Salsa Scoop> Congressional servers buckling under bailout bill messages

Congressional servers buckling under bailout bill messages

by Jason Z.

The weight of public response to the bailout measure that's had all Congress atwitter this fortnight overwhelmed House servers earlier this week, slowing or preventing some messages to Representatives.

As of this writing, with debate underway on the floor (liveblog at the Grey Lady; video stream at C-SPAN), the writerep system appears to be functioning normally for this writer but still displays this warning:

Due to an unusually high amount of emails currently being submitted through the Write Your Representative feature (above), you may experience a slow response or error message when attempting to send emails through this system during hours of peak demand. We apologize for this inconvenience. Our technicians are working to fix the problem. Thank you.

So what's an activist organization to do?

The ubiquitous Colin Delany of has a handy cheat sheet of other actions you might consider mobilizing -- good brain food even during those humdrum times when economic apocalypse is not upon us and the Hill is handling its e-mail with only the usual degree of malfeasance.

Let me venture an option 1(a) further to Colin's first suggestion to "spam" (sir, I protest) "other people":  everyone in town is eager to get back out on the stump.  That makes opponents in congressional races a prime potential messaging target -- probably mostly for groups with a significant local presence that can pick the precise targeting method and finesse the messaging.

Candidates attempting to unseat incumbents look to your humble narrator like a largely untapped e-activism vein.

And unlike incumbents, at least some of these might want these messages -- at least if it gives them an opportunity to demonstrate transparency and responsiveness.  I daresay an outside actor like the British (nee FaxYourMP) could find aspirants interested in plugging into the same conversations a ready source of content and eyeballs -- and simultaneously move existing members away from the writerep chokehold the next time the Invisible Hand goes panhandling.



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