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News, opinion website offers readers chance to take action on passions

Reading the news can be frustrating. Many people are passionate about the issues they read up on, but at the end of an article, they are left without an easy way to take action.
Sure you can Google your state representatives, find their website, track down their contact form and then send them your very politely worded message about how stupid you think they are. However, odds are when you open a new tab in your browser, you’ll have a sudden impulse to check your favorite website “just for a second” before you get to the important business at hand.
Two status updates and four cat videos later, you have completely forgotten why you opened the tab in the first place.
Or maybe while tracking down where you can send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, you get frustrated after the ninth pop-up ad and give up.
One of the biggest problems most people have with reading the news is that they don’t feel like there is anything they can do about what is going on in the world. So why bother? The news will just bum you out anyway.
There is no direct link between what people are reading and being able to actually do something about it.
TheBlaze.com, a news and opinion site, is attempting to change that.
A new initiative unveiled Saturday at an event in Cincinnati will allow readers to click a link and be instantly connected to a page where they can do something about the story they have just read.
If that article was about a hurricane, the reader will be linked to sites where they can donate money or volunteer their time.
Just finished an article about freedom of speech that has you all worked up? Click the “take action” button on that page and simply enter your zip code. You will be presented with a form that will allow you to send a letter to the editor of every local newspaper in your area. All you have to do is check a box for the papers you want, type your letter, and the site will send it to all of the publications you have selected.
Stories about pending legislation, or the “take action” button at the top of the main page, will link to a page that lists all of your congressional representatives, their phone numbers, their fax numbers and even their office addresses.
From that same page, you can also link to the congressmen’s websites, their contact form or check their voting record on an outside site called FreedomWorks.
As a member of FreedomWorks, this is especially convenient for me because each representative also has a scorecard that shows how well the congressman is doing in voting for the organization’s goals of, “lower taxes, less government, more freedom.” The higher the score, the better the representative is doing.
For people that don’t agree with that political philosophy, just pretend it’s golf. Lower scores are better.
In the future, members of theBlaze.com who share stories on social media sites will be notified about how many people have read a particular story because they shared it.
Brilliant.
People are far more likely to get the word out about a story if they can see concrete results from their actions.
If people feel like they can have an impact on the issues they read about and can track the impact they are having on their friends, then they are sure to become more engaged in and informed about current events.
The more people read and share, the better educated we become as a whole. Having an informed population is essential to the well being of our country.
Thomas Jefferson said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people … They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
Maybe with The Blaze’s innovations in getting people actively engaged in current events, people will consume more news and fewer cat videos.
 

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