The tie up with the progressive canvassing app is a first for the non-partisan video sharing platform.
Bart Myers, CEO of countable.us, said his company has no plans to abandon its non-partisan business model despite what could be a successful expansion into Democratic campaigns.
“We still work with folks on all sides,” Myers said. “Organizer has a uniquely innovative platform that enables the bridging of live supporter acquisition with online reengagements. It’s a great model.”
Cultivating business on both sides of the industry has been increasingly challenging since 2016.
For instance, NationBuilder has faced blowback on the left for working with the Trump campaign and upstart competitors are using that association to chip business away from the technology company.
If Countable does go Democratic, it would follow other poli-tech firms that have shifted into a partisan business model through their partnerships.
To wit, Hustle, which like Countable was a Bay Area startup, became a Democratic firm after its link up with NGP VAN. Explaining the decision to go partisan, Perry Rosenstein, a co-founder of Hustle, told C&E last fall: “We realized the importance of what we were going.”
For now, the ultimate beneficiary of the Organizer-Countable partnership will be progressive campaigns and causes, according to Joy Friedman, chief revenue officer at Organizer.
Her firm is not open to cultivating business on the right. Working only with progressives “was a very strict decision that we made as a company, and Countable is aware of that and they’re perfectly OK with it,” said Friedman.
Still, she sees a natural fit between the companies.
“We’re both civic engagement apps, and unlike so many apps popping up, we are first and foremost about listening,” she said. “Plugging the two of us together became the real, natural next step.”
The partnership developed after Myers and Friedman met for coffee a few months ago. Part of the usefulness of tapping into Countable’s video harvesting capability is that it helps voters feel heard and counteracts fake news, said Friedman.
“There are gaps that are really hindering engagement out there and progressives just don’t feel like they’re being heard,” she said.
“People have come to this place where they believe the people that they know, and they believe the one-on-one conversations with people.”
The service, which is available by signing on as a client to both platforms, works like this: An Organizer script is written with a branch of questioning that includes the countable URL. When a voter at the door agrees to have his or her video taken by the canvasser, the file is then uploaded to the cloud.
Countable touts these videos as working either as supporter testimonials or fodder for “user-generated” ads. Campaigns can get access to the video in real-time.
Friedman said she’s excited to see what her company’s clients to decide to do with the platform. “It’s incumbent on us [as technologists] to try new things and bring new things to the forefront,” she said.