It was January 2009, the hopes of a nation were placed on a new President who ran on a platform of change. As former Obama New Media campaign staffers, when starting IB5k we looked for ways to make good on this promise.
Starting with Congress, we interviewed everyone we could about what they needed most, and almost all offices pointed to congressional correspondence — what the public sends into them via email, post and phone calls. At the time, they received so much correspondence there was no reasonable way to read it all, let alone understand it by today’s modern analytical standards. (Read Recommendations for Improving the Democratic Dialogue for more.)
IB5k, working in a non-partisan fashion, found a partner in the U.S. House Republican leadership. With their assistance, we developed a piece of software that not only fit their particular and unique needs, we were able to make history together. Never before has the constituent correspondence of the American public been made so comprehensible to their elected officials. (Learn more about Correlate.)
As you may be aware, it’s not always easy to work within the constraints and complexities of the government, let alone deploy a new piece of software in the sensitive and regulated area of constituent correspondence. IB5k, through its nimble design process and the awesome cooperation and help of Congressional staff was able to navigate the intricate bureaucracy, leaving existing processes intact while making a meaningful improvement.