Obama’s eCampaign To The Muslim World

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President Obama’s Cairo speech is very much a campaign event. Though the targeted audience won’t exactly be voting for him, they will be targeted in the same way that Obama targeted Wal-Mart moms in Ohio. Since many Muslims in nation’s like Iran and Turkey use cell phones as their primary computers, the speech text will be distributed in four languages–Persian, Urdu, Arabic, English–over SMS, or text message. (For those outside the United States, sign up here.) Recipients will be able to text their reactions back to the U.S. government, which will aggregate and post the responses. The speech will also be streamed live over the Internet at Whitehouse.gov, and then links will be sent out through social networks that are popular in the Muslim world, everything from Facebook to Orkut. “Just to give you a sense of the impact that something like Facebook can have, Facebook is the largest social network in Muslim countries, reaching close to 20 million users.  For instance, there’s 10 million in Turkey, 4 million in Indonesia, 1.2 million in Egypt,” explained White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia. U.S. Embassies around the world will also be charged with distributing the speech, which has been translated into 13 languages, to local online and traditional media. Think Democratic National Convention acceptance speech on a global stage.

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