More on Intranet Quorum and Congress
Ok… this is incorrect. This image is depicting the IntranetQuorum function for sending mass emails or letters (“batching”). The mechanism for receiving email is similar, yes, but with the sheer number of emails a given Rep gets daily, it’s not the most impractical program. On the average day we were getting between 400-1000 emails from Constituents. This system aggregates all the emails and saves them to the sender so it’s easier to respond to them. They are printed and every single one is read and sorted into an appropriate category so it can be responded to (the Rep I worked for aimed for a 100% response rate, we even had a form letter for people who sent him hate mail). No, it may not be as sexy as google, but why does it need to be? I’d rather see them make it more efficient that more aesthetically pleasing (for instance, they could easily be sorted into categories using keywords before they are read, especially considering 90% are just form letters).
This is such a weird thing for people to have latched on.
» SFB says: A couple things: We did some looking but could only find the one screenshot, the same one that the original article used. Had we had more options, we would’ve posted multiple screenshots to give the full thrust of the app. Given our options, though, it got across the point, which was not about the specific menu but the overall app. Second of all, the author of the piece is looking at the software from a user-interface perspective. Some of that is good design, but theoretically a good design should lead to a better user interface. But here’s the key thing: Why can’t representatives choose what works best for them, instead of something farmed out to a large government contractor? Because, you know, it’s likely that given the option, an open-source program available for free (considering we’re trying to save money …) would offer better functionality, efficiency and ease of use than an app that looks like it came to being during the Clinton administration. It’s 2011. Why doesn’t this app tap into Facebook or Twitter? While we see where you’re coming from, ultimately, Congress should have better software to do this job. Even if it makes sense after a while, a confusing interface is just another roadblock for end-users. — Ernie @ SFB