BlastRoots User Guide

The Quick Start Guide

Welcome to BlastRoots! We are founded on the premise that everyone should have the tools to  lobby their elected officials about issues they care about. And we’re free. Yep, really.

While special interests have your congressman’s ear with big bucks, you have your extensive social network. All those Facebook friends and Twitter followers? They are your big bucks. You can use BlastRoots to lobby your elected officials – and even corporations or cabinet secretaries – to act in the best interest of your cause. Here’s how.

Sign Up with BlastRoots

When you sign up with BlastRoots we ask you for your email address and zip code. We use this information to customize the site to connect you with your elected officials and to facilitate your ability to contact them. (BlastRoots will never sell your personal information. If you have any concerns about privacy on BlastRoots, please read our Privacy Policy.)

Sign Up Page

Once you’ve provided your zip code you’ll see that we automatically populate your congressional Representatives and Senators in all your campaign tactics. This is how to be most effective when contacting congress. Elected officials are interested in the views of their constituents – that is, the people who will either vote for them or vote against them. We help you have the most impact in Congress by connecting you to the officials who care most about your opinion.

You can choose not to sign up with BlastRoots but you won’t be able to join or start a campaign, or Blast to your network. You can browse campaigns to see what other people are doing. We hope you’re inspired to sign up and create your own movement!

If you decide to register or log in with Facebook or Twitter, here’s how it works:

Facebook and Twitter
BlastRoots allows you to register as a new user or log in with your Facebook or Twitter account. Registering in this way still requires you to enter your zip code in order for BlastRoots to customize the site with your elected officials. Connecting with Facebook or Twitter allows you to use the site, however you may need to provide additional information to complete certain campaign tactics, like signing a petition or emailing Congress.

Once you’re logged in with BlastRoots, you’ll find some customized pages including the following:

My Roots is your dashboard on BlastRoots. Here you’ll find all your campaigns and Blasts. In the future, we’ll add additional features to help you stay on top of your BlastRoots activities.

My Roots

• My Campaigns is where you’ll manage the campaigns you’ve created and see the ones you’ve joined. On the campaigns you manage, you may edit the campaign materials, track the actions taken on that campaign and manage campaign members.

• My Lists is dedicated to managing your email lists for connecting with potential and confirmed supporters. Create and edit lists used to Blast communications.

• My Profile will show you what information you’ve shared with BlastRoots, though not necessarily publicly. Click on Edit Your Settings to see what information is public.

Join a Campaign

If you’re like most Americans, you’d like to make your community a better place. And it shouldn’t be too hard because you have responsibilities – kids, a job, school, volunteer obligations, and, hopefully, a home to maintain. BlastRoots makes it easy to have an impact without taking up too much time.

Join a campaign and in a matter of minutes you can sign a petition, email Congress, print out a letter to Congress, Tweet Congress and recruit like-minded friends to the same cause. Let the orange tactic buttons guide your way.

Join a Campaign

Simply browse the campaigns other people have organized – they’ve written the petition, tweets and letters for you – and find a cause you want to support. It could be a local issue or something that affects American foreign policy. BlastRoots is nonpartisan and allows a wide variety of campaign ideologies. When you’ve found something you support it’s just a matter of clicks to add your voice to the community of people trying to effect real change. The more of you there are, the more likely the campaign is to succeed.

Create a Campaign

When you’re fired up about something, it’s time to organize a movement. It’s not as hard as it seems.

Create a Campaign

With BlastRoots, you can write templates for your supporters to endorse and share with their social networks.

• A letter to Congress for your supporters to email or print and mail
• Short, customized messages for them to share on Twitter
• A petition for anyone to sign, which you can download and share with the campaign target(s)
• Recruiting emails for your campaign members to Blast to their social networks

Setting up a campaign is easy, too. Go through our simple Campaign Creation wizard to ensure you don’t miss a step. Name your campaign, upload a custom image to help identify your issue, and define your own Twitter hashtag. You can do all of these in just seven steps, including writing all your campaign materials.

When you’re done, share your campaign on Facebook and Twitter; and email those friends, colleagues and family members who are likely to support your cause. Then watch as they join the campaign, and recruit their own network of supporters.

As your issue demands, you can update your campaign page by adding links to relevant web pages, upload videos, and share new information with your supporters. Keep them up to date with Blasts to the group.

With a well-articulated message and a strong social network, you can start something and change your world.

Send a “Blast”

One of the special things about BlastRoots is our unique Blast tool. This tool allows you to send a message to a group of people you choose.

Send a Blast
It may be time to update your campaign page with a news article about your issue or motivate the campaign members to recruit more supporters. Even members of a campaign can Blast to the campaign page.

The Blast tool allows you to:
• Post a message on the campaign page,
• Email a group of people,
• Send a tweet, or
• Post to Facebook.
Or do all of that at once. It’s pretty cool, and we’re pretty proud of it.

So there you have it, the Quick Start tour of BlastRoots. We’ll be adding more guides, tips and BlastRoots tricks to this section in the near future. Meanwhile, try us out. If you run into any trouble, send us Feedback from the orange button on the right side of every page. We’re really responsive because we want to help you succeed. Believe in yourself, and in
your ability to make a difference.

Go ahead, start something!

--Jennifer Fiore, BlastRoots Editorial Director