OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Organizing Around Unemployment Online

July 21, 2010 - by Hilary Worden

Here is an interesting piece by Micah Sifry on TechPresident: “How the Internet Organizes the Unemployed”.

The article prominently mentions OpenCongress and the organic community of concerned citizens that has emerged around the unemployment extensions bill and the Benefit Wiki project.

He discusses the massive amount of traffic and comments that the unemployment bill pages have seen:

On OpenCongress, the top three most commented bills on the site are all about extending unemployment benefits—with more than 130,000 comments in all… Right now, in the last month, OpenCongress’s David Moore tells me that the current extension bill has gotten nearly 200,000 unique visits, a big chunk of the site’s overall traffic…

In other words, the comment boards on the OpenCongress and WashingtonWatch unemployment bills pages have become, de facto, organizing networks and self-help communities for unemployed people.

… which you can see for yourself here on our one-of-a-kind Battle Royale forum of what’s hot with our users.

Later, Micah suggests it could be done even better in the future:

The lesson of what seems to be happening organically around sites like OpenCongress and WashingtonWatch is that even without conscious planning, hubs of likeminded individuals will find each other online and coalesce, albeit poorly and with little strong coordination, in ways that help each other get what they need. Now, imagine if we listened carefully to these signals, invented some better tools for group collaboration, set them up to do well in organic search, and then got out of the way.

You can read the full piece here. Thanks Micah, for the insightful article and the attention you’re paying to this important but under-acknowledged issue. (You can follow him on Twitter :: @mlsif , and subscribe to the Tech President blog’s RSS feed by clicking here.)


On the unemployment bill, H.R. 4213, here are some resources on OC to keep you up-to-date ::

… let us know your questions :: writeus at opencongress d0t org. Thanks.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

  • Chris51 07/21/2010 12:46pm
    Link Reply
    + 10

    This site and CSPAN are the best sources of media to get accurate and instant information. The article links to stories are the most efficient and effective way to find the information any American would need to make a well informed vote.
    It an unemployment crisis to make us aware of this site. Thank you Donny Shaw and all the others for doing an outstanding job. Everyone who uses this site should donate, so that it never falls victim to being directly controlled by one of the Big Corporations.

  • Kerlynne 07/21/2010 2:04pm

    I second that, Thank you Donny Shaw and to all that I have “ment” here. Next step….

  • Revolution 07/21/2010 8:20pm

    VOTE HIM OUT!!! First chance to send a message to these idiots!
    Tom Coburn-Republican from Oklahoma is asking people on his Face Book page to change their profile picture in support of his primary election and vote on 7/27. Please stop by and remind him of how he voted on unemployment-he needs to be unemployed soon!

  • comments5647 07/22/2010 5:11am

    Please keep the reminder list of these upcoming elections posted here. He and other Republicans should have screamed from the housetops they wanted to use the stimulus then voted to extend based on humanitarian reasons but lodged their fight in another way rather than to make Americans SUFFER!!! Keep the list coming and I will vote according to the way they voted…

  • ExGOP 07/22/2010 6:16am

    TO ALL MY FELLOW UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS … LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD AND DON’T STOP FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS ONCE YOU RECEIVE YOUR CHECKS.

    PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE:
    http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/the_99ers_need_a_tier_v_added_to_unemployment_benefits

    THIS COULD BE YOU! ECONOMISTS PREDICT JOBS WILL NOT BE BACK BY NOV. 30TH! THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT A SMALL PICKUP IN 2012, BUT EVEN THEN THIS COUNTRY WILL PROBABLY NOT BE ABLE TO CREATE 15 MILLION JOBS BY THEN. IN OTHER WORDS, ANY RECOVERY WILL BE SLOW. LET’S START NOW TO HELP AVOID THE CRAP WE ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH.

    P.S. PLEASE FORWARD THE PETITION LINK TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO SIGN. WE STILL NEED 11,000+ SIGNATURES TO REACH THE 50,000 GOAL.

  • Comm_reply
    justamick 07/22/2010 9:22am

    I’m sorry, where does the right to get a check from the Government come from?

    You have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not to an unlimited supply of checks from the Government.

    99 weeks is a long time to get Unemployment bennefits… a year should be the longest.

  • Comm_reply
    BreeLane 07/22/2010 5:37pm

    I really hope you lose your current job or source of income just so you can see how it feels. I really do. I am going to pray that you get fired. I would love for you to be out of work for 99 weeks.

  • Comm_reply
    Chris51 07/22/2010 6:32pm

    You are in the dark, here is link. Watch, listen and I hope you will be enlightened.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38333756#38333756

    Ed Show FIRED UP!

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 07/23/2010 1:34pm

    were does the right of the government to take a check from me come from? they took money that they did not have the right to take out of my pay checks for over 20 years.

    If the government was not stealing half of our pay when we were working we would not need a small fraction of our money back now.

    So in a since I agree with you we have no right to get checks from the government but we have no choice because they took money from us they had no right to take and we need some of it back.

    The amount of benefits needs to be based on the unemployment rate, it the unemployment rate was 4% people would only need maybe 4 weeks, but when there are 6 unemployed people for every job available benefits need to be extended till the rate goes down.

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 07/23/2010 1:39pm

    even if the government would quit stealing half of the money from the people who are still working we would not need unemployment benefits, if everyone’s pay suddenly doubled our economy would boom and we would all be able to find jobs.

    The government is 100% to blame for the economic problems facing out great but temporarily confused nation.

  • agapemu 07/22/2010 6:18am

    Please, for those of us 99ers, who I know will be joined by many many more as the autumn comes. Please keep us up to date if there is any chance we will be considered again. What they did now is good for those who have not received what they are due, but what happens when the majority joins us? We’re no longer counted and you can’t tell me there will be an influx of jobs in the next three months. They’re just putting off a catatrophic situation that will hit right around the holidays. Hope you’ll continue to cover us. I await your updates every day but . . . . I think it’s going to get far worse in the future.
    This is just a temporary band-aid to put off the inevitable. Ignoring the depth of the issue is not going to make it go away.

    Thank You

  • adrabon 07/22/2010 6:53am

    According to the official, the projects will be part of a five- year, 7.5-billion-dollar aid package approved by U.S. Congress last year, which hopes to temper anti-Americanism in Pakistan by building schools, infrastructure and democratic institutions. This is not paid for. WHY.America cant get help but Pakistan can. GET THE MESSAGE PEOPLE!!!! WAKE UP!!

  • DeborahJBrown 07/22/2010 7:43am

    According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Florida’s 6-2010 unemployment rate is 11.4%, down from 5-2010 by .3% but up from last year by .9% when the rate was 10.5%. Florida currently ranks as the 6th highest in the nation. Florida’s Legislature refuses to make a date change from June 5th to Nov 30th to existing FL legislation allowing unemployed to receive Extended Benefits.The AFL-CIO & Governor Crist urged Florida’s legislators to make this date change during a recent 4-day Special Session. The Republican Speaker of the House said no and adjourned the 4-day session within hours citing they had “other things” to do. The Special Session cost Florida’s taxpayers $50K and is not unlike Wall Street’s spa party after the bailout. They say they won’t meet again until March 2011. This affects mostly older workers and minorities who typically get hired last. Florida’s UE rate qualifies for the 100% federally funded EB Program. Can the federal government force Florida to act? HELP!

  • bunibuni1964 07/22/2010 3:16pm

    Hey JUSTAMICK.You ask what gives us the right to a check? THE fact that we worked and payed into unemployment gives us the right to ask for a check. We aren’t asking for anything we haven’t earned. I have been unemployed for 3 years now through no fault of my own, trust me I would rather be full time employed again than to wait for 1/3 of what I earned every 2 weeks until 99 weeks is up.Then What? we go hungry, loose our car, our home, HOW are we suppose to find a job then? And God forbid you be older than the young crop, you will be over looked for a job. Now on the other side I see your point…..You say there are people who abuse this, yes there are just a few months ago I was at the check cashing trying to pick up a western union money transfer when I noticed A guy in front of me cashing his unemployment check and sending it all and some more to MEXICO !!!! He sent a total of 580.00 to Mexico, his whole check then some. Please read my continued

  • bunibuni1964 07/22/2010 3:16pm

    Continued :
    Heres a Great Idea: Don’t give us money, Pay our Bills not the luxuries like cable and cell phones but the necessities.Electricity, water, garbage, RENT BUT don’t Judge us and say we are lazy because we are the “99ers” I have actively looked for a job, ANY job since being unemployed….IN CALIFORNIA there are NONE !!!!!!!

  • becauseican 02/08/2012 11:37am

    Thank you for the posts. I found the information to be informative and useful.
    roof repairs west sacramento

  • Spam Comment

  • mohe01pro 02/28/2012 10:40am

    This post will helpful for anybody. Cause there has lot of important information. That’s why I like this post.
    XFINITY Cable Deals

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.