Obama Voters Text Support to LocaModa Display in Times Square

Okay, it’s an election-day stunt, but it’s one of the more imaginative ones we’ve seen. Cambridge, MA-based outdoor-communications startup LocaModa, working with a grassroots group of Barack Obama fundraisers called An Obama Minute, is providing the software behind a system that will display text messages in support of the Presidential candidates on a Times Square Jumbotron.

The Obama Minute display is located at 49th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. The text-messaging system, which was switched on this afternoon, will display any message sent to the short code 25622 with the format “@minute messagehere.” Messages texted to the Jumbotron will also show up in an embeddable Web-based widget (see below).

While the display is sponsored by a group of Obama supporters, messages in support of Republican candidate John McCain will not be censored, according to LocaModa director of community Jayne Karolow.

“The only things moderated would be curse words, racial language, or slurs of any kind,” Karolow says. “People can text support for whomever they want as long as it meets outdoor standards.”

Karolow adds, however, that Obama Minute is seeking only supportive messages for either candidate—so, no last-minute mudslinging and negative campaigning allowed. “Positive messages across the board is what’s getting through,” she says.

From watching the Web-based version of the display for a brief time this afternoon, however, it seemed that far more Obama supporters than McCain partisans were using the system.


Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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