If ‘Diamonds are forever’ has been hailed as a see-able fantasy and thriller, apps aren’t far behind. They cajole us into the imaginary world where everything is possible… in ways that makes thrill merge with the blood corpuscles and reach every pore of our being. To make things really pump adrenaline in an unprecedented way, apps have now entered the political arena as well.

‘Political arena? Doesn’t that sound unreal?’

Well, it does, because if we have a tendency to turn over pages in a newspaper with just political blah-blah, what is the chance of anyone even wanting to install an app that claims to be linked to politics. But then elections are not what a political party is – and, therefore, an app that simply claims to make you feel proud to have the #OneBlackMark in your life cannot be summarily dismissed.

This app that I am talking about isn’t about raking in the moolah or sending ill-gotten earning all the way to anonymous companies floated in Panama. All this app does is to allow people to click selfies with some predesigned voting awareness stickers which can then be shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. For now, this app is available on Android devices and can be accessed here. The app developers claim that the iOS version will be available by the time this post reaches you… well, it is election time in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and they cannot possibly be squatting and wasting time trying to find out the right muhurat date for the launch.

Politics is anyway getting friendlier towards all things that happen on the internet and the days of viewing the social media with grave suspicion are over. I have observed political parties active on the social media in ways that would make the snooty ones sitting inside ad-agency nod their head and mutter, ‘I’d certainly have done this… yeah!’

I remember how the online blitz benefitted the party ruling at the centre in the 2014 elections and so I guess that besides the limited shelf-life of a print ad and the sheer cost of av-ads, everyone has realised that Google display ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram are viable options. Online advertising is serious business now and if you just read between the lines you’ll realise that it is election time in Tamil Nadu and for the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu all the political parties have willingly adopted social media and online advertising. In fact, the DMK and PMK are the parties who are extensively using these advertising platforms even as you read these lines.

So far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, the Election Commission there does deserve a few bouquets for coming up with many voting awareness campaigns in various medium like print, celebrity video talks and through social media to reach their targeted 100% polling in the 2016 state elections. This effort is indeed worth a hashtag, if not more: #TN100Percent. This initiative has spawned the idea for a Mobile App called One Black Mark. As I have mentioned, this app is live for the Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry state Elections. With apps going beyond the narrow agenda that political parties are fond of embracing, they have emphasised that there is nothing temporary about them. Yes, apps are indeed forever.

.

.

One Black Mark

One Black Mark

.

For One Black Mark, click here
You can follow the app developer on Twitter here
You can follow the app developer on Facebook here

Let’s make #100percentEthicalVoting a reality. #TN100percent

.

.

.

Arvind Passey
13 May 2016