Thanks to a breakfast meeting this morning with Jock Gill (an advisor to the campaign and one of the guys behind DeanLink), I finally paid attention to DeanLink and want to strongly recommend it.
What is it? It’s social software — meaning that it’s a way for people who have common interests to find each other. (If you’ve seen Friendster, Ryze, or Linked In you have an idea of what this is.) The difference with the Dean campaign is that they’re aggressively building tools that allow supporters to self-organize.
As if we needed further evidence, this is just another example of the campaign’s embrace of decentralization. Instead of controlling the message, they encourage weblogs. Instead of controlling the activists, they create the Get Local tools. Instead of controlling the organizations, they create DeanLink. What can you do with DeanLink? You identify people you know, people you’ve run across, people you’re interested in. They can reciprocate, or not.
As your network grows, you have an ability to identify people within your network with certain skillsets. Looking for people who are interested in environmental policy who are nearby? DeanLink will tell you who they are. Want to find out if there are new Dean supporters in the area who live nearby (or in your building)? DeanLink can reveal that.
The implementation is still new. so there are some rough edges. But the campaign has shown their willingness to hear what you like and what you don’t… so send e-mail to deanlink at deanforamerica.com or leave comments to this post and tell me what you’d like to do that you can’t currently with DeanLink and I’ll relay that back to Burlington. In the meantime, sign up so that we know who you are and your neighbors can find you!
Update: Be sure to read the DeanLink FAQ for more info.
On my wishlist: RSS feeds for my Deanlinks, for new supporters by zip code, etc.