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Thank you Sandor Vegh <http://www.otal.umd.edu/~veghs/> for alerting to te
SMS campaigns in the rcent Hungarian elections.

If you are Hungary on Friday, you might want to check out this conference
<http://21st.century.phil-inst.hu/2002_konf/> on the mobile
information society.  Below is abstract on a paper that will be presented
on Saturday titled, "Viral Political Marketing and M-Politics
SMS and E-Mail in the 2002 Hungarian Election Campaign."

First, check this out - in China you can SMS parliamentary deputies and
share your thoughts for a penny.

>From the March 2002 sample:

China's Parliament Accepts Suggestions Via SMS

In an unusual step, China has opened up its annual parliamentary
session to suggestions via text messaging.
The country s 150 million cell phone users can send SMS to the 2,987
deputies of the National People's Congress (NPC). The service is offered
by Xinhua and China Mobile Communications, China's dominant state-owned
mobile operator, and costs 1 cent-per-message.
On the NPC's first day, Xinhua had received more than 2,000 messages
from around the country expressing a host of concerns. According to
Xinhua, all the messages would be handed over first to the
administrative office of the NPC, which would include them in a "brief
internal report" handed out to deputies

Other headlines from the PDF:
SMS Voting For TV Show Sparks Controversy
UK Courts Trial Scheme To Cut Court Delays Via SMS
Downing Street Plagued By Hoax Calls (from bogus SMS notes)

Steven Clift
Democracies Online
P.S. Read Japanese?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 23 May 2002 14:13:45 +0200
From: Kosa Eszter <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: email, SMS in viral political marketing

Viral Political Marketing and M-Politics
SMS and E-Mail in the 2002 Hungarian Election Campaign

The Hungarian parliamentary election campaign in April, 2002 brought
fierce party competition and extremely close election results. In the last
two weeks of the campaign (between the two rounds of the elections),
technologies of interactive, interpersonal communication have become
suddenly utilized on a mass scale. In a country of 10 million, where ca.
53% of the population has mobile phones and 15% are Internet users,
millions of political mobile text (SMS) messages and e-mails were
exchanged by party supporters. (Daily SMS traffic has increased 20-30%,
i.e., by ca. 1 million messages between the two rounds of the elections.)
For two weeks, political spam became an everyday experience. The
significant role of new technologies during the campaign is unprecedented
in Hungary and rather unique in global terms.

The paper explores post-modern campaign techniques based on p2p
(peer-to-peer), communication. On the basis of the Hungarian example, we
argue that the SMS and e-mail-campaign realizes a new type of political
communication. Utilizing conceptual frameworks of sociology, political
science, communication theory and business marketing, we argue that
interactive marketing strategies, particularly viral marketing in online
networks could be used effectively for political purposes. We elaborate
the concept of viral political marketing in the mobile political
(m-political) context and analyze how it was used for direct political
mobilization and the dissemination of partisan political humor. Finally,
we juxtapose long, argumentative e-mails with political SMS-s; and viral
political marketing with the normative concept of the public sphere.

Mikls Sksd is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science
at Central European University. (B.A./M.A. in Sociology and Cultural
Studies, 1985, ELTE Institute of Sociology; M.A. in Sociology, 1994,
Department of Sociology, Harvard University; Ph.D. in Political Science,
1992, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.) His research focuses on political
communication, e-democracy, and media policy. He is founding co-president
of Internet Hungary, the countrys largest annual professional conference
on the Internet; and research director of the eDemocracy Association in

He has published 12 books, and many book chapters and papers on politics
and media in East Central Europe, including "Democratic Transformation and
the Mass Media in Hungary: from Stalinism to Democratic Consolidation in
Hungary" in R. Gunther and A. Moughan (eds.), Democracy and the Media: A
Comparative Perspective. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000. He
is co-editor (with P. Bajomi-Lzr) of  Reinventing Media: Media Policy
Reform in East Central Europe, forthcoming at CEU Press in 2002.

Endre Dnyi is Editor-in-Chief of eDemocracy Newsletter, and member of the
eDemocracy Association in Hungary. In 2000, he founded the political site
and online magazine www.politikaforum.hu where he was Editor-in-Chief
until 2001 June. He is also host of a public affairs talk show on Tilos
Rdi (available on the Net). He graduates at ELTE Institute of Sociology,
and at ELTE Media Centre in 2002. His research focuses on online political
communication, especially political party sites and online election
campaign strategies. E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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