For anyone remotely involved in politics, a phone-bank conjures up many different images. Large rooms, packed with landlines; cords snaking every where; numbers desks and that great smell of pizza. Everyone has a great story about a phone call that went well, and another ten that didn't.
Phone-banks have stayed consistent for a long time. Campaigns buy phone-lines, they take days to install and there's always a few lines that never work.
Little has changed.
Outside of election time, its difficult to set up a phone-bank. There are no central offices with enough phones. Landlines can be expensive too. Cell phones work, but calling eats up precious minutes. Yet it's important for political parties to reach out to their members.
New technology allows us to do some amazing things.
Last night, members from the UVic campus club made calls using 21st century technology - and no, we didn't use landlines. Members used head sets attached to computers and made calls over the internet. They used Google Chat which allows free calls anywhere in Canada.
Think about it. A $20 headset + internet = A new, cheaper way to phone-bank.
Not only that, we managed to save a few trees! Our new website allows real-time data entry on the computer. No longer do we have to print lists.
The only paper we used was to clean up spilled pizza!
What do you think? Will campaigns ever adopt this type of technology? Have you seen some innovative campaign tools? Let us know below!