The VON Coalition
Voice in Democracy

flag mapVoice 2.0 is helping launch Politics 2.0. Throughout history, America's politics have regularly been transformed by sudden changes in the way we communicate. And revolutions in communications technology have always bestowed great gifts on those politicians savvy enough to grasp their full potential. Improvements to the printing press helped Andrew Jackson form and organize the Democratic Party, where he also harnessed the postal services to catapult him to history.  Newspapers enabled Lincoln to become a viable national candidate, and he championed the telegraph to help win the civil war. Franklin Roosevelt used radio to make his case for a dramatic redefinition of government itself. John F. Kennedy understood the strengths and limitations of broadcast television before his peers did, and his election and popularity resulted partly from that understanding. The communications revolution under way today involves the Internet as candidates of all parties are harnessing Internet communication to reach out in new ways.

These new Voice 2.0 enabled tools are becoming an important part of the political dialogue.  They are changing the way people can participate in the political process --- to share their views, to envoke their free speech rights, to let their voice be heard in Washington, to speak voter to voter, and to connect with policymakers to seek change.  The 2008 presidential election will go down in history as the most innovative use of the Internet and person to person communications in the history of elections.

These tools are being used:

See related story: Obama, Clinton or McCain? Either way VoIP Wins!
Tools for political activism

Click on a candidate to hear them.

Public Opinion Audio Forum.

In following with the spirit of the Internet, is an exchange of audio presentations from Presidential Candidates. grants listeners the ability to quickly preview Presidential Candidates and share their views with their friends, family and colleagues. In addition, listeners have the ability to use any telephone to record voice messages and comments for publicly sharing their opinions and views over the Internet. Leave a comment about a candidate by calling 1-213-873-2508 and entering code 238716 for Barack Obama, or 097896 for John McCain. Listen to what others have said here:

Make your own talking character by phone.

Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or it can call your phone.

A blabber is a talking picture.

They are often used for political satire. Just upload a picture, create a mouth, call a specific telephone number to record your voice, and the mouth on the picture moves to your voice. Then e-mail it, post it, or share it on Facebook.

Gizmoz animate yourself.

Upload a picture of a person, it creates a 3D model of the person’s head (or use an existing gizmo), then give it voice using either the microphone on your computer or using text. Then post to your blog, e-mail to friends etc.
Voice your support for your presidential candidateVoice your support buttons

Voice your support for your presidential candidate.

Utterz gives you a simple way to make sure your voice counts during the 2008 election. In just a few simple steps, you can create a badge to display on your blog, web site or social network with your own personal message of why you support your candidate.  You can record it using a microphone or dial-in to the web site using a provided number.
How to use Cause Dialer

Cause Caller - get it touch with democracy. 

Cause Caller is a new way to power participatory democracy. It takes all the hassle out of creating phone banks and contacting politicians. Simply create a cause, and enter the names you want to contact. Now you can click to call immediately. Send everyone the URL, and they can start calling too. All calls are free and completed over the Internet. For example For example Call Congrress to free the airwaves.

Subscribe to campaign podcasts on your cell phone. 

Foneshow offers a quick and easy way to for people to access political podcasts (some directly from the campaigns) – using their cell phone instead of downloading. The service uses SMS automatic notifications to let you know its there, and provides a number to dial to listen to and control the feed.  You don't need a data plan or a smart phone. Foneshow!  A list of the political shows is here:

Create your own political satire animations.

Create online animations, like an oval office scened using your favorite or not so favorite politiciacians, dial into a special number from your phone to give them voice.
See the special Elections 2008 section
vote with your greeting

Vote with your voicemail greeting. 

YouMail lets you use different voicemail greetings for different callers.  Vote with your voicemail greeting – and choose who gets to hear it.  (tell your Republican friends to vote for Obama, and your Democratic friends to vote for McCain with customized voicemail greetings.)  Set your cell phones voicemail greetings to different messages for different people.
face to face discussions

Join in face to face discussions with political leaders. 

My ooVoo Day Political is an eight day online video chat event joining leading political bloggers covering the entire spectrum of belief and persuasion with their communities, fans and friends - enabled by ooVoo, the leader in face-to-face multi-person video communications.