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Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

New Technology Makes Pro-Gun Events More Social

At last month's Right to Keep and Bear Arms Rally, PAFOA not only embraced using Twitter and Facebook as a means of spreading news, but members used coordinated tags to have and track conversations about the events.  Using the hashtag #2ARally, gun owners were able to label their live reports so folks at home could track them, and they could find each other in real time and in real life through this new digital medium.

This weekend, that same example will play itself out on a much larger scale at the NRA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Much like PAFOA, NRA has now set up a Twitter account to make announcements, share news, and stir up the conversation about the event - @AnnualMeetings.  In addition, they have embraced a hashtag already used by members, #NRAAM.  It will allow members to keep track of what others are doing, seeing, and experiencing on the floor.

In addition, members are organizing a Foursquare swarm for users of the location services social application.  By "checking in" using the service, it announces to the user's closest friends that they are taking part in a massive event - upwards of 80,000 people are predicted to attend this year's festivities.

Given that the NRA Annual Meeting is a much larger affair than the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Rally, it also makes sense that NRA has finally expanded into mobile technology for users on site to keep up with everything going on.  In recent weeks, they have announced both an iPhone app and a mobile Annual Meeting website.  With more than 6 acres of exhibit halls and events that span three days, it makes sense to enter into this new arena of technology.

With the NRA bringing their show to Pittsburgh in 2011, the first use of many of these technologies will be a great trial run in Charlotte.

In the mean time, are any PAFOA members planning to attend the events in Charlotte?  If so, will you use Twitter, Foursquare, or the mobile tools? If you're staying at home this year, will you follow along with the Twitter conversation by using the hashtag? Give us your answers in the PAFOA Blog forum.