June 18, 2007

An open challenge to coders, programmers

Facebook's open application integration certainly made their social networking site fresh again. I'll be the first to admit that I was teetering on the edge leaving the site all together before this wave of applications. While I don't care for the majority of them, I was tickled that someone created integration for digg.com.

But I have beef with their 2008 Presidential Election tool, which hurts more than it helps.

The tool, which is sponsored by Newsvine, allows you to in effect "endorse" a particular candidate by displaying information on the facebook profile page. The main problem I have with this app is that it only allows one person to be chosen. This is absolutely pointless considering that the election is 18 months away. Even the primaries don't choose until -- at the very least -- six months from now. So why the hell would you encourage people to start picking "just one" person this far in advance. If there are two or three candidates to choose from, I could understand the logic, but there are 21 different names on that list. Some of them don't even plan on running.

What's worse is that the Newsvine `08 Election app gives you a choice to pledge support for a party. Now I have to worry about how it'll appear if I choose a Republican candidate. I don't want to be classified as a Republican. Congruently, If I were to choose a Democratic candidate I'd have people accusing me of aligning with that party. I don't care for parties because they exist to tailor your decision making, your morality and they were invented to do nothing other than pool votes. For those who want to disagree, please read George Washington's stance on political Parties found in his farewell address. I do not want to classify myself as one side or another. Let the politicians do that. I feel like any efficient facebook election app should reflect the best man or woman for the job.

Perhaps the most blasphemous thing found in the application is the option of "I hate politics." If you hate politics then don't bother adding this application to your profile. The last thing this country needs is people rallying behind a choice not to care anymore. Hating politics is bad. Newsvine should know better. (Then again, what do you expect from a list of apps that includes an eat and drink updater.)

What I'd like to see is the ability to pick several candidates whom I like. At the same time I wouldn't mind listing the ones I don't like either. I'd like to see less emphasis of political affiliation and more on the actual candidate's stances. (Although I'd settle for the first.) There is no chosen candidate on my page because I refuse to fit into the tiny confines of this application that lacks ambition.

An Open Challenge to Coders:
So I'm calling out for a new improved 2008 election application --one that fosters tolerance of ideas and thwarts bipartisan voting bases. Sadly, I do not know the first thing about coding.

But if there's one thing I do know, it's that tech geeks are passionate about what matters the most.

So who thinks they can create a better app than the one we've got?

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