vote or not

Jim and James have a sweepstakes going to get people to promise to vote. Check out Vote or Not

And dammit, if you’re eligible, make sure you get out and register to vote. There’s no excuse to not participate.

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8 thoughts on “vote or not

  1. Any Mouse

    Well, there are some excuses: “I was run over by the Weinermobile ™,” for example.

    Or how about “I want Howard Dean to be president.” That’s a really good excuse. What it means is that my vote counts for absolutely nothing. Given this, “In-N-Out sounds yummy,” is enough of an excuse to not bother going to the polling booth.

  2. zephoria

    No – i would tell you that you should definitely vote. I would not have a lot of respect for you, your values and your beliefs, but i would strongly encourage you to vote.

    I want to see the majority of US citizens vote and i want to see the next president elected by at least 1/3 of the population. I think that’s a pipe dream, but it sickens me that presidents are elected with 21% of the population voting in their favor. That’s ridiculous. What i want more than anything else is to have a country that takes ownership over its freedom and utilizes it to project their voice.

  3. Andrew

    I’m missing something here. What’s the connection between “getting people to [register to] vote” and “getting people to put their personal info into this cheesy web site.”

    There’s no voter registration going on here, there’s just collecting personal info and getting people to get their friends to submit personal info.

    If we want to use social networks to facilitate voting, we should get all the social software providers to add two new items to their profile records: (1) I am registered to vote; and (2) I have voted today. If AOL, Friendster, etc had these two profile fields, then I could bug everyone I know (the most effective kind of bugging) to register if they haven’t, and election day I could run my own GOTV campaign on the same people.

  4. James H.


    First of all, many people in the blog community can vouch for Jim and I that the information put into this “cheesy” website won’t be used in any way. Your subtle accusation that we are marketers is unappreciated.

    The connection is that we are trying to get people to start talking to their friends about the election, in the hopes of also serving as a ping to people that they might still need to register, and we are willing to put up 200k of our OWN MONEY to build the distribution to reach as many people as possible. If we tied the sweepstakes to voter registration, that would be ILLEGAL.

    If friendster or orkut or aol were willing to give away their money to do this, then we wouldn’t be doing it. But they’re not doing it. So we are. If you can get any of the social networking sites to do what you suggest, I would applaud that. In fact, we might be willing to open up a SOAP webservice so they can auto-enter their users, if a large one were interested. then they wouldn’t have to spend any cash, just a bit of developer time.

    Not sure if you are related to MoveOnPAC, but If you are related to an org that is trying to promote people to get out and vote, I would think you’d like what we are doing, because VOTEorNOT AUGMENTS your efforts.

    You can respond here, but i’d rather you spend your time doing positive, constructive things rather than criticize other people’s efforts. It’s response like these that make me wonder why we even bother trying to make a difference in the world.

  5. James H

    One last comment for the general community.

    You will notice we collect information on VOTE or NOT. People who have never run a contest and have never thought about it might naively ask why we ask for all that info. Here’s what we ask for and why:

    Age – Age Requirement
    Sex – Our own edification so we know who we are hitting

    Email – so we can send you your referral link

    phone number – the most reliable way to reach people (most people don’t live online like we do)

    address – just one of the protection mechanisms we use to verify whether someone entered more than once..

    the alternatives discussed for address were drivers license number and SSN.. but we thought those were worse. If you can think of something better that we could have asked for, you’re smarter than us.. but notice that any sweepstakes you’ve ever applied to in paper form asks you for this. there IS a reason.. one you probably didn’t think of.

  6. James H

    OK, I would like to publically apologize for overreacting to Andrew’s post, I am human and was reacting more to the fact that he called my last month’s efforts “cheesy” and the implied accusation of just doing VOTEorNOT to scrape people’s personal information than the real heart of the issue he raises.

    Andrew, in fact, 5-10% of the people who have registered for the sweepstakes have continued on to Rock the Vote’s website and registered using their registration tools. That is the point of what we are doing, and why we want people to pass this on to their friends. Perhaps it would have been better if we WEREN’T giving away $200,000, didn’t ask for any information at all, and instead created a “I’m pledging to vote this year, are you?” site. The point of the sweepstakes is to add fuel to the fire and try to ignite excitement, as there isn’t much time left to register and we needed to make SOME sort of splash. In reality, it is there to make the whole effort more noticable to the press just as much as it is there to entice users.

    I agree with you that it would be ideal for a large social networking site to pick up on this idea and do what you suggest. Since there’s no ROI on it at all, I have my doubts that any of them would bother, but if our throwing out $200k convinces them that maybe it’s a good idea and if they were to do it (and even have their efforts overshadow VOTEorNOT’s), I would be extremely happy.

  7. Quatrain Gleam

    “There’s no excuse not to participate.”

    hear hear, danah!

    Anybody who has been to Burning Man has met the “Greeters.” Standing on the edge between reality and black rock city, they welcome travelers home, encouraging participation, joy and good citizenry.

    This year some Black Rock citizens met Real World Greeters, standing on that same edge, and welcoming travelers “home”. Because the real world can also be created as we choose through our perception, good citizenry and participation.

    It ain’t a spectator sport out here, either.

    In this most important election of our time, a true transition point between who we once were, and who we are becoming, I’d feel a WHOLE lot safer if it were more than 50% of the populace voting. Whether the election goes the way I want it to, or not, I am fundamentally behind democracy, government by the people, and will participate loyally in whatever choice our citizenry makes. Only let the vote be an accurate sample!

    What will you say, when history looks back at this point, if you not only did not widely encourage participation by everyone you encountered, but chose not to participate yourself? 527 Floridians probably thought the same as you did in 2000, while 527 other Floridians didn’t… which has brought us here already.

    ” Real World Greeters

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