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Obama 2012 campaign opens volunteer office for tech-savvy supporters

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President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign has opened up a technology field office in San Francisco, allowing tech-savvy supporters to volunteer their technical expertise on various aspects of the campaign.

Obama with an iPad
Obama with an iPad

President Barack Obama's 2008 election campaign was noted for its aggressive use of technology and social media, going so far as to release an iPhone app for the then-nascent platform to help volunteers coordinate their efforts. His re-election campaign appears headed in a similar direction, with the San Francisco Chronicle reporting that it's set up a new type of volunteer outpost in San Francisco: a technology field office. Rather than have supporters spend volunteer time manning phone banks, the new office allows the technically-inclined to work on the campaign website or other related efforts.

"We're taking the next step by providing tools and space for supporters in the technology community to help the campaign extend our current tools," campaign deputy press secretary Katie Hogan told the Chronicle. The office only employs one paid campaign staff member at the moment, and there aren't formal plans for what's next (though mini-hackathons and mobile app development are floated as possibilities). The campaign is open to outside input, however, and if the San Francisco experiment proves successful, it will be opening similar volunteer offices elsewhere.