Jeffrey Birnbaum's "In the Loop" article in today's Post had an interesting note about a new website called Isupportthismessage.com. The founders' noble goal is to ensure that citizen voices are heard when sending messages to Congress. Seems that Congressional staff are sceptical as to whether form messages are actually from real people. They believe that some associations are sending bogus messages inappropriately in the names of their members. So, this company has developed a system to take all these electronic messages and tabulate them on paper. Paper, they argue, is mightier than e-mail.
You'd think I'd like this, being the advocacy guru and all, but I actually don't. Sites like this perpetuate the myth that e-mail isn't effective. E-mail is fabulous -- what's ineffective is FORM LETTERS. Form communications have been ignored for eons, whether it be petitions, postcards or multiple stone tablets (with the exception of the Ten Commandments). We don't solve the attention deficit problem on Capitol Hill by sending form communication via paper instead of e-mail. We solve the deficit attention problem on Capitol Hill be PERSONALIZING OUR COMMUNICATIONS!!