subscribe Directly or Through ITunes
  • 13. Voters Can Subscribe Directly or Through ITunes
  • 14. Voters Can Subscribe Directly or Through ITunes
  • 15. Election Updates in ITunes Podcast “Album” Image ITunes “Album” Page
  • 16. Podcast Messages
    • Recorded and scheduled
    • Updated for users when they charge their IPODs
    • Headline is most important part of the podcast
    • Can be video or audio
    • Can include attachments, like voter registration and advance application forms
  • 17. Text Messaging
    • Short messages sent to cell phones or email.
    • 160-character limit:
    • Advance Voting at the Multi-Service Center in Lenexa will not be open on 7-14 due to power outage. It will open at 8 am tmw.
  • 18. Textcasting Users sign up at
  • 19. Textcasting Users sign up at
  • 20. Jo-Co Po-Lo Johnson County Election Office
  • 21. Jo-Co Po-Lo Johnson County Election Office
  • 22. Voter types VOTEKS and address to short code
  • 23. Response Received Within 60 Seconds
  • 24. Learnings
    • Media interest is high.
    • Legal/public records issues arise.
    • Each medium is different; communicating becomes an art.
    • Podcasts drive website visits.
    • More email users than cell phone users, but cell phone users are gaining.
    • The services are pivot points for changes and application improvements ahead (some of which we may not know).