Supporters love yard signs. Not only is it an easy way to demonstrate support for a candidate, it also offers an unofficial measure of how a campaign is doing. Driving through a neighborhood amid an ocean of your favored candidate’s name is a big morale builder.
Political activists hate yard signs. They’re expensive, and a volunteer sticking a signpost in the ground is generally not a volunteer walking through a precinct and talking to his or her friends and neighbors. To that point, Alex Lundry has a great post about the utility of location-based apps, and mentions how campaigns may be able to use location-based services to give their yard signs greater impact.
A Spanish company, whimsically called Macanudos, is going one better. They’re working on creating a quick-response (QR) code technology that would allow users to scan images and instantly “like” something. These QR codes would operate like bar codes, and if they’re on a lawn sign, someone walking down the street could immediately like a candidate with a smartphone.
Of course, Facebook followers are like lawn signs: they both provide a nice stat that is, without further action, ultimately meaningless. But what happens if we mash up Lundry’s idea for incorporating location-based services with Macanudo’s ability to instantly scan-like something? Campaigns might then be able to figure out roughly where the scan-likes were coming from and give the list to the appropriate precinct captains, who could then in turn follow up with the individual voter.
Creepy? Maybe a little. But hey, you wanted yard signs…