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Election 2012: How to track the Election online and via smartphone

Four years ago, Barack Obama set a trend with an election entirely fueled by the use of social media. His landslide victory was proof that there’s something to be said about the social space and how you use it.

Thanks to our smartphones and social networks, there are now more ways to get information on the candidates and events of the election season. Through the use of mobile apps, you can watch live streams from the conventions, read news, brush up on issues, play some trivia, donate, and maybe even volunteer. All this information can be overwhelming, however that’s the advantage of having access to so much virtual data. You can catch up on issues while waiting in line for coffee or anywhere else. It’s handy to have the latest news right at your finger tips and the ability to make an informed decision when it comes time to vote.

The two presidential nominees – Barack Obama and Mitt Romney – have released official apps for their campaign. Romney has two apps – With Mitt and Mitt’s VP. “With Mitt “lets you take a picture of yourself or someone else, add it to a Romney stencil, and then post it to your favorite social network. The “Mitt’s VP” app only lets you know who Romney’s choice is for VP. Whereas the app created by the Obama campaign gives you facts about the campaign, where Obama will be speaking, how you can donate (for the first time via mobile app), and get involved and volunteer. Unfortunately, you can’t take a photo with Obama’s app, add a stencil, and post it online however you can share facts about his campaign.

If you’re an avid Facebook user, check out the Facebook app by CNN. Their new “I’m voting” app is tracking voter participation via social media to see which way the Facebook audience will swing and if Facebook can call the election. You can track the election results online and share your presidential choice via Facebook. CNN has also launched a smartphone app called “Election Insights” that ties to their Facebook app.

The Democratic National Convention begins September 4th in Charlotte, NC however they’re already prepared with a sleek and smart app. The DNC app offers you a look into the convention schedule, press releases, live videos, photos, and maps. It also lets you tag favorites to read later.

If you’re a Romney fan, you’ll want to check out Tampa 2012 – the official app of the Republican National Convention. It doesn’t have as many cool features at the DNC app but it does have a detailed schedule of events, an interactive map of Tampa, a GOP store to buy gear, and some social networking buttons to share your time in Tampa (if you’re in Tampa).

Does anybody use Google+? If you’re out there, join a Hangout with your favorite convention. Viewers will be able to watch Hangouts featuring representatives from both political parties and organizers from the conventions. Watch the various discussions with news outlets, the press, and other reporters.

Are you tracking the election this year? What is your favorite way of getting information? Let us know in the comments below.

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