Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Netroots Agenda, an outline

Cross posted at Washblog.

The following is an outline of what I think it would take to pull off a "Since Sliced Bread" type project to develop a Washington State Netroots Legislative Agenda for the 2007 legislative session. Please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested in any of the below points (especially number one) and comment.


My original post.

1. A place to host it.

I see two ways to think about this one, either we can use an existing website (such as or or the website of a political organization (such as Progressive Majority Washington or the Young Democrats of Washington). Using an already existing location as a sponsor would bring some instant credibility to the project. Plus, no one would need to pay any additional web hosting fees to make it happen.

The other option is to strike out on our own, register a domain name and buy some web hosting. This would only cost $100 for a year of hosting. But I think we would lose on the credibility side as we would need to work harder to introduce people to the idea.

2. Folks to help run it.

The idea is essentially a conversation about legislation, which would need some guidance from a handful of moderators. These people could help guide the conversation, find resources, and sometimes be the adults in the room and shut down threads when they get too raucous.

Other tasks might include creating new topics under which to file ideas, promoting the project on other sites and developing the surveys when we're winnowing down the ideas.

3. Schedule

Now to mid-October. Promoting the site, gathering and discussing ideas.

Last week of October. Starting the process of winnowing down the ideas. We could ask people to nominate one idea that isn't their's and after a couple rounds of voting, the top five ideas become the "Legislative Agenda."

Early November. Announce the Agenda and during "committee week" in Olympia (which is typically in November), officially deliver the Agenda to the offices of individual legislators.

January. During session we could also lobby for our ideas, and possibly hold a "Netroots Day" in Olympia.

4. Technical Stuff

Because I am most familiar with Drupal/Civicspace software, I have loosely sketched out an configuration that would work. The following are the modules that we would need to use and a short desciption on what role they would fulfill.

Blog. Users post ideas.
Comment. Users discuss ideas.
Category. To create categories for ideas to be filed under.
Subscriptions. To allow users to track comments on their favorite ideas.
Webform. To poll users on their favorite ideas.

There are a few others I would install, but those are the major ones.

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