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GoLoco: A New Way of Doing Movement Politics

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, September 6 2007

Looking to build a "people's movement"? Like to hang with "fellow travelers"? Or are you a campaign field organizer looking for an easy-to-use online tool to help supporters and volunteers share car rides to events? Then check out GoLoco.org, a new service from the people who brought you the ZipCar.

The idea, says Robin Chase, GoLoco's CEO, is to help people quickly share rides between friends, neighbors, and co-workers, as well as facilitate sharing costs online. She describes the service as "Facebook meets the Rideboard, with paypal thrown in."

Here are some of the things you can do with GoLoco:

* organizers can create an event and invite others to it
* you can group all the trips to/from this event into one place/url for people to find
* you can figure out various ways to share car trip expenses (travel, tolls, parking)

The tool also makes it very easy for those already planning to travel somewhere (like your daily commute) to invite others they think would be interested in participating as well.

GoLoco is at a very early stage in its launch, so don't be surprised if you find only a handful of rides in your area. Also, right now it is just a Facebook app, so you will be prompted to join Facebook if you aren't a member already in order to use it.

What I find intriguing is how this could work in tandem with existing Facebook groups in support (or opposition to) the presidential candidates. In essence, GoLoco makes it a lot easier to create car-pools among people who live near each other and are going to the same place. Tied in with Facebook, it taps your already-existing social network and enables you to decide if someone seeking to share or give a ride is someone you might trust. And it's got this nifty carbon-footprint tracker, so you can see how many pounds of CO2 you save by sharing trips. Kind of calls out to the campaigns that are looking to walk their "green" talk, no?