November 24, 2005 - the best civic hack yet...

The latest MySociety project officially launched on Monday. is a small but perfectly-conceived civic hack.

Full disclosure: I'm a director and trustee of the charity (UK Citizens Online Democracy) which runs the MySociety project.

So I'm hardly unbiased, but in my view is a superb idea well implemented.

The premise is simple:

  1. Register an interest in getting email from your MP by registering your postcode and email address on (or via, or The Public Whip)

  2. Confirm your email address by clicking the link on the email you'll get sent

  3. When 20 people from your constituency have registered a desire to get regular email bulletins from their MP, we'll send said MP a message saying '20 of your constituents want to hear from you, click here to send them a message'

  4. Any follow up dialogue and feedback is handled via a simple web-based forum, rather than via a chaotic email blizzard.

  5. Should your MP not respond when 20 people have signed up, he or she will receive similar emails saying '50/100/200 of your constituents want to hear what you're up to'.

An MP will find it increasingly hard to justify refusing to communicate when several hundred of their constituents have expressed a desire to hear from them. Top notch civic hackery.

I absolutely love it. Tom S, Francis, Matthew, Chris et al should be proud.

Posted by tomski at November 24, 2005 11:35 PM