Cross-posted on techPresident
Here’s a clever idea — install a web browser toolbar sponsored by the Republican National Committee and you can raise money for the RNC “through normal online activities such as searching and shopping.” It seems to be a variant of the Yahoo toolbar, so presumably it’s some kind of ad revenue-sharing deal with kickback from selected online retailers as well. And of course it contains a communications function, placing an RNC brand and magic “donate” button right on your desktop as well as opening up a new channel for direct messages from the Republican overlords.
Somebody install it and let me know how it works — sorry guys, but I ain’t raisin’ a dime for the RNC, even in the interest of science. Update: a couple of folks have written in to point out that the toolbar they’re using is from FreeCause and that other organizations are able to use it. You can get more details on the application from FreeCause. Note: at least this time it’s not a pink elephant.
I’ve seen a couple of orgs and causes try something like this, but they never ended up being successful. The problem is that people get comfortable with the functionality of their web browser, especially Firefox users. There is no way I would use a DNC browser without the features I need even if they would get some money in return.
Then again, since Republicans seem to be so far behind on the internet stuff, maybe their users won’t notice the difference and it will be a success. Who knows.
Whoa, never mind, I looked again and this is actually a toolbar for your current browser. Interesting….
Clever! And in addition to fundraising, looks like they can also push out easy calls to action. With the right certifications, I’d download one for the Dems.
I just downloaded this to take a peak, and it is pretty interesting. It is not intrusive in any way, it provides basic functionality I would want from a toolbar (search, basic updates, links to news, weather updates, management of RSS feeds). It also directed me to sign up on the GOP page once installed. I will give them a pat on the back for this one…but just this once. .
Now to remove it before the GOP starts to think I support them in any way whatsoever….
This is not a new technique… Rock the Vote had a browser toolbar back in 2006. See e.g. http://web.archive.org/web/20070104210719/www.rockthevote.com/buzzbar/index.php
What I’m curious about is this: What, besides the opportunity to effortlessly raise a little money for an organization you support, would motivate someone to download this and keep it? Is it the RSS links? The messages?
The value proposition to the organization is clear, but what do folks think about the value to the end user?