Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wrong ways to collect petition signatures

Today, I got a petition signing request in an email message. The idea was simple: reply to the message and added my information to endorse. But this is such a bad way to do it:
  • Unless the person in charge of the operation is a good programmer, the received messages are likely to be processed manually to glean out the endorsers. This is extremely time-consuming and clearly not scalable.
  • If a person manually extracts endorser information from the email messages, then the person is not a sophisticated computer user. Consequently, the endorser data collected is unlikely to be stored in an intelligent fashion such as using a database. The result is that it is not easy to analyze the collected data, to glean information out of it and to generate reports, etc.
For non-sophisticated users, google petition to find many servers that
  • takes seconds to set up and use
  • are free

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