About a month ago, I posted on the efforts to launch HotSoup.com. Since then, I have talked to a number of friends who did time with me at Grassroots.com and we’re all pretty much in agreement on that. One of them said it best, “bad ideas never die, they just wait for the next generation of venture capitalists.”
That also pretty much covers this piece by Esther Dyson touting the resurrection of Voter.com. Esther seems really worked up about the new iteration of this, but I just can’t get excited about it. In fact, to me, this seems like two bad ideas in one. It’s the worst of the original Voter.com idea (asking campaigns with limited resources to spend them on a site that, at best, is duplicative of their existing effort, and at worst, doomed to failure) and the least useful of CampaignOffice.com and ElectionMall.com.
I guess a lot of people have convinced themselves that the problem with these ideas is timing. Personally, I think the problem is the concept. We don’t need a way to buy yardsigns or voter lists online. We don’t need another place to store talking points. What we need is candidates who will communicate with people honestly about issues that matter to them.
There is a dearth of interesting, qualified candidates, and a surplus of people running for office in order to placate their giant, over-sized egos. The former don’t need these services because they can articulate a vision and attract people to it. The latter won’t be helped by any amount of web 2.0 bullshit.