A model idiot? Representative democracy for the social network age.

I'm a bit of an idiot to worry too much about what to write here. You're probably reading this to learn more about my work on Capitol Bells. Accordingly, in this post I'll outline my model for constituent engagement, and how we can use it to rally our friends on important stuff.

The "game" of Capitol Bells is relatively simple. There are officials and users (that's you), and they each belong to a district (that's where you live). Officials can cosponsor bills at any time and can vote on bills if they reach the Floor (I'm talking real world). Capitol Bells users can vote on any bill at any time. Uniquely, users can also vote on a bill by approving a "motion."

"Motions" are a fancy way of asking your friends to vote your way on a bill.  Motions can be created to either support or oppose any bill. The creator (you) adds a headline - less than 100 characters - and may attach a hyperlink (hopefully a substantive resource - but that's your call).  Approving a supporting motion adds an upvote on the user's behalf; approving an opposing motion downvotes the bill for the user. Because motions will be available via web app, anyone can share links for them anywhere - Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, etc.

A fun twist I am playing with is giving clout points to active users. For instance, you could get one point for every bill you vote on. You could also get a point when a friend joins a motion you shared with her, and a half a point for each or her friends who join. We could run leader boards of the most active and influential constituents in a district by clout points.  Maybe those power users could even decide to publicly share their own virtual voting profiles, and offer themselves up as candidates for Congress....

And check this out... Unbelievable, right?