Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Announcing Northwest Roots

The Northwest Progressive Institute is pleased this morning to announce the launch of a new communications and networking service for local progressive activists - Northwest Roots, or NWroots for short.

The goal of this project is to provide local bloggers and activists with an all in one service for e-mail, instant messaging (real time conversations over the Net) and personal/event planning. Here's a Q&A about how this all works.

Why are you doing this?
We launched this project because we want to facilitate better communication among the local and regional netroots (hence, Northwest Roots). It's a decentralized network, meaning every participant is in the driver's seat, free to pursue their own projects, work on their own causes, and forge relationships with other activists.

What are the benefits?
Every participant gets a new, clean email address (like [email protected]) with more than 2 GB for email storage. Participants can also use their account to create their own personal calendar and view the master NWroots calendar, which will list events, meetings, and functions of interest to the community. And upon joining, each participant is added to the contact list of every other participant. It's like having a base of new acquaintances to build on instead of merely starting with a blank address book.

What's the cost?
There is no cost to participants - zero. It's completely free.

Who can sign up?
Any progressive or Democratic activist living in Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, or Montana can apply to join. If you have your own blog, or you're already involved in a progressive organization or Democratic Party, be sure to mention that when you apply - it'll allow us to process your application faster. You do not need to be an NPI member to join NWroots, although existing and future members of the Northwest Progressive Institute are entitled to automatic access to the service. If you'd like to join both NPI and NWroots now, you only need to fill out our Join Us form.

What if I already have an email/IM provider and or calendar software?
You can still sign up, of course. But don't submit an application unless you intend to use or at least try out the NWroots service. Otherwise, you're just denying someone else the opportunity to become a participant and enjoy it. A limited number of accounts are currently available. If you join and decide later you don't want or need the service, you can request that your account be deleted so another progressive can have the chance to join.

How does it work?
You access the service (including webmail, web calendar, and chat) through your Internet browser (for example, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.) Optionally, you may download software for enhanced instant message capabilities.

If I join, will I only be able to use my account for political work?
No. You can use it for all your communications needs. It's just like having an account with a free webmail provider, i.e. Hotmail or Yahoo, except that it comes pre-loaded with tools for networking with other progressives.

My question wasn't answered.
Contact us with your questions, or if you really want to, go ahead and submit an application so you can try out the NWroots service for yourself.

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