Certainly, gun shows are not the main use of an iPad. However, this weekend, I actually found myself wanting one – a feeling I didn’t have even after watching Sebastian play around on one while we were in Charlotte or after watching all the times Dan from PAFOA could put it to good use on our trip.
But this weekend, I couldn’t help but miss all of the things we used to do in 2008 – running commercials & slides to promote our candidates quietly in the background of the show. It brought far more attention to the table, and it put names in front of folks in a more interesting way than simply hanging a sign.
For the first time, we weren’t against a wall that could serve us with sufficient power, and we just didn’t coordinate enough to justify hauling a monitor and laptop over there. But what could overcome those problems? An iPad.
We did buy a digital frame to at least display more interesting slides and attract attention. Again, we have the issue of power, and I can’t seem to get it to play the .jpgs I create as opposed to the ones I simply download. It’s a pain in the ass, and I’ve never spent more than about 3 minutes trying to figure it out. Instead we just started using it as a picture frame – crazy concept.
We also tried to fix an old and broken touchscreen monitor borrowed from one of Sebastian’s friends so we could run NRA’s Obama love quiz they made in 2008. Unfortunately, when we did get it working, we found out that it was one of very few that somehow ended up inverted. If you pushed the top, it read it as pushing at the bottom. That wasn’t going to work for us. There is the argument that the specific program was done in Flash, so it wouldn’t work on the iPad.
But the idea of being able to sign people up as volunteers online, take some sort of online quiz application that could be designed around the issue, or give them a quick tour of the website on a screen they can really see, that really appealed to me. And with NRA now sticking their toe into the water of development for iPhones, it isn’t outrageous that they consider some kind of app or at least Apple mobile product-friendly version of any Obama love quiz type programs in the future.
The biggest appeal for me this weekend would have been the “oh shiny” factor. Even though they are flying off the shelves, they are still exceptionally rare in the wild beyond the standard early adopting tech crowd. At a gun show, the iPad itself would bring more traffic to the table where we could start the conversation about whether the visitor is registered to vote and if they want to help any pro-gun politicians win this year.
Sebastian is certainly ready to buy, and if he would let me take it to gun shows to really use for the people, not just behind the table when we’re bored, then I’ll drive us to the Apple store with the pedal plastered to the floorboards.