Last September, tech guru Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media, challenged the Web 2.0 community to come up with something more productive than time-wasting Facebook applications ? singling out "Superpoke", which invites users to interact with their friends by throwing imaginary sheep at each other (among other things), for particular derision.

At last week's conference, UK-based social media consultant Chris Thorpe pointed out that just a month after O'Reilly's clarion call, the Obama election campaign launched the Obama '08 iPhone application. The application organised and prioritised contacts in key battleground states, "making it easy [for campaigners] to reach out and make an impact quickly".

The application also showed how the user's call statistics compared with the national average. As CNET said: "Those statistics are the kind that can motivate people ? they can feel like they're part of something bigger."

Get the full story at the NewScientist