April 5th, 2011
If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Sandi Fox’s article on the new advocacy platform PopVox, published on Epolitics.com yesterday. I’m fascinated by this new tool, which I think has some crucial advantages over related ideas that have been tried before.
- Unlike so many a past political-portal wanna-be, PopVox is NOT trying to be everything to everyone. Instead, the company’s founders have settled on a straightforward primary purpose — to aggregate public and interest-group opinion by bill/issue and by legislative district.
- Again unlike many past attempts to create systems to influence or educate Congress, the people behind PopVox have either worked on the Hill themselves or have a great deal of experience advocating on behalf of issues with members and staff. In other words, they know how Congress works and what staff actually need.
- Finally, PopVox doesn’t charge organizations to participate, unlike at least one past effort to aggregate information on issues (National Journal’s now-defunct Policy Council). This last factor is absolutely key, since a project like PopVox will only succeed if a critical mass of organizations and advocates choose to use it to communicate with Congress. Free is a tough price to beat.
Next up: let’s see if it works, but I have a better feeling about this one than I have about most new advocacy technologies that get tossed this way.