Some of you may have heard about recent efforts by Congress to address the influx of e-mail communications coming in to their offices by requiring that people solve simple math and logic problems before their e-mail will go through. If you haven't, you can read about it at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/11/AR2006061100691.html
This will stymie, at least in the near term, many of the cyber-advocacy tools upon which associations and businesses rely. I'm not a fan of form letters -- personal, thoughtful communications are far more likely to receive the attention of your elected officials. I agree that people sending e-mails should demonstrate that they are constituents. However, I believe that requiring them to also solve math and logic problems (even simple ones) before sending an e-mail serves no legitimate purpose. True, it will shift out the truly concerned citizens from those that may be practicing "point and click" democracy (i.e., just sending form letters from a website). Nevertheless, as much as I prefer personal communications, I do not believe that constituents should be forced into sending only these types of communications.
I wrote a letter to the Washington Post on this issue, which was actually published!
Here's the link http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/20/AR2006062001595.html