Social media is today, a buzz word tossed about by companies and touted to be ‘a one stop solution for all modern-day promotional problems’.
In a way, they’re kind of right and millions of marketers have already benefited from being able to reach out to their consumers in new and meaningful ways. The same holds true within the political arena, and there are 100s of different apps, portals and platforms out there, that can help a banal bureaucrat or imminent politico – keep current or stay connected.
While Akhilesh Yadav’s embrace of social media has been attributed as a reason for his success in UP, it remains clear that other Indian politicians should be more receptive to technology as an aide. Sure, Shashi Tharoor, Narendra Modi, Kapil Sibal, and even the PM are on Twitter with varying degrees of success, but more forward-thinking politicians and bureaucrats definitely need to look to alternative technologies.
In that spirit of forward-thinking politicians embracing new technology, here are our top 5 iPad category picks for any passionate politician.
1. Communication apps like Facebook or Twitter. Social media-101 dictates you need to sign up for a page, if you don’t already have one. This real-time platform allows you to keep in touch with millions. Whether its talking to your vote-bank, asking them for their opinions on various policies or whether its communicating those policies; mustering support for a cause or even looking for a new trend to rally behind or ideate over– its all out there, and it’s quick. By following key media influencers on Twitter – like Barkha Dutt, Suhel Seth, Pranab Roy or even Cyrus Broacha, for that matter – or getting them to follow you, you make sure you’re always upto date on what’s happening and who’s saying what. Akhilesh Yadav’s ‘one action CM’ Facebook page has already received over 600 positive and pro-active comments.
2. Travel apps like:
• World Factbook – It contains relevant statistics and facts on 250 countries, with information including maps, geography, government, economy, military, and transnational issues. Another perk: the app is available offline, perfect for any last minute, in-flight research.
• iCurrency Pad – It offers over 150 currency exchange rates, and has received consistently high ratings. One can also use the conversion figures to do a little deduction and find out just how the world’s markets have done that day.
• Foreign language dictionary and translator – A handy tool with everything from talking phrases to compact dictionaries
• Specifically for India, the Indian Trains app is an application to check running train status, seat availability and PNR status for any train in India. It works with EDGE/3G/Wifi. It checks running status using train numbers or seat availability for the next 90 days for any given train number, date, class and quota.
3. Educational apps like ‘The Democratic Party’ app that keeps you linked to the latest news, updates on candidates, videos and upcoming events. A real hit in America with the ongoing presidential campaigning – such an app would find tremendous popularity in a country like India, where expect for the ‘head of party’ one often has no idea who else is involved, what they’re planning or when they’re going to have their next public appearance.
Other currently America-centric apps with a similar focus, that will find fame in India are – the Declaration app and Constitution app. The apps give a detailed and comprehensive account of both documents and include a beneficial ‘search’ feature as well. The Mycongress app has revolutionized the way citizens follow their representatives, and now it’s the most popular way to track Congressional officials through the iPad.
4. Entertainment apps like the Pocket Politician HD app – a hilarious trip down memory lane as one listen’s to the best political gaffes of our time. From Bush to Biden, one simply will not be able to believe what so many elected officials have actually said ! With the likes of Kalmadi and Bhanot – an app like this would be ideal for India.
5. News apps like the NDTV HD, IBN Live and TOI in particular, provide complete and up-to-date coverage of everything that is relevant and interesting — anytime, anywhere; with easy to access video content and live streaming of interviews and events.
Written by Suhail Bhandari for Image Management