essembly.com – a political social network

i’ve been playing with essembly for the past day. it’s the coolest political web site i’ve seen (because it’s about interacting over informing) but it stops short of enabling the kind of grass roots organizing i’ve been hoping and searching for.  [if you want to try it, email me and i’ll invite you on.]

it seems like the founders are trying to keep it stealth for now as they have not responded to several emails from me (or they just dont want to talk to me.)

what’s cool about it is the simple way it lets users create their own ‘resolves’ – kind of your own little survey or policy proposal that goes out to everyone to vote on. it’s fun to watch the action in votes and comments.

also cool but not used yet are the groups functions which enable candidates, coalitions and issue campaigns to organize, set their platforms and recruit.

where it falls short for me…first, it appears to be for profit which is fine, but may drive the wrong incentives. which leads to my second issue, we lack any leadership on any front. everyone is so neutral that nothing changes. we need a web movement to reform the system (i’ve blogged about my hopes to create an eparty). a neutral site will devolve into a message board where people are forever fragmented.

what we need is a site that can help facilitate organization and collective voice. it should gently point out our similarities on many issues rather than essembly’s simplistic (but fun) approach of showing your % correlation with another person on issues. while that’s cute, i’m looking for a site that can promote my overlaps with seemingly disparate people and groups so we can form NEW coalitions that can replace the current power base.

overall, i’m psyched that these kids created essembly and see it as a big step in the right direction of ‘radical democracy’ and hope that they/we can take it further towards enabling real action and not just real interaction.

14 thoughts on “essembly.com – a political social network

  1. Mark-
    Everything you seek and wish for as “real action” on essembly is in development and should be released over the next 30 days…
    Eric

  2. Mark,
    Why is essembly “the coolest political web site i’ve seen”. I looked at it and thought it was lame, but you know a lot more about social networks than I, so I am curious why you liked it.

  3. Hi, this is so random. I heard about Essembly i did a search and your b-log came up, is there any way you can send me an invite? I’m really into polotics and I really would like to start going on the site. I’d really apreciate it. my e-mail is Quack.on.you@hotmail.com
    thanks,
    -Jess.

  4. Hi, I was doing a search on the essembly website becuase I have not been able to create a new account. I was hoping/wondering that you would be able to send me an invitation to the website. That would be great – enjoyed the commentary on the site as well.
    – Laura

  5. Hi, Can you please send me an invite to essembly? I’m looking for the same type of grass roots organizing, action-oriented network that you’ve discussed, and it looks like this is a step in the right direction. Thanks much. My email: realguy5 at gmail

  6. It is odd that there is not a “Contact Us” form on the essembly site, yes? I have something I would like to discuss with the people behind-the-scenes at essembly (regarding technology tools/strategy to support The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College), but have no way to communicate with them. Or am I missing something? Maybe this blog is the way to contact them?
    Josh Shortlidge

  7. > it seems like the founders are trying to keep it stealth for now as they have not responded to several emails from me (or they just dont want to talk to me.)
    No, it’s because they have no clue what they’re doing. :^)

  8. I actually like rizzleweb.com better, it has a much better concept, where they allows everyday people to rate the performance of their elected officials (i.e. Congressmen, Senators, etc.). The founder seem to have a express mission of “cleaning up” government. I hear they plan to rank order legislators based on the reviews, and plan to give symbolic contributions to the opponets of the lowest ranked politicians in the next election cycle. Can be found at http://www.rizzleweb.com

  9. We’ve been trying to get a similar Political Social Network type thing going with VocalNation.net. It’s built around a democratic rating system, tracks the political leaning of ideas & members, and maps out the issues by region. The site’s pretty new and is still going through a lot of changes, but if you think it has potential or if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

  10. Polzoo.com is a political social networking site. The focus is to create good content, spur discussion and connect members. The site is still in beta testing but loose ends will be wrapped up soon.

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