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The Left has been energized, now they need to get organized. Strong relationships are the foundation of grassroots organizing. Yet finding fellow progressives who are truly interesting and engaged is a difficult process on Twitter. It's easy to find national voices, television personalities, and celebrities. But what about real people organizing for collective action in their communities? Even more difficult: finding people near you. We've been asked again and again, how do I find supporters in my state? If we've learned anything over the years, it's this: listen to the people and give them what they want.
When you log into UniteBlue, we look up all of the accounts you follow on Twitter. We then present a suggested list of Twitter accounts that you are not already following. You can select the accounts you want to follow, up to 50 a day in the current version, and then ask us to follow them for you. You can also find Twitter accounts by state to follow.
We use a set of advanced heuristics and artificial intelligence techniques to scan the Twittersphere for the most politically active accounts on the left. We then rank them based on a sophisticated algorithm involving their account statistics, following and tweeting patterns, and words they use to describe themselves. To make sure the people we select are really on the political left, we then review all of the accounts by hand. The result isn't perfect, but it's pretty impressive. We believe this is the largest and most carefully selected list of progressives and Democrats available for Twitter. We're not stopping here, however. We have an ongoing program to grow this list on a regular basis. We think we can add people faster than you can follow them.
Our goal is to increase the visibility of the most effective tweeters for the left. To make that possible we have created our own ranking system for progressives and Democrats that we call BlueRank. This measurement sorts suggested follows on a range of numbers that include how often they retweet Democratic incumbents, and the number of left political hashtags they use in tweets. BlueRank is a percentile rank, meaning that a score of 100 is in the top 1% of all the accounts we track, and a score of 50 is about average. Each account's avatar has its BlueRank displayed in the lower left corner in blue. If you hover your cursor over a suggested follow account, you will see a breakdown of all the factors used to calculate that user's BlueRank. Really geeky, social media types can get more details on this ranking system.
The current version of UniteBlue.com is completely free and a robust set of features will remain free forever. We have a lot of enhancements planned for the future, and some of those new features will require a very fair payment. Follow our Twitter account for updates on site improvements.
Zach Green is the founder of UniteBlue.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.