Software links delegates to 'grassroots'

Delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be able to use communication

and collaboration software developed and hosted by an application service

provider (ASP) to plan convention events.

Next week, all 5,000 delegates will be able to use the software to communicate

with fellow Democrats inside and outside the Staples Center, the arena in

Los Angeles where the convention will take place starting Monday.

The application, developed by Event411.com Inc., Marina del Rey, Calif.,

has been in limited use by several hundred people for the past two weeks.

Passwords have been given to all the delegates and to a wider group of Democrats.

Event411.com customizes its meeting software for every event it works on

and spent about a month preparing the collaboration service for the Democrats.

Four levels of access were set up:

* Two levels allow the development and planning of events at the convention

and provide full communications capabilities to the designated users.

* Another lets convention delegates schedule events on their personal calendars

and send and receive e-mail.

* A fourth that lets "friends and family" communicate with the delegates.

Delegate Doug Stone, an attorney from Kansas City, Mo., and chairman of

the Democratic Party organization in his county, said he has already used

the collaboration technology to generate ideas for party activities. For

example, he created working groups for planning fund-raising and social

events with other county-level party officials whose areas have similar

population demographics.

He added that he sees the collaboration service as a vehicle for helping

local politicians like him "grow the party at the grassroots level."

Event411.com is letting the Democrats use the software for free and made

the same offer to the Republican Party for its convention last week. But

officials at the company said they never heard back from the GOP's organizing

committee.

Distributed by IDG News Service.

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