As 2012 Election Nears, New Social Organizing Tool For Facebook Launches

By Jennifer Moire 

As the nation heads into the final stretch of the 2012 election cycle, Democratic technology vendor NGP VAN introduced Social Organizing, a tool that adds a social layer to a campaign’s website and matches Facebook friends with information from voter registration records.

As first reported in TechCrunch, the platform uses Facebook Connect to link Facebook friends with data from the voter rolls, creating targeted communities that can be leveraged for a range of electioneering activities, such as virtual phone banks or lists for fundraising solicitations. Facebook users can also search for matches on their own.

The program is also a way for a volunteer and a campaign to stay connected, because the platform tracks the tasks that a user has been assigned, and that information is communicated back to the campaign as tasks are completed. That means VAN, which stands for Voter Activation Network, is also collecting data on Facebook — a valuable feature.

Social Organizing is an extension of a Facebook tool that was used in a successful ballot initiative last year, “We Are Ohio.” AllFacebook profiled that campaign because of its unique use of targeting and share features that Facebook offers to organize and mobilize voters.

According to Campaigns and Elections, the vision for Social Organizing is to expand the set of tasks into a full social campaigning suite, where ads, photos, and YouTube videos can be shared. NGP VAN CEO Stu Trevelyan adds that the firm might eventually target other social networks.

Readers: What other ways have you seen Facebook used in the campaigning process?