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Fight SOPA/PIPA -- let your visitors call their senators in 1 click (grassroutes.us)
253 points by kandalf on Jan 17, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 48 comments

I like this a lot.

My senators have a system that requires me to press 1 to leave a voicemail and 2 to speak with someone. I had to actually dial on my phone to make it happen.

Maybe a little keypad could be displayed while on the call?

Would you prefer an on-screen keyboard or a connection through your real phone? (i.e., we call you and then put you through)

Thanks so much for the feedback (:

- someone who is partially responsible for this

Hard to say. I think many people on HN would prefer an on-screen keyboard, but that's sampling power users. Then again, it may be that the power users are the ones that are willing to take a stand.

I would prefer google voice style, my phone rings and I am connected. I don't often take phone calls through my computer, despite using skype chat and having a webcam. I suspect many others are the same.

Which makes me wonder what percentage of internet users have ever had a google hangout?

Yes, but would those people also be the people who would have called in already? It's a tricky question (:

Good point.

I think connecting me through the phone would be best. I was a little confused about how the call was going to work initially until I stopped skimming and actually read what was on the page.

Another good rationale is that the user may not have a microphone on the machine they're on. Or there could be security restrictions on the machine that prevent access. It also opens up a new world -- you could let them schedule the call during business hours for the senator's office, or a time when the user is free.

Working on this.

I'm not in America, but what about even just saying what key combination you should press to get through the menus to talk to a human?

I even hate waiting for the slow voice to read out the options!

Ooh, cool idea. It may vary from office to office but we'll definitely look into it.

check out gethuman.com for a service that offers menu-avoidance for other public numbers (though not necessarily the government).

This sort of thing needs to be shown on the blackout pages, so people can easily do something (call to action) instead of just leaving the page.

We would _love_ that. But we're not sure how to make it happen.

I was very confused by this statement, until I realized that you created the widget and were talking about how to get blackout pages to display your widget, and not a site owner unsure of how to copy-paste an iframe tag.

Great job with the widget, it shows all of my reps and the calling works. To answer your question, being on the front page of HN should help. Have you tried the relevant subreddits (r/sopa, r/politics, etc)? Reaching out to Wikipedia, reddit, etc directly?

Have you thought about making this more generic, and/or letting people customize instances of it, so that it can be used for other issues?

That's actually what Grassroutes does: http://grassroutes.us/

We created it as a generic, customizable widget for activists. Anyone could add talking points, a title, etc. We also have a way to browse through the widgets that other people have created. (Although since we made it at a hackathon this weekend, there's not much there.)

We made the SOPA widget and page AFTER the hackathon was done, because we realized it was an ideal use case.

I'm guessing you haven't tested it much yet? My senator's office doesn't even allow the call to go through unless the caller presses '1' to speak with someone, but your interface lacks a keypad! Hopefully you guys get it out before the 18th

The keypad should be live by morning. We have it up and running locally. Thanks for the feedback!

The keypad is live now.

I posted it to r/sopa, r/politics, r/technology but it hasn't received that many upvotes.

My IP geolocates to NJ while I am in NY; it would be helpful if you could change the state manually in such a scenario (which is not uncommon).

You can! Just click on the "Not your representatives?" link at the top. =)

Please give an indication on the form what we're supposed to type into the search box. City/State? Zip code? Something else? I can't get it to work.

Also, you might make the link more prominent --- I didn't see it the first time.

If you're running any browser other than Internet Explorer there's a zip code indication which is obvious.

Same here. It'd be great to put up some HTML5 Geolocation as a choice for users to select (obviously, not requested by default, since that'd be an obtrusive behavior for a widget.)

This is on our to-do list for tonight. Thanks for the feedback. =)

Well done. Clean and simple. Can we get usage stats from you after tomorrow?

We'll do our best to do a blog post sometime this week. (Disclaimer: We're all busy college students trying to keep the Internet open _and_ pass our classes at the same time.)

I made this into a Facebook app for Page Admins to have this as a tab.


Once you have it as a tab. Edit your page and make it the default tab. This way it's the first thing fans see on your page.

See it in action: https://www.facebook.com/cowholio4

@kandalf Thanks for making this. I can make you an admin of the app if you want. Also https support would be awesome. :D

Yo! Wow! Can you tweet at us @_grassroutes? Would love to be in touch!

As I said already, they do not care what we say as long as they get their money. Even if SOPA will not pass, efforts againts Internet freedom will continue.

The wide boycott of RIAA, MPAA and all SOPA/PIPA supporters is necessary. If you give them money, you do in fact support Internet censorship no matter what you say. There is no way to protect freedom conveniently without sacrificing anything.

For the curious, the demo of this service (grassroutes.us) at PennApps this past weekend, where tessr, kandalf and drewinglis built this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF_NT6f-8bc&context=C39f6...

This is really really really really cool.

Unfortunately it got my geolocation wrong for all three of my internet sources (Cable, phone, and Clearwire). Since this seems such an unreliable method of getting the answer correct, make it easier for the user to make a fix:

(1) Show the current state name (2) Put the zip code search on the main page

Good ideas. Displaying state/zipcode is definitely on the todo list for tonight.

I really want to add the one-click call functionality to this: http://www.piparollcall.com/

I already have 2-click tweets. This would be perfect. Let me know if you guys are interested. =)

Great job guys! Keep it up!

Thanks man (;

Why is PIPA referred to as "SOPA"'s little sister? Does that reflect the changes proposed by the managers' amendments? Both bills need to pass their chambers for any part of SOPA to become law.

As the person who chose that wording:

It's not supposed to be a serious remark. People have been been referring to PIPA as the little sister, merely because SOPA is the more commonly known piece of legislation. (I chose to keep SOPA the focus, even though it's been temporarily shelved, just because it's the signature phrase in this whole ordeal.)

Also, I think it's kind of funny to call PIPA the evil little sister, and I hope a little levity makes this grave ordeal easier for everyone.

Maybe you could add a little script of what one would say! Or maybe a sample recording of someone's conversation, it would help people get over the fear of calling!

We have a script! Just call and it pops up!

I'm in Oregon and Wyden came up for me but hes already a SOPA/PIPA opponent. Shouldn't he (and the others) be omitted to direct traffic to where its needed?

You can tell him how much you appreciate his stance.

Also, this is actually built on top of Grassroutes, which is a more generic service--so there isn't a good way to do this.

(And yes, keep telling the anti-SOPA reps that they're doing something right.)

Good work, Tess & Drew (and friends)!

I notice that this is choosing the correct senators for my location, but where it is supposed to be naming my location it says "0"

Should have this route randomly to constituent offices in the states so that it scales better once the hill exchange goes haywire (which it will)

Anyone happen to have data for telephone numbers of local representative offices?

How to Support From Posterous: http://i43.tinypic.com/302t9ib.jpg

Really awesome app, great job!

Hey, thanks!<3

thanks for making it easy guys, I just pushed your code live in about 2 minutes. Not sure I would have done anything otherwise =/


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