Who’s Side Are You On?
In the time it takes to read this article, thousands of tech-savvy voters will choose sides on major political issues through a simple quiz on iSideWith.com. Site founders Nick Boutelier and Taylor Peck’s aim for their quiz to help aspiring politicos prioritize political issues and to choose options that determine their association with one presidential candidate over another. iSideWith.com offers only one quiz with the ability to share results through social media. Its founders believe “if voters are reminded which political issues are important to them,” the 2012 race to the White House will continue to interest and engage Americans.
With just over 100 days until polls open, Peck created “a simple tool” where voters “across the political spectrum could communicate their beliefs with family and friends.” The website, founded in March, is self-funded, self-researched, and self-built by Peck and Boutelier.
To date, the site has drawn traffic from more than a half million users. The site’s creators have received both positive and negative feedback on its content and construction. According to Peck, negative responses came from “users who were frustrated their beliefs were not represented in the answer options.” Allowing users to input their own responses solved the problem.
iSideWith gives quiz takers a percentage score based on their similarities with different candidates on current political policies. Although it is likely that a user may identify with more than one candidate, because users rank issues by importance, results can show more narrowly who the user sides with.
Issue driven voters can use iSideWith.com in an uncomplicated manner to decide which issues hold greatest importance to them. So far the issues ranked “Most Important” by the site’s users, in order are: gay marriage, taxes, the debt ceiling, bank bailouts, and the 2009 Economic Stimulus Program.
Peck and Boutelier won’t reveal where their alliances lie, and without outside funding, hope to keep iSideWith.com an unbiased source of clarity. Nevertheless they say that iSideWith is a work in progress that serves to algorithm American political beliefs for the benefit of 2012voters.