Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

'Who to Hire,' the PdF Guide to Political Tech, Now Available

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 6 2010

We're happy to announce that our new guide to political technology companies, "Who to Hire: the PdF Political Technology Guide," has just launched.

The online version of the guide is a compendium of profiles of companies that sell turnkey software solutions to political campaigns and advocacy organizations, and descriptions of the software itself. There are about 40 profiles in the guide now, and more coming before the end of the week. We will be adding profiles to the guide as we hear about new companies — or ones we may have missed — and will be updating the guide whenever we need to in order to keep it current.

The guide also includes the results of a survey we conducted of our network of online politics professionals: People who attend the PdF conferences, read our techPresident daily digest, or are members of our PdF Network, for example. We asked this group to rate the companies and the software they've had experience with, and include the results of this research in the guide. (Note: While this is a highly knowledgeable and diverse group, these ratings are inherently subjective and should not be taken as conclusive or predictive of future service.)

We built this guide to be a time-saving tool and a resource for people who want to keep abreast of the field of political technology. It identifies some of the companies that are breaking ground in the fields of online fundraising and advocacy, as well as describes firms that have become go-to solutions for Republicans, Democrats, and nonpartisan organizations. It includes information on each company and and its focus, as described by their founders, CEOs, CTOs, and heads of marketing and client services. It includes some interviews with clients, and data about who some of each company's clients are, based on our analysis of public records. Wherever possible, we included detailed information on pricing options; some companies are more forthcoming with these details than others.

Here are the top-rated companies overall, according to the 325 responses we got from our survey:

Company Overall Rating (out of 5) Response Count
Revolution Messaging 4.36 16
ActBlue 4.23 61
Mobile
Commons
3.82 27
Voter
Activation Network
3.76 24
David
All Group
3.74 18
Engage 3.68 13
Advomatic 3.62 28
Salsa
Labs
3.6 80
Blue
State Digital
3.59 72
CiviCRM 3.57 25

And here are the top rated companies in terms of the specific categories we asked about (capacity and reliability of software, usability of software, quality of customer service, and fairness of pricing):

Capacity and Reliability of Software Usability of Software Quality of Customer Service Fairness of Pricing
Revolution Messaging ActBlue Revolution Messaging CiviCRM
ActBlue Revolution Messaging ActBlue ActBlue
Voter Activation Network Mobile Commons NGP Software Salsa Labs

To get all the details, you need to be a PdF Network member (which costs $60/year and includes other premium perks, like access to our biweekly conference calls with industry innovators, and a free subscription to Wired, Vanity Fair or the New Yorker). Or you can read the free executive summary of Who to Hire, here. We think you'll want the full report. Print-on-demand copies will be available soon at $75.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

GO

More