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Revision as of 21:55, 3 July 2007 by Tim Erickson (Talk | contribs)

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Official Invitation

Dear Candidate X,

We would like to officially invite you, should you win the primary, to participate in the 2006 Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate. The tradition of online candidate debates in Minnesota dates back to 1994. We would be pleased to secure your participation in 2006.

E-debates are known for their substance in an era of sound bytes and for providing a new and increasingly essential avenue for civic engagement.

The e-debate is led by E-Democracy.Org, a non-partisan non-profit based in Minnesota with the generous support of the Blandin Foundation and their Broadband Initiative. Media and online partners are now organizing to ensure broad public access and awareness of the e-debate. Content from the debate may appear across many web sites.

The e-debate will take place over two weeks from October 8 to October 19 using a very simple format. The format is not "live." However, like an in-person debate there are responses and rebuttals on a controlled virtual stage reserved for the candidates.

  • Week One
    • Opening Statement
    • Themes 1 and 2 - Response and Rebuttal
    • 5 Short Answer Questions
  • Week Two
    • Themes 3 and 4 - Response and Rebuttal
    • 5 Short Answer Questions
    • Closing Statement

The e-debate will occur primarily in text with audio and video options available. Answers to the four themed questions (up to 400 word responses) and ten short answer questions (up to 100 words) can be drafted ahead of time and signed off on by the candidate.

Key to the debate are the four major theme rebuttals - only two each week. This is where a candidate responds to those candidates they care to engage.

With an e-debate, the audience decides which candidates to read, listen to, or watch. Experience tells us that interactive rebuttals help a candidate stand out.

The balanced debate questions will be crafted based on public input from across the Internet. With our connection to the Broadband Initiative, half of the questions will have an Internet/broadband theme which will be of particular interest to voters in Greater Minnesota. This will make the content of the e-debate quite unique.

NOTE: The October 18-19 Broadband Summit, also supported by the Blandin Foundation, is a separate event.

Detailed rules with specific content submission deadlines will be produced before we expect a final agreement to participate. An indication of your tentative interest with the assignment of a lead campaign contact is what we seek no later than September 15, 2006.


Some exciting *optional* innovations in the works include:

  • Audio Rebuttals - Since the four major rebuttals are required (no word limits) within 24 hours of the simultaneous release of initial responses, we want to make it as easy as possible for a candidate to submit their rebuttal. Therefore, candidates may call-in and record their response via a voicemail system and we will transcribe those responses. The audio will be shared first online, then the written text.
  • Video Opening Statements - utilizing YouTube. This will be the world's first candidate debate launched on this buzz generating service. Candidates may submit and record their own video or we will show up with our video camera to record an up to 3 minute opening statement as arranged. Also, candidates may *optionally* upload video responses they record with their own equipment based on the text responses we do require for full accessibility. Remember, all initial 4 responses and 10 short answer questions can be prepared in advance. A short training session will be offered on YouTube.
  • Getting to Know You Podcast Interview - An optional audio podcasts where the candidate will be interviewed for up to 15 minutes the week before the debate with lighter questions provided in advance. This pre-debate content will be geared toward younger voters and help generate interest in the debate. The recorded interview will occur simply via telephone.


We feel we are designing an innovative e-debate that allows busy staff and campaign volunteers to assist while ensuring the authenticity of the candidate's voice.


In the coming weeks we will answer any questions you have as we move from any tentative interest your campaign expresses to a full promise of participation in time for our publicity campaign. Please expect a telephone call from me immediately after the primary.


Sincerely,

Steven Clift E-Democracy.Org 612-822-8667

P.S. To assist our future communication, all campaigns must designate a primary contact by September 15:

Name: Title: E-mail: Telephone: Mobile: (Optional) Primary Instant Messenger: (Optional) Instant Messenger Handle: Role in the campaign:

(Optional) Secondary contact:

Name: Title: E-mail: Telephone: Mobile: (Optional) Primary Instant Messenger: (Optional) Instant Messenger Handle: Role in the campaign:

Please send contact information to: e-debates@e-democracy.org

Version from 2000

To: Candidate For US Senate From: Tim Erickson, MN E-Democracy Debate Coordinator

We would like to officially invite you to participate in our on-line pre-caucus Senate debate, taking place from Feb 21 - March 3.

This year, we have implemented several new ways to harness the interactivity of the internet to involve the audience in shaping the final debate. Citizens from around the state will have the opportunity to submit questions and themes to the debate committee, from which eight possible topics will be chosen. The debate audience (subscribers) will then have the opportunity to vote on-line for the four final topics around which the debate will be structured.

The actual format of the debate will involve the following:

I) Opening Statements (500 words or less) Feb 21

II) Discussion of the four selected themes (2 days each)

  • Theme One: Feb 22-23
  • Theme Two: Feb 24-25
  • Theme Three: Feb 28-29
  • Theme Four: March 1-2

Each theme will require:

  • A) Answering one long format question (500 words or less)
  • B) Submitting one rebuttal (500 words or less)
  • (C) Answering up to five short format questions submitted by audience members (Each answer =100 words or less)

III) Closing Statement (500 words or less)

We must receive written notification of your intention to participate in the debate by Feb. 11, 2000. Written notification may be made via e-mail or regular mail.

Send e-mail notifications to:

mn-edem2000@egroups.com

Postal notifications should be sent to the following address:

Tim Erickson Debate Coordinator 1442 Thomas Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 651-917-8741 or my home number 651-643-0722.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Tim Erickson MN E-Democracy Debate Coordinator


Request for Primary Contact

Response Requested before Wednesday, January 19

Attention U.S. Senate campaigns, E-Democracy is in the process of organizing our 2000 pre-caucus U.S. Senate E-Debate, scheduled for Feb. 21 - March 3. We need to identify a contact person within each of the campaigns with whom we can communicate the details and arrange for each candidate's participation.

Please identify one person for your campaign as a primary contact and provide us with the following information for the debate and our widely distributed online candidate directory:

Candidate Name: Campaign Web Site: Campaign E-mail: Campaign Telephone: Campaign FAX Number: Campaign Mailing Address:


Campaign Headquarters Location:


Primary E-Democracy Contact for Campaign

Contact Name: Contact E-mail: Contact Phone: Contact Cell Phone: Contact Pager:

Your primary contact should be someone closely connected with the campaign with the authority to represent the campaign to E-Democracy.

A secondary or back-up contact would also be very useful.

Back-up Contact: E-mail: Office Phone: Cell Phone: Pager:

We will be contacting these people within the next 10 days with more detailed information about the debate.

Please send information to Tim Erickson at:

designit@visi.com


Thanks for your cooperation,

Tim Erickson E-Democracy 2000 Debate Coordinator designit@visi.com (651) 917-8741 (O) (651) 643-0722 (H)

 

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