Once More unto the Breach, Dear Friends

Blood & guts, maming & dismembering, fine, but Benj wants us to test Charitocracy?!

The day has come for you to help in a very real way. I want you to do a quick beta test! I've given you a test credit card # to use below, so it's only your time I need right now, about 15-20 minutes? But it has to be before the clock strikes midnight (EDT) on Thursday night June 30! Yeah, that means today or tomorrow, the sooner the better!

10-Step Test Script (or as many as you can!)

  1. Go here! (Thanks, and stay tuned for next round of testing!)
  2. Sign up, which includes choosing a recurring donation plan. Use credit card # 4242-4242-4242-4242, any future expiration date, and any 3 digits for CVC code. Feel free to use a fun fictional username, but email address has to be real for account creation. And please use your real full name in the signup form so I'll know who it is if you have issues!
  3. Choose one of these two options (or sign up twice with two different email addresses and do both for double the fun):
    • Nominate a cause, especially if you're one of the earliest testers. Nomination will lock in your full vote for the month. Or...
    • Vote for one or more causes that have already been nominated. You can split your vote amongst up to 5 causes. You can even adjust the split.
  4. Add to the discussion of as many causes as you want, but please comment on at least one. Don't worry, it's 90% friends and family in here and I'll be deleting all of this beta test content before we go live. Say whatever you like! Feel free to experiment with fancy formatting, video links, etc.
  5. Like some other nominated causes, after all, they're free! You get one vote (split up to 5-ways) but as many Likes as you... like.
  6. Sweeten the pot by adding a one-time donation. Be generous, it's only play money for now!
  7. Get on the map by entering your rough location (or a fictional one) into your profile, if you didn't do it during sign-up. You can fine-tune or remove your rough location at any time.
  8. Give yourself a profile pic if you like. It'll make beta testing more fun this way, I promise!
  9. Change your donation by increasing or decreasing your recurring donation plan or cancelling future donations. You could also try changing your credit card #, though you'd just change it to the same pretend one above, so it's a bit silly.
  10. Report bugs that you encounter, or things you're not sure about. If it wasn't easy enough to self-discover how to achieve the objectives above, let me know! I'd much rather hear it from you while I can fix it than from strangers after we go live. Post your feedback as a reply to this blog or on Facebook or in a private message or email. Equally valuable would be a message saying "I ran through your script on my <details of your PC/phone/tablet, browser> and it all just worked!"


  • Not yet Mac retina-friendly! Doh!
  • When held in standard portrait orientation on iPhone (and probably other small devices), text is cramped and wraps funny sometimes. The commenter's avatar floats in a weird spot! But everything should work.
  • Social aspects of site (friending, display name, notifications, privacy) aren't totally complete yet, but some parts are there.
  • Pitch video and other pre-signup materials are not in place yet.
  • Celebrate page, which will have leader boards and info on winning causes is not complete (or even started yet).
  • It all needs to be a bit faster and prettier, agreed. But do report to me if things were unusably slow or unbearably ugly. I need to know!
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

An Object in Motion

Pie in the Sky painting by Doug Rugh
painting by Doug Rugh

We've been on the move since the kids finished school, first taking them to western North Carolina for overnight camp, then Washington, New York City, and finally Massachusetts. It has been extremely difficult to get in "the zone" when the zone for me is usually 12+ hours of uninterrupted Charitocracy code warfare. This northerly migration has been great for family time, but terrible for productivity!

That all changed yesterday. I sat myself down outside Pie in the Sky in Woods Hole, and only left my "desk" to order breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, and to feed the meter. At around 7pm open mic night started, so the last 2 or 3 hours of my 10-hour stint included fantastic live entertainment. After returning to Dad's house in Cataumet, I completed my 16-hour work day, decimating my Charitocracy ToDo list just as the birds outside starting their own open mic.

I'll post again real soon since I want you all to start testing before the end of this month, probably TOMORROW! In the meantime, speaking of Dad, here he is modeling his Father's Day present (cliché-alert: while working the grill). I found it appropriate that a running shirt be Charitocracy's first swag. We are non-stop!

Running Billboard Back

Running Billboard Front

Jefferson Has My Vote

It's all about the Hamiltons baby

This has been an amazingly productive week. Less sleep, more dark chocolate, you know the drill. But I've also been propelled by all the Hamilton stuck in my head. Maybe you've heard of it? I hadn't when I was introduced to Kurt Crowley, Hamilton’s associate music director, conductor, and keyboardist on the set of our mutual friend's indie film last summer. "Never heard of it," I proclaimed. Glad to hear it's finally just starting to catch on now.

After first tackling registration and donation, then cause nominations, and most recently the discussion forum, I've finally now moved on to perhaps the site's most important component: voting! With "The Election of 1800" ringing in my ears, I embed democracy inside Charitocracy. No matter how much you donate, each donor gets one vote. You can, however, spread your 1 vote across up to 5 causes if you like, each getting a fraction which you can adjust. And then in addition to voting, you can also "like" as many causes as you want, giving them greater visibility to other donors. (Our founding fathers would have added a Like button, too, but they were still using paper ballots back then. How archaic!)

I hope to complete this last major component within a few weeks so I can open up the site to beta testers in time for a mock election at the end of June. If that goes well then I'll push to go live for real paying donors as early as July!

Rise up, time to take a shot: of espresso