What is GoCoalition
GoCoalition is an on-line portal for political expression and organization. It is a Facebook for politics designed to serve both individuals and groups, affiliations, campaigns, and organizations. Its functionalities go beyond Facebook’s in serving political interests.
Its basic functionalities include: blogging, Town Hall message boards, alliance building, group organizing (event planning, one-to-many messaging and many-to-one messaging), friending, fund raising, and a myriad of others – all designed to facilitate active and continuous political discourse, connecting and organizing.
Its most significant functionality is not found in Facebook or anywhere else. It is the creation and utilization of “Political DNA”. The underlying concept behind Political DNA is that every individual has a unique set of political views and interests – a unique set of political fingerprints. Those views and interests vary from extreme liberal positions to extreme conservative ones and they also vary in degree of intensity.
Think of GoCoalition as a virtual community center that is both local and national at the same time. When users enter the site they’ll come through the front door of the community center and then scatter to their area of choice. They may choose to attend a meeting with the local city council candidate or attend a meeting with the National Rifle Association. They may choose to stop and read the message boards along the way. They may choose to stop in one of the various entertainment areas and watch a user produced video or play an election game. Anything one can do at their real life community center, they can do at GoCoalition. The only difference is GoCoalition links all localities at once. The community center is the social center of a town, GoCoalition.com takes that concept online.
Facebook is a similar outlet for social networking, but Facebook was not set up as a political organizing entity. While Facebook and GoCoalition will work together seamlessly, GoCoalion provides some distinct advantages. Facebook was designed to link “friends” around the world, it was not designed to build a network of people who don’t know each other. GoCoalition utilizes Political DNA to link people with common political beliefs in order to build a more powerful political organization.
It has become obvious that millions of people are beginning to get more involved in the political process. The rise of the Tea Party is a clear indication of the desire to build political networks. The political left has been using the Internet to organize its constituent base effectively for years. They developed Organizing for America and MoveOn.org among others. They were also early adopters of Facebook. The political right has been slow to adapt social networking within the political process. We all have theories about why that is, but it doesn’t change the fact. GoCoalition goes further and will help users organize faster than any other.
- The most important concept behind GoCoalition is the application of Political DNA. During our early conversations we became frustrated that people were segregated politically into just three categories, Liberal, Conservative, or Moderate. In reality people fall into many categories and on many topics. For example, if someone is pro-choice and pro-union, they would typically be identified by our traditional campaigns and candidates as Liberal. But, what if that person is also a staunch defender of the Second Amendment? To identify that person as a moderate would be incorrect. This person is, like most Americans, Liberal on some issues and Conservative on some issues. The key is what drives this person to vote and on what issues does he care about the most. We wanted to come up with a system to measure not only stances on issues, but intensity. Through our rounds of talks we realized that each person has a unique set of positions on political issues, just like fingerprints or DNA.
- In the GoCoalition environment, when people come in to sign-up they take a brief questionnaire. The questionnaire details 10 or more political issues and solicits for each issue on a zero to 10 basis each person’s position politically (with zero the most extreme liberal position and 10 the most extreme conservative position). That produces a potential answer set of over 10,000,000,000 responses. Our technology then takes that data and can manipulate it to be used in multiple ways – as useful to the political interests of the participating groups and individuals (but only with the consent of the questionnaire takers.)
- This questionnaire measures positions and intensity. The data stays with that individual and allows the software to determine interests. So if the National Right to Life organization wants to send a message to pro-life users with strong intensity they can instantly communicate with millions. If a city council candidate wants to send a message to voters in his city who care about taxes and spending, he can instantly communicate with hundreds.
- People enjoy giving their opinion about political issues and candidates, but they want to do it when it’s convenient for them. For various reasons, voters are becoming harder and harder to reach by phone. We need to find less expensive and more effective ways of finding their opinions.
- Because we will have verifiable data linked to specific individuals, we will have the ability to quickly poll large samples on various issues. We will also have the ability to cross reference the results. For example, if the President is giving his State of the Union Speech we can poll and post, in real time, his effectiveness with various groups of voters on various topics. Think of it as a live focus group with millions of voters.
- People are social and they want to expand their network of friends. But, they don’t always want to mix politics with real life relationships. This issue limits the effectiveness of Facebook. For example a person may be an extreme right wing Conservative, but may have in-laws with extreme Liberal views. That person may not want to post his disapproval of an Obama action on his Facebook page only to feel the heat the next time he visits the in-laws.
- With GoCoalition.com, that person can post his views and his audience will be his political network, not his real life friend network.
- Another gigantic advantage of GoCoalition is the ability to quickly raise political donations. Currently most campaigns are set up to use Paypal or some similar third party credit card processing company. While these companies can do the job, they were not set up to provide the needed reporting information to campaigns quickly or inexpensively. GoCoalition is set up to do just that. When completed the GoCoalition will work with organizations and candidates to set up customizable accounts which will gather all the reporting information from the donor, will send customized campaign finance reports to the campaign, and will do it all for less than the cost of Paypal. A side benefit of offering fundraising is we will then have the ability to verify our data and link it to a specific individual.
- GoCoalition will use the user provided data to send customizable advertisements to users. This data will be valuable to political advertisers as well as corporate advertisers. Example 1, two users are discussing their choices for President, one likes the Republican nominee, the other is voting for President Obama because he’s not sure where the Republican stands on issues important to him. The Republican candidate can send customizable messages (advertisements) to users based on their Political DNA. Example 2, two users are discussing saving the environment, Toyota can then send a Prius advertisement to the user.
The Power of the Data
- GoCoalition.com will not have a particular political bent and will not editorialize on specific issues: this is by design. We want to be the community center for America, not the political voice of America. We will be rigorously non-partisan.