Gun Safety E-Mail Launch Sees Ripple Effect

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The couple who helped raise $13 million in pledges and create a database of 500,000 people through 150 e-mails and their Clinton anti-impeachment site, www.moveon.org, have themselves moved on and started another petition, this time for gun control.


The petition, called Gun Safety First, comes on the heels of the shooting tragedy at Colombine High School in Littleton, CO, last month. And similar to the anti-impeachment petition, Gun Safety First is another example of viral marketing. In a little more than two weeks MoveOn.org has received over 70,000 signatures for its new petition.


"We sent out e-mails about the petition to the people we acquired in the original database," said Joan Blades, who along with her husband Wes Boyd, created MoveOn.org. "At this point I am not sure how many people have actually received it. I think it's still trickling out to people."


Blades said because a number of people in their original database have changed e-mail addresses or moved, there are still a number of them who have not received it. She also believes that since it is a word-of-mouth type campaign there should be a number of unique names on this petition that do not appear on the first.


"We are not sure as to how many people are unique on this list," she said, "but we will be checking that out in the future."


For this petition MoveOn.org has not asked for nor has it received any monetary pledges. There are also plans to start a newsletter to keep those who signed the petition informed of the goings on at MoveOn.org.


"We haven't been communicating with the people on the petitions," she said. "We want to be very respectful of their privacy, but we will be starting a newsletter in the near future to keep them informed."


In January, MoveOn.org launched the Censure and Move On site and managed to raise $13 million in pledges and build a database of 500,000 people from sending out only 150 e-mails. Blades said they will find out in the year 2000 how much of those pledges will turn into donations when the elections take place.


The money pledged was to be used in campaigns for people who either voted against the impeachment of Clinton, or for new candidates running against incumbents who voted for impeachment. Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives, but the Senate voted not to remove him from office.


Blades and Boyd helped develop the popular game series You Don't Know Jack and are the founders of Berkley Systems.
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