FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, August 13, 2004

TxtMob: The latest political tool

"Smart mobbing" is the latest wave of social computing, using the power of text messaging and other types of instant communication to organize and mobilize "mobs" at a moment's notice. TxtMob is the latest tool to enter this arena. Developed for use by protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, TxtMob allows users to sign up for lists, then blast text messages to mobile phones of anyone on a given list. An article in Wired states that protesters found TxtMob invaluable in helping them stay one step ahead of the police in Boston. Says Emily Turrettini, of the Textually.org blog, "It's very useful, because most people always have their mobile phones on them and can be reached wherever they are. Any news, schedule change (or) meeting point can be organized and changed on the fly."

Needless to say, protesters planning to attend the Republican National Convention in NYC will be using TxtMob heavily. Since protest activity there is expected to be much higher than it was in Boston, TxtMob will truly be put to the test.