interested in taking over VoteHelp?
VoteHelp was concieved without a long-term plan. We simply felt there needed to be something like it out there to help citizens make an important decision in an objective, nonpartisan manner. Since we first started building VoteHelp a number of other sites have debuted similar "candidate calculators" and we encourage you to check them out (though we humbly think ours is the cream of the crop).
While we are proud of what we've done with VoteHelp to date, we still feel it has much greater potential. We architected the site in such a way that the VoteHelp interface could expand and cover political races beyond just the US Presidential race, and feel that the true potential of VoteHelp lies in being a resource for congressional, gubernatorial, and smaller races that aren't as media saturated.
Unfortunately, all of us behind VoteHelp have full time obligations that can't be changed. We put almost all of our available energy (and some cash) into the VoteHelp site itself and making sure the content was something we'd be proud of - which we are. In 2008 the sole promotion we did for VoteHelp was one press release, but even so over 500,000 took the quiz, mostly learning about us virally (thanks to everyone who has forwarded VoteHelp to their friends).
Our lack of bandwidth also means we are realistic enough to know that we aren't going to be able to take this site to the next level ourselves, at least in the near future.
VoteHelp can become one of a number of things. It could certainly become a scaleable business (or part of a larger one) - political advertising is going to skyrocket on the web soon enough and should be able to support a greatly-expanded site. It could also serve as part of a larger nonprofit/public interest entity. Or it could serve the common good as a "wiki-like" site with content vetted/edited by passionate volunteers.
But whichever route, it will need a leader or leaders to steer the ship. Clark Benson and Ravi Iyer, who started votehelp,
are generally too busy with other projects (e.g. Ranker.com,
BeyondThePurchase.org) to run VoteHelp well, but we have a number of ideas about how to take VoteHelp to the next level
if someone is motivated to do so.
If you or your organization would like to get involved in expanding VoteHelp in some sort of toplevel capacity,
make us a proposal - or just reach out with an email (clark at ranker dt com or ravi at ranker dt com) with some general background about yourself and what you might be interested in. We feel the public need for a broader version of this supercedes all other factors. There are clear paths to success here, and we would love to see them taken further.
The point is, we are very openminded. If we like you and feel you are committed and capable, we're open to any ideas that could lead to VoteHelp reaching it's true potential and serving the public in a broader capacity. For example, we would consider giving up control VoteHelp in exchange for a minority equity stake if the right business person could run/fund it for expansion. Or we would potentially even consier donating VoteHelp entirely to a nonprofit or public-interest entity that can take it further. Our lead programmer would be available to expand help
the site as well on a part-time basis.
Contact Ravi or Clark if you want to discuss further