Yes, you read that correctly - and no, this is not a cruel April Fool's hoax!
For the last year or so, I've been working as a salesperson at a local solar firm, and last night I got a text message telling me to drop off all company materials in the office today and my employment was over. The handwriting had been on the wall for a while, I had a bad winter with no sales for three months. But things were turning around, I had three sales in March with a lot more on the horizon, so I was at least partially blind-sided by this. And when you factor in that I sold over a million dollars' worth of systems in 2012 (starting at the end of February), I really think that the whole mess is an exercise in short-sighted mismanagement.
Now I'm not here today asking for charity from my fellow Kossacks, even though some charity would go a long way towards easing my anxiety about the future. Prior to going into solar sales, I was a software engineer at a big investment house here in Massachusetts, so I have that talent to fall back on. Partly as a labor of love, for the past two years I've been working part-time on some grassroots organizing software called, appropriately enough, ORGANIZE! Please join me on the other side of the orange squiggle of doom to see how we may be able to help each other...
My software has never been tested in a real-time campaign environment - I've been developing it with the help of some friends from my PAC, the Greater Blackstone Valley Dems. This year a casino has been proposed in a residential neighborhood in my town, and lots of people are adamantly opposed to it. As it happens, I have tons of data from my town clerk's office already loaded in the software, so I signed on as the coordinator of the voter outreach effort. It's been a great beta test, and today I'm working on a reporting interface for creating call lists, etc.
Here's a short video showing some of the features:
Now, I don't want charity, but I would like to sell a few copies of this software and get a wider audience using it and suggesting enhancements, finding bugs to fix, and growing their progressive bench. It's ideal for the small town environment, allowing users to organize their voters and be ready when the campaigns come to town. For example, in 2010, when our congressman was Richard Neal, he opened a campaign office in August and staffed it with a full-time staffer. We had lawn signs and bumper stickers to distribute, but August is a pretty late start, we scrambled for weeks to find voters who would put those to use. If we had a system like ORGANIZE! in place prior to August, it would have been a simple matter of pushing a button to extract a list of voters who want lawn signs, allowing us to concentrate on more concrete voter outreach efforts.
I have web hosting set up at a site called www.orgmytown.com, where I'll host your site in a subdomain of your choosing - there's nothing there currently, but I have a Wordpress blog and a support BBS coming soon. If you buy a copy, you'll also get a Wordpress blog, web based and POP3 email accounts, Google Docs interface and GMail mail hosting if you want it. I've created a GoFundMe page for it, but I'm not sure if that's the right way to go - if you're interested but don'e want to use GoFundMe, I do have PayPal, contact me at john (at) tehans (dot) com.
I'm selling the software with three payment options:
- $250 one time payment gets you a complete setup with no additional charges for one year
- $100 one time payment gets you a complete setup with a charge of $15 per month for hosting, bug fixes, enhancements, etc ($280 per year)
- $25 one time payment gets you a complete setup with a charge of $25 per month for hosting, bug fixes, enhancements, etc ($325 per year)
If you want to organize your town, but you don't want to pay the big bucks for Votebuilder, VAN or Sage Systems, please consider purchasing ORGANIZE! You'll be helping a fellow Kossack out of a jam, and doing your part to advance our progressive agenda. Thanks for your consideration!