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New tool to bring pressure to bear

admin's picture

You've probably seen me messing about with new fields for blog posts over the last day or so, but I think I've finally got this ready for you all to use.

You will notice two new fields in your blog posting form, right at the top: "Media Contacts," and "Other Contacts." In media contacts, you can fill in the email address of a writer/reporter, an ombudsman, or whatever; in other contacts, you can fill in the email address of a legislator, or an opinion maker. (Note that the email addresses are obfuscated; that means that bots and crawlers won't suck of email addresses from our pages and use them to send spam.)

Now, when you do that, what happens?

1. Clicking on the email address will bring up your email program, so you can send mail to whoever the poster listed. For example, Ohio suggested sending an "Attagirl!" message to Elizabeth Warren; well, now you can click on Elizabeth Warren's address and do just that.

2. The email addresses are also archived (see the Contacts link on the main menu. So, over time, as we add addresses to our posts on a case by case basis, we'll be accumulating a useful list of addresses we can use in future campaigns -- to kick over the table, as it were.

Now, please have the courtesy to at least consider following the posters directions when sending the mail. It goes without saying that when you use this tool, your mail should be courteous, well-informed, original (not copied and pasted), and shove the Overton Window left!

Finally, this is not a complete system of contact information; it's very lightweight. But I think it is sufficient for our purposes now. One obvious improvement would be to add a field for letters to the editor; maybe I'll get to that tomorrow.

No votes yet


Submitted by hipparchia on

i got a problem with it though...

is there some kind of vetting of these email addresses? i mean somebody might get hold of mine and in a fit of pique submit it here as one to protest to. totally inconsequential if it were to happen to me, but i'd hate for it to happen to somebody it really and truly shouldn't happen to.

alternatively, i'd hate to send an email to somewhere and later find out that i'd sent it to a totally ineffective place [as in, if i were to think i'd sent an email to barack obama, president-elect but instead it went to some cousin of his in kenya. might be fun to strike up a penpal relationship with them, but it wouldn't necessarily reach the target audience].

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

1. The vetting is registration.

2. I could restrict it by role -- to trusted users, say.

3. It's up to the poster to give good email addresses. Twas ever thus!

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

the email addresses some context when they get archived -- like a name and title? Something that will allow people to differentiate the reporter at the NYTimes who covers health care from the reporter there who covers Wall St..

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on


So, I'm flipping down the blogs and finally reach the bottom of the page and...the links to the next pages are missing. Is this temporary?

Submitted by lambert on

There are things I don't know... And this is one of them!

UPDATE However, the workaround is to use the "All Posts" link in the main menu.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I like the old way. You wouldn't want to make Baby Jesus cry, now would you? :(

Submitted by lambert on

... I can't tinker with it now, and for now there's an alternative.