TechPresident has an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at technology behind “On the Air,” the DNC/Organizing for America talk radio call-in project. OFA compiled the data the site needed (dial-in information for all those shows) from volunteers thanks to a program that emerged from their Innovation Labs division. The program itself is impressive enough, but the idea of a creative division spitballing ideas is a bold step.
Organizations funded by other people’s donations have to be able to show results, or else the gravy train stops. A labs division, which may produce one tangible product for every 25 they conceive, seems like a poor investment. Considering the usefulness of that 4% yield, it’s usually worth the investment.
To use OFA’s example, they now have a database of talk radio programs across the country. In addition to national programs like the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs, they also have good, current information for regional and local shows. And don’t forget, OFA still has a massive list of email addresses and – especially important – mobile numbers, which they can filter for voters in a certain state or Congressional district. So if you live in a district with a competitive House race in September, you could easily get a text message asking you to dial in to your local talk radio show, with the number included.
On the Air is a good innovation, but the underlying technology could have even great applications down the road. For DNC/OFA donors, this should prove the labs experiment is a successful one.