I sent this letter to Ben Cohen, care of his non-profit
Stamp Stampede organization.
To allow a voting advice network to form and expand on its own, the organization must act as as standards body. It must also provide an initial reference implementation to get the ball rolling and to serve as a model for others to build on. In addition, it must engage in public outreach , and eventually provide support services, in order to promote system adoption.
Provisional charter for the organization.
A list of contributors to the project.
Twitter style #hashtags are the girders that allow voting advice to travel down the information highway. They identify ballot choices, allowing advice that is needed to find its destination, while other advice flows right on by, unintrusive and invisible.The #hashtags need to be unique, so they do not conflict with each other, and they need to be divided into namespaces, so they are easy to construct without fear of conflict with other hashtags.
The fact of the matter is that, these days, many a website is created using WordPress. Given a plugin for making recommendations that works in WordPress, that can also be used to aggregate recommendations from trusted advice streams described in
Receiving and Filtering Advice, a given website would instantly become an additional node in a self-organizing advice network. It is likely that similar capabilities are available in social media centers like Facebook, and other similar systems. In other words, once the system begins to be used, adoption will be rapid, and viral.
Voting advice is given in the form of a blog post, or advice tweet, that is delivered through an advice stream. The technology that makes such a stream possible is known as an RSS feed (a source that provides information to subscribers).
A voting advice system based on social media, using subscriptions and filtering, can be implemented in a matter of months. Such a system would revolutionize the election process, making money irrelevant to elections. And they already exist in Europe.