Saturday, August 15, 2009

Crashing the congressional server

Constituent e-mails to House clog system
Overwhelming interest in the debate over healthcare legislation has clogged the House system that allows constituents to send e-mails to their members directly through the House website and lawmaker Web pages.

Congressional staff can easily discern the difference between individual citizens using the web contact form and advocacy groups using bulk email. The weekly mail reports indicate not just the number of contacts on a given issue pro and con, but also the number of individual citizens versus bulk email. If you want your communication to make a difference, use the member's web contact form. Advocacy groups use bulk delivery systems to monitor how many contacts they mobilized, but it is not useful from the point of view of influencing a member.

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