Newspaper editors in New Zealand should be shaking in their boots but sadly they don't realise what fate is about to befall them.
The Green Party is about to launch a new version of its website that will include a cunning new feature: cyber activism. Developed by the Greens' Lynne Serpe, who is a member of the national campaign committee, the site will include a "letter to the editor" button.
"Basically they will be able to fill in a letter to the editor and then go to a drop-down list of every editor in the country," says Serpe. She says Green party members are known activists but are often pressed for time – writing a letter and posting it or finding the right fax number or email address often means the letter doesn't get sent. So the Greens hope to take the trouble out of letter writing campaigns with the new site.
"They can select certain publications or all of them or any combination. We've included a check box so they can send the letter to us as well so we can see what's being done."
Serpe has worked on similar Green campaigns in the US and says in California a similar scheme proved very popular.
"We had [Ralph] Nader's campaign telling people to go to our site to use the tool."
Serpe says the Greens have a lot of grass roots support (no pun intended) and this is an easy way for them to become more involved.
The site will go live in a couple of weeks. Editors take note.