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.
Point #1 is critical. Tell people what you are doing and how you are going to organize them… That has got to be where all this personalization is going to go.