A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Moveable Feast Cafe 2017/05/28 ? Open Thread Sun May 28, 2017 10:00 | Herb Swanson
2017/05/28 09:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Catherine Austin Fitts interviews the Saker for the Solari Report: The Emerging Multipolar World ? T... Sat May 27, 2017 15:32 | The Saker
Dear friends, Here is the latest installment of my quarterly conversations with Catherine Austin Fitts. This time the topic was The US U-Turn in the Middle East. I hope
SBU cleans-up after Ukrainian air force shoots down MH17 Sat May 27, 2017 01:01 | Scott
Featured image: Since Maidan in 2014, the SBU of Ukraine shares its main building with CIA headquarters. by Scott Humor Part I. SBU orders to destroy all evidence of the
Syrian War Report ? May 26, 2017: Syrian Army Liberated 5,000km2 From ISIS Fri May 26, 2017 16:03 | Scott
https://southfront.org/syrian-war-rep... If you?re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn?t be possible without your help: PayPal: email@example.com or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or
Trump: dancing with wolves on the Titanic Fri May 26, 2017 06:14 | The Saker
This article was written for the Unz Review. Robert Fisk put it best: ?Trump Is About To Really Mess Up In The Middle East?. Following his fantastically stupid decision to
The Saker >>
Human Rights-Based Integration Policy and the New ?Migrant Integration Strategy? Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:33 | Cliodhna Murphy
The Citizens Assembly Proposals: A Draft Bill Tue Apr 25, 2017 20:42 | admin
NUI Galway Announce New Director of Irish Centre for Human Rights Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:50 | Eoin Daly
Barriers to first trimester abortion care. Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:31 | admin
Why would any country put abortion in the Constitution? Thu Apr 20, 2017 17:28 | Máiréad Enright
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Interview with Jack O?Connor? 12:10 Sun May 28, 2017 | WorldbyStorm
Pop, misogyny and the aftermath of Manchester 11:08 Sun May 28, 2017 | WorldbyStorm
Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week: Nothing to See Here Edition 09:57 Sun May 28, 2017 | Garibaldy
Red C Sunday Business Post Poll 18:01 Sat May 27, 2017 | irishelectionliterature
EIRSAT-1 16:08 Sat May 27, 2017 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Contact.ie | Contact The Politicians
rights, freedoms and repression |
Saturday December 13, 2008 19:59 by Mark C - Contact.ie
They Work for Us
Contact Those Who Work For You
Contact.ie, a website for contacting politicians in Ireland, went live today. Indymedia.ie caught up with Mark Conroy, the site's owner, to discuss the site with him.
Related Links: Contact.ie
Hi Mark, can you tell us firstly what contact.ie is?
Hi, sure. Contact.ie allows users to contact all TDs and Senators at the click of a button. It's a new political campaigning tool; one that does not exist and one that there is a need for. It's intended to make campaigning easier. Simply put, it is a big contact form in which users can select which political party or constituency they want to email, or they can simply email all TDs and Senators.
There's nothing revolutionary about contact.ie, in the sense that all the information that is on the site (such as every TD's and Senator's email address) is freely available on the web; the only problem is that it is not available in such as way as would make contacting different groups of them easy - I'm not sure if that is a deliberate effort by government or an oversight; what I have done is simply made the information user-friendly.
And how did you came up with the idea for contact.ie?
Like many activists I have been signing petitions and writing to our elected representatives but after signing many internet letters whereby a standard letter is written and then your name is inserted in the from field, for example with Amnesty, Oxfam, Concern, etc., I thought why not start writing more letters myself and then email them to all our politicians – or at least our TDs and Senators.
I'm still not sure I understand why you needed to setup contact.ie.
Well, the thing is, when I looked for a site that would allow me to write my letter to our politicians and then send it to them all, I was amazed that no such site existed. The closest thing I could find was Act for Climate, which allows users to send emails to any TD, but the problem with that system is twofold:
1) You must select a constituency, and since we have 43 constituencies in Ireland that would mean sending the email 43 times.
2) If I was to use the service offered by Act for Climate I would not necessarily be using it for Climate Change campaigning and I felt that it would be unfair to do so.
They are some of the reasons behind contact.ie.
Couldn't you have just got a copy of all the email addresses of TDs and Senators and kept them in your email address book?
Of course I could have done that, and I kind of did – I sent an email to the indymedia.ie mailing list asking if anyone had a list of email addresses for TDs and Senators and within a couple of hours another indymedia.ie activist had gotten back to me with what I was looking for (or rather what I had asked for), as I also wanted the option of being able to contact only, say, Laois/Offaly TDs or Mayo TDs or Green Party TDs and that would take ages to organise into folders and something that I wouldn't like to have to put others through. So, I thought, if I do this and spend all this time at it, why not share my work with others?
A “Creative Commons”-type approach.
And lo and behold [drum roll] contact.ie was born.
To all intents and purposes, yes. Although it did take me about two weeks to get it together, getting all the TDs names and then organising them by political party and by constituency and then adding all the email addresses. Add to that, I am not in any way a professional website designer, so I had to learn a lot as I went along.
Do you have a target user group/audience?
Yes and No. Yes in the sense that everyone can use it; no in the sense that, actually the yes will do. Yes: my target user group is every person who would like to use it or see some value in it – young, old, healthy, sick, Irish, foreign; actually part of the project is that I am a teacher of English and CSPE (Civic, Social, and Political Education) and co-ordinator of our school's Amnesty group. As part of this I constantly tell our students to contact their elected representatives, and hopefully this site will make that task easier for them.
Do you have any problems with the site at the moment?
Well, the one thing that is bothering me is that you can only email TDs by either “All TDs” or by “Political Party” or by “Constituency” and you can only do one grouping at a time. I'd like to set it up in such a way as to be able to email, for example, all Fianna Fáil TDs and Laois/Offaly TDs at the same time, rather than two emails – one to Fianna Fáil and one to Laois/Offaly.
This is something that I'll be working on in the coming weeks, but for now I think the site is in good enough shape to be useful to many individuals and groups.
Do you have any further plans for the site in the future:
Yeah, I'd also like to add a section for County Councillors (and eventually Town Councillors, etc) but I think I'd have to rope in some more people to do that with me. [If any indymedia.ie readers are willing to help, get in touch.]
After that, I think it'd be great to have a section for media contacts (organised by print, radio, television, and also national and local, etc) so people and groups could send press releases and self-written articles more easily to more outlets.
Also, I need a logo and logo image designed (which I can do myself, but time is limited), so if anyone would like to design one, please do.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Yeah, this is also a call for activists in other countries to setup similar endeavours. It's quite easy to do using free software such as Drupal. I'm not aware of any such site in other countries; England has WriteToThem.com (which was partially the inspiration for my site); hopefully this endeavour will encourage others to do the same as I have..
Thanks for talking to us; good luck with contact.ie.
Contact Those Who Work For You