Democrats go dot-com
- By William Matthews
- Jun 12, 2000
In a bid to tap the appeal of the Internet, the Democratic National Committee
is offering free Internet service to anyone with a computer and a telephone
The service, freeDEM.com, provides users with news, sports scores, weather,
links to online shopping, the ability to send and receive e-mail, Internet
access and a healthy dose of Democratic campaign rhetoric. The site invites
users to register to vote, volunteer to help the campaign and, of course,
contribute to the Democratic Party.
"This election year, technology allows us to be more open than ever
before. We invite you to participate in the drafting of our 2000 Democratic
Platform," says a message from presidential candidate Al Gore, who has made
the Internet and electronic government a key issue in his campaign.
FreeDEM Internet service is provided through MillionEyes.com, a Bethesda,
Md., marketing company that produces free Internet and e-mail services that
companies can offer clients. Advertising targeted toward users' profiles
and Internet habits pays for the service.
Offering free Internet service has the potential to generate excitement
and participation in the Democratic Party, said Michael Cornfield, research
director of George Washington University's Democracy Online Project. "Right
now, it's a creative ploy. We'll know how brilliant it was when we see how
much time and effort they spend" keeping it up-to-date and interesting,