Votocracy looks to shake-up 2012 presidential race, recruits Average Joes to campaign online

Think you’re better equipped to run for president than Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? If so, Votocracy wants to give you a shot at the White House.

The Seattle startup, led by former Microsoft vice president Bryan Lee and former HomeGrocer.com CEO Terry Drayton, has developed a new social media platform where any U.S. citizen (with a passion for politics and $99 to spare) can toss his or her hat into the race.

Candidates compete on Votocracy to win support of “voters” in online primaries, raising funds from fans and sharing their views through video messages and other online techniques.

Then, after 51 state primaries are concluded, the company says it will host a nationally-televised reality show to pick the top candidate.  Votocracy, which is tightly integrated with Facebook, writes:

…Presidential candidates don’t need deep pockets, years of political experience or notoriety – they just need the drive to compete and a passion for change – and a political platform to elevate their visibility.

Let’s face it, how we nominate and select a president is broken. Is this the way to fix it?

The concept is a bit like King of the Web, the Seattle startup backed by Rich Barton, Nick Hanauer and others. On that site, individuals utilize social media tools to compete for bragging rights online, also known as “King of the Web.” Votocracy is doing much the same thing, just for those who think they can run the country.

Lee previously worked as an entertainment executive at Microsoft, overseeing the company’s efforts in music, television and video. While Lee said hat King of the Web offers a decent example of crowd sourcing, he said the similarities stop there.

In his view, Votocracy is “creating a movement in the way the average American” participates in the political conversation.

“And while we are harnessing social networks to generate participation, Votocracy is taking the concept to the next level by incorporating a nationally-televised reality show to uncover ‘America’s Next Presidential Candidate,’” he said.

Details on the TV show are not yet available, with Lee saying they are currently in conversations with “many of the top television networks.”

Lee declined to disclose how much the company has raised to date. But a filing last month with the SEC indicates that it raised $600,000 of a $1 million round, listing Lee, Drayton and Remerinc CEO Dave Remer as executives.

Here’s a closer look at Votocracy, but in the meantime let us know what you think about the concept?

 

  • Anonymous

    Cool idea. I am so running for president :)

  • Anonymous

    Doesnt matter, they are all the same. They tell you everything you want to hear to get your vote, then slap you in the face once elected. http://www.complete-privacy.no.tc

  • Brad

    John:

    Why are you shilling for a man that took millions of
    dollars from children?

     

    http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2008/12/Drayton_this_is_not_my_legacy36916179.html

    Why not do a story updating the Count Me In scandal, with a final tally of all the money missing and whether Terry Drayton ever followed through on restitution.  To do a story like the one above and not mention Count Me In is really shocking.

  • Cdriggs

    Terry Drayton is the biggest crook.  He stole over 5 million dollars from youth sports programs across the country – Google “Count Me In”.  He personally told me to “get over it”, all the while owing my organization $45,000.  This guy will lie, steal, and cheat you.

  • TerryDrayton

    Drayton has been a failure at everything he’s tried to do – Homegrocer, Countmein, Rainier software – all the while making himself millions of dollars at the expense of others.  This seems like another in a long line of failures.  This has scam written all over it.

  • http://technbiz.blogspot.com paramendra

    Would be curious to see where this goes. 

  • Ebonfaerie

    Here’s what I love: I received an email from Votocracy saying that I’d signed up so I followed the link to unsubscribe. Want to know how they got my email address? Facebook. Pisses me off royally since it’s completely private information. I view this invasion of privacy just like scam emails and after reading about the man behind it, I knew I smelled a rat.

  • Ebonfaerie

    Here’s what I love: I received an email from Votocracy saying that I’d signed up so I followed the link to unsubscribe. Want to know how they got my email address? Facebook. Pisses me off royally since it’s completely private information. I view this invasion of privacy just like scam emails and after reading about the man behind it, I knew I smelled a rat.