Thursday, October 10, 2013

You are the voice of conservation, are you silent, or are you singing, "POPVOX"?

Be heard by your government!

Busy, like me? Be heard by government through POPVOX.

We have added a POPVOX widget in the right column of this blog, use it.

POPVOX is really easy to set up and use, just create a login, screen name, and offer your views on diverse pending legislation. Everyone will see your selected screen name, only POPVOX and congressional staff, and hopefully, members of Congress will see your full identification.

POPVOX is a new (2009), innovative, non-partisan startup offering YOU a simple tool to participate in democracy--and you do not have to have a geek in your pocket to make it work! It's easy. I've used it. I have not detected so much as a hint of the smell of partisanship, so far. I can see my results right away. POPVOX gives me access to legislation and the legislative process. POPVOX makes it easy for me to communicate meaningfully with my representatives. You can do it, too.

Why POPVOX? Most people do not take the time to write to their representatives. Most people are not comfortable writing to their representatives. Few take the time to email their representatives and those who do so send emails into a morass of overwhelming communications sent to public office holders, much of it dubious. If you are a skilled and regular letter writer, please continue to send your letters to Congress.

How is communication through POPVOX different? CrunchBase summarizes POPVOX succinctly,
"POPVOX does the work of aggregating, verifying, sorting, and counting opinions and delivering input to lawmakers in a transparent, structured format. It’s the only website of its kind—and it’s nonpartisan. Serving individuals, Congress, and advocacy professionals, POPVOX is akin to a “Legislative LinkedIn” – bringing transparency, efficiency, and accountability to policymaking. POPVOX is a “civic startup” – a for-profit corporation with a dual mission to scale and return value to investors while empowering individuals and making government more accountable. CrunchBase Profile
Too good to be true? Well, it's not anonymous, it cannot be insofar as Congress is concerned. Undoubtedly, POPVOX, an intermediary, collects information about individual preferences. Under your screen name, your positions and comments are posted, so POPVOX must store them under your real identity. That's a double-edge sword. My "signed" verified communications are taken seriously by my representatives in so far as their offices certainly log my opinions among others for or against specific legislation. They can hear my "stories," too, when I choose to comment on legislation. Perhaps their staffers select some of my comments or pull quotes from my comments and from others when preparing summaries for legislators? If so, that's a good thing. The downside; my positions can be used to predict my likely voting patterns. This data is collected by the intermediary, POPVOX, and my preferences and opinions can be gleaned from my repeated input on legislation under consideration.

Are my preferences collected, collated, and stored? Are they sold individually or collectively for target advertising? Don't know, we'll see. Is that a bad thing? Don't know, we'll see. Do I care? Yes. Based on my read of the Privacy Policy, this will not happen, but I found their Privacy Policy lengthy and a bit confusing. I find all detailed Privacy Policy statements are lengthy and confusing. If YOU know how to read a Privacy Policy, please comment and explain what you see in their Policy Statement. This is a for profit business, so advertising is present, but it's not intrusive, yet. The upside, my voice is heard in a reliable way.

Visit POPVOX and decide if expedient communication with Congress is for you.