Beta Test of the “Bacon’s Rebellion Political Network”

Fellow bloggers, Bacon’s Rebellion is rolling out a new feature — an adapation of the “social network” concept to the political sphere. The “Bacon’s Rebellion Political Network” is ready for testing, but not yet ready for prime time. I’m introducing it on this blog first in the hope that you bloggers, being the political junkies you are, can help me refine it — identifying quirks, problems and ideas for improvement — before I introduce it to the broader public.

The core of the “Political Network” is a database of personal profiles. Join the network, create a profile, and then invite your friends, colleagues and associates in the political arena to join the network, too, and then link their profiles to yours.

Why do this? If we can get a critical mass of people to list their political affiliations, hot-button issues, and areas of political and professional expertise, we can create a searchable database that allows you identify people with the skills, partisan affiliations and background you’re looking for — and for others to locate you. Furthermore, the database tracks up to four degrees of separation, so you can see not only “who’s who,” but “who knows who” in Virginia politics.

As a bonus, the Political Network provides cool features, like blog-like personal journals, which are automatically set up with your account, and message boards, and public bookmarks where you can alert your contacts to timely content on the Web. The Political Network also allows you to create “groups” that restrict certain types of communications (such as journals or message boards) to members of that group. If you belong to a particular citizens group or political campaign, say, you can map out your group’s network of contacts, and you can use the tools to communicate internally.

I’m still figuring out how the system works, so I may not be able to answer all questions. But if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, shoot them to me at

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  1. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Is Jim Bacon going to label the groups or will they come up with their own names? For example, I might think I belong in a group called “Defenders of Liberty”, while other bloggers might think my group is “May the Liberals Sail of the Side of the Earth Soon”. LOL.

    Interesting idea.

    If one finds oneself in a group of one, perhaps that person should seek the help of a medical professional? How about politics makes strange bedfellows, like us Conservatives who really want to conserve Virginia’s ecology – do we get to group hug the Liberal tree-huggers?

  2. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    I think you get to create your own group names, though I presume that I have an administrative override. (I’m still figuring this out.) I’ll keep an eye on what pops up and delete anything that smacks of pranksterism — Atheists for Jesus, Friends of George Allen for Pederasty, that sort of thing.

  3. Well, I signed up. It’s a cumbersome web log site, they’re way too many options, but I’ll give it time.

    Do I need a ‘Captain Liberty Secret Decoder Ring’ for the encrypted political messages?

    ~ the blue dog

  4. Ben Kyber Avatar
    Ben Kyber

    I think Project Vote Smart tried to do something like this, and most legislators refused to respond.

    I hope you have better luck, I think it’s a great idea.

  5. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    BlueinTheCommonwealth, I don’t expect legislators to sign up. They’re already plugged in, everyone already wants a piece of them. This is a tool for people lower in the political food chain to get connected.

  6. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    “Bacon’s Rebellion offers a political networking service that allows you to plug into the world of Virginia politics, lobbying and activism — fast. It’s free, and you don’t have to be a FFV (That’s ‘First Family of Virginia,’ to you newcomers to the Old Dominion) to join.”

    What?! You’re letting in new people?!

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