Find which politicians have views that match your own

#4 Product of the DayNovember 22, 2015
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Why mobile-only?
@thetylerhayes We're a very small team, so we decided to focus on one thing and do it well. Web platform slated for 2016 - we'll keep you in the loop!
@huntajames What did you see that led you to decide on doing one mobile thing well vs. doing one web thing well? :)
This is a great execution of a political scorecard, but I'm skeptical this will be more than niche content for the same people who are already proactive about educating themselves on candidates. I worked in campaign politics, and even during the primaries where surprisingly even "highly engaged" voters needed to be spoon fed all of the information because they don't' naturally seek it out. The vast majority of voters rely on content in the form of news and advertising to make these decisions, and use more than policy track records to make this call. They rely on personality, values, story telling, and other softer heuristics to decide who to support. Two areas where this has potential: interest groups and local elections I could see interest groups using this among their membership ranks. Interest groups are incentivized to use score-cards because they have specific, consistent, and measurable frameworks for evaluating and supporting candidate. I could also see this app being more useful for down ballot elections which get very little news coverage; it's almost impossible for voters to figure out which judges and school board members have align with their decision-making criteria. At the same time, for reasons listed earlier, I can't see local voters seeking out an app to solve that problem. My advice: make content a core part of the app so people have a reason to keep coming back.
@jasonhitchcock what do you think would be the best way to engage dormant voters? I'm asking because we recently launched a product called Presevent ( that aims to democratize politics and promote transparent political engagement, and we're actually struggling to find people who want to be engaged or encourage them to get involved.
@hellosunschein People will come back to the app with the frequency they need a particular problem solved. You have a well-executed solution for a not-so-frequent problem for most voters: attending political events. The problem is so Provide fresh content related to the races/parties/organizations users are tracking. If users start learning they can expect to learn more about the election as it unfolds from your app, they'll have a reason to come back as often as you can update, and even more reason to attend events: they're engaged in the process. It could be a regular email digest or you could find a way to work this into the app.
@jasonhitchcock thank you for the insightful reply :D! I really appreciate it since most of the comment on a similar questions have been in the lines of "Great idea, but I don't think I'd use it"
So I recently read about Voter on TechCrunch by @johnbiggs - You can read it here! @huntajames would love to hear your story :) What compelled you to build this? What challenges have you faced while building Voter?
@bentossell also interested in the challenges.
@natelegler @bentossell To sum it up - I built it for myself. I was frustrated by how fractured our news is. I didn't want to cast my vote on a sound bite from a news anchor, a friend, or a family member, and thought there must be a way to leverage technology to give me confidence in my vote. Started developing the first prototype at that point. Challenges included many that any startup faces (finding the right people for the founding team), to others that were more politics specific. A quick example - We initially planned to weigh a candidate's voting record with data from how they've voted on bills. We quickly realized that wouldn't work, since bills are essentially conglomerates of tens to hundreds of different political agendas, all wrapped together. There was no way to represent that with a binary question. Instead, we decided to focus on amendments, the small pieces that make up each bill. They are short, simple, and lend themselves well to a binary response. Not only are amendments a more accurate data point for us, but there are significantly more of them, since they make up the broader bills. More accurate data + more data points = better experience for a user :)
This is fantastic. I loathe all of the group-think that occurs within parties. This app seems like it can make the individual think for themselves again. It also reduces the barrier to learning about candidates. I'm enjoying this so far. And it's in-line with the research that I've done on the candidates.
@mccroden I'm very interested in hearing more about this research if you're willing to share.
@hellosunschein @mccroden I simply meant that I know which candidate I generally align with. I try to find a candidate that has similar views to me, and they get my vote. This does that for me. I do wish there was a cheat sheet that showed where each candidate stands on each issue. (I know I found one once, but cannot find again--I've tried)
@mccroden ahh, okay (: that cheat sheet would be very helpful ...
@mccroden @hellosunschein most newspapers publish this close to election time. there's actually a ton of cheat sheets that exist
This is wonderful. We really need more of apps like this to better inform the public. Too many people listen to their (usually uninformed) peers. Would love to see this accessible from the website.