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Because some of the aspects of our site are novel in their application, we have tried here to answer the most frequently asked questions in this regard. Kindly read the answers below and see they don't cover the area of your concern. If not, you may Email us and we will do our best to address whatever issue you have. Perhaps your email may result in an additional entry on this page and help someone else to understand what we are doing here. We invite you to imagine the possibilities of how you can use this mobilization resource.
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The People's Email Network Frequently Asked Questions
How does it all work?
The People's Email Network does two primary things. First, it facilitates the process of sending email messages to Washington. In one place on our site you can send a message that is automatically submitted to the members of congress for where you live. All you have to do is fill in your address and our page quickly looks up your corresponding senators and house representative, including your full nine digit zip code if required. Second, The People's Email Network is a peer to peer network of people sending emails to each other to mobilize participation and involvement in the important issues of our time.
When I submit your form, what is the email message window that opens up?
The strength of The People's Email Network derives from people pooling the power of their own email clients to spread the word. The message is simply an invitation and notice for other people you many know to visit our site and make their voices heard also. The personal message you write for your members of congress is not sent out to any of the CCs in this window, just a general statement of your position on the issue. You have here an opportunity to review the outgoing message. Then click on send to pass it on, just as any other email message you would format yourself. Attachments are strictly not allowed.
But I don't see my members of congress as CCs, how will they get my message?
In both the senate and house of representatives, there is a trend away from email addresses accessible to the general public and in favor of qualifying forms to determine if you are one of their direct constituents. The form you fill out on our page confirms your correct zip code and corresponding congressional representation. This information is then transmitted to the appropriate gateways by our proprietary software in the background. This is why the email send window that pops up does not include the email addresses of either your senators or house representative.
How can I tell my message is being faithfully transmitted?
We have created an experimental function on the "Should we contest the election" issue action page that allows you to see the last 25 messages logged. What you see there is exactly what is transmitted to your recipients where they have requested digest service. In the case of direct messages, your comments are also transmitted verbatim with a prefix sentence stating your general position on the question faithful to your vote selection. If a separate subject line is required by the particular gateway it is generated in the same way. As a direct example of how this works, these prefix and/or subject lines come from the same function that generates the first line of the body of the friends outgoing invitation, which you can see if you submit any friends email addresses as a part of submitting the form. The additional prefix line is dispensed with in digest mode with because the digests themselves are organized by question title and the yes/no votes are provided by tally as well.
Can I paste more than one email at a time into the friends box?
Yes. In fact, our script will automatically extract any proper email addresses from any text you paste into friends' text area on the right. With the browse button below it, you can load in any text file directly from your local hard drive, for example an exported address book. The more people you contact through our system, the more The People's Email Network can work for you to mobilize people of like minds with yourself.
When I submit the form it asks me to input the email addresses of some friends. What if I don't want to do that and send my message just to my representatives?
The prompt at that point is permissive. Regardless of what you enter at that point, whether you click on "OK" or "Cancel", the form will proceed with the submission of your messages.
Why don't I see the outgoing friend's invitation appear when I submit the form?
If you have a pop-up blocker in place with no prompt function to ask your permission, this function of the form will be disabled and you will be given no notice. To take advantage of the peer to peer features of our site you must set your pop-up software to either prompt or enable at least for our URL.
What is the check box for extra CCs?
If you leave this box checked, we may add a small number (no more than 10) of additional addressees to your outgoing friends email only, in the case where you have pasted in a relatively small number yourself. If you have a number much greater than that, we are hereby asking other participants to help get messages out to them. The purpose of this function is load balancing. By spreading the traffic around we can more effectively and efficiently communicate what is going on here.
Why did one of my friends' addresses not show up in my outgoing email?
An advantage of The People's Email Network is coordination. If some of your friends have already received one notice on a particular issue, you do not have to send out duplicate messages. In addition, it is possible that someone might want to opt-out of our recipient base and we respect that. In either case, some email addresses you might submit will not appear as an outgoing CC in your friends' email.
How do I get a question of importance to me featured on your site?
The second section of the main page allows you to vote on what primary question we will consider next. If you don't already see your issue in this "on deck" area, you may Submit your question for inclusion there. We will post the most popular issues for consideration by our other participants based on the votes in that section. Try to phrase your question in a neutral way that does not favor one side over the other by its very terms. We are also open to creating dedicated pages for any issue question you wish to champion, and ask only that you demonstrate that you have a constituency who will visit and participate in the site. In this way you may use the patent pending system of The People's Email Network as your own advocacy vehicle. Kindly contact us at for more information.
Can I send a message to just one of my senators in particular?
The check box next to each of their names controls whom you are sending to. You can leave all three boxes checked or select one or more for a particular message. To be fair, you may only send one message to each of your representatives on a particular question. But if you like you can do it individually.
Will you post a link to my own web site on your main page?
The third section of our main page is conceived of as an informational exchange for both sides of the aisle. All you have to do is post a link to our site on your own web page, and we will automatically provide you with your own link here as soon as we see any significant hits coming from you as a referring URL. You may also email us to tell us what page you would prefer for us to link to, and also get some simple button code to boost your position with us.
How will I find out how the votes are going?
Periodically, we may post information as to the outcome of the voting on the issues we address. But just like in a real election, we have considered the factor of count watching affecting the progress of the voting. Since this will be an ongoing process, we foresee a flexible and dynamic situation responsive to your own wishes, just like any other question on this site. The point is that you will make this site what it will become by your own inputs.
What is the process to opt-in or opt-out?
We intend to give you access to special extra features if you affirmatively opt-in. This will allow you to become a People's Email Network power user. It is not required for you to opt-in to send messages to congress or to use our network to mobilize your friends around the issues you care about. If you wish to affirmatively opt-out you may do so as well, which should for the most part prevent messages from our network from being addressed to do. Either way just click on the appropriate link at the top of our page. You will receive one confirming email with an encrypted code to make sure it's you and we will honor your decision.
What else can I do to support The People's Email Network?
We have a theme song, "It's Up To Us Alone", which we think you will like very much. If you would like to buy a copy of the single recording single, we would appreciate that as a way to help to defray the cost of the bandwidth which is required to maintain the network from our end. You may also make a cash donation. Either way it is simply a contribution in support, and would not be tax deductible in nature.
Can I send messages if I am not in the U.S.?
You must be a U.S. citizen to use our resource. For this reason we require that you have an email address with a top level domain based in this country (i.e., "com", "net", etc.). For service people overseas, a "mil" email address is acceptable, but you must use your stateside residence address for doing the congressional look ups, not your APO or FPO address. The same would apply to expatriats. You must demonstrate to your particular members of Congress that you are a constitutent of theirs. So enter your last stateside address (i.e. as you would use to vote absentee) in that case.
Why are some of the links like "Remove me" and "Opt-in" not working for me?
Check to make sure you are not rejecting all pop-ups indiscriminately. Some links on our page open up small pop-up functions where a full separate page would not be required. You should set your browser or anti-pop-up software to allow for this.
© 2004 The People's Email Network, Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved