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Craigslist Founder Blogs For Voter Participation

The Web 2.0 entrepreneur spoofs popular Spanish soap operas to get his message out.
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has been urging people to vote and take political action through his blog lately.

He recently made a cameo appearance on a mini-English-language telenovela that spoofs the traditional and popular Spanish soap operas and urges people to register to vote. In La Pasion De La Decision, he plays a municipal clerk visited by a couple confused about where to register to vote and where to get married. Newmark has also blogged to express support for local and state candidates in his home state of California and his native state, New Jersey.

Newmark also uses the blog to point readers to useful political Web sites and pass on information gleaned in conversations with politicians. Last week, he explained to readers that congressmen have complained to him about mass form letters from people who fail to identify themselves as constituents.

He directs readers to You2Gov.org, which allows users to discuss political issues, find political news, and contact their representatives. The site allows writers to confirm their status as constituents by providing their name, mailing address, and ZIP code and share their views in their own words. It does not require authentication but it does prevent writers from overlooking details that tell elected representatives that the writer is someone who votes in their district and is therefore worth hearing out.

Newmark regularly appears at events designed to encourage political participation through technology. His blog postings aren't limited to political topics. They also cover musings about Craigslist and apparently whatever is on Newmark's mind when he sits down to write.