Few political candidates have the chairman of Google on their digital advisory board; most are tiny one-man startup shops with little technical expertise and even less time to figure out the messy world of social media. A new startup, Democracy.com, is launching a service for the 98 percent of local politicians with an average of $2,500 for the whole campaign (numbers according to Democracy.com’s research). Democracy.com offers local politicians a super-simple template for website creation, social media integration, donations, and outreach.
After only five weeks, the easy set-up is attracting fans. “I like it quite well so far,” writes Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Oliver to us an email and who is running for New Mexico Secretary of State. “We are at the early stages of my campaign so we have not yet taken full advantage of the functionality the site offers, but we plan to. I’ve also been able to raise a significant amount of seed money for my campaign from the site.”
The entire website creation process couldn’t be easier. In about five minutes, I had a fully functioning website, complete with donation portal, social media aggregation, and voter outreach. For demo purposes, below is my own political website, so fictitious that it couldn’t possibly be construed as a Federal Election Commission violation.
With a primo name, $2 million in funding, and an advisory board with the likes of Harvard Law Professor Larry Lessig, Democracy.com could be a contender in the growing digital campaigning cottage industry.
It has an advantage over one of the top players in the space, Nationbuilder, in its ease of use. No technical expertise is required and the website creation is entirely free. It also seems to be going after a broader market.
The real insight could be its goal of creating a social network for candidates. It’s easy to see how candidates themselves would want a Facebook-like experience where they can support one another. Co-founder Talmage Cooley tells me that an ecosystem of candidate-to-candidate and candidate-to-voter communications will be coming soon.
Check out Democracy.com here and, if you’re a candidate, give it a spin. Just don’t oppose me as Grand Potentate of Burning Man for the Mission District in San Francisco. I only support cake for loyalists.