When Washington 1st Congressional District candidate Darcy Burner delivered the June 8 keynote address at the Netroots Nation 2012 Conference in Providence, R.I., unveiling an idea for a smartphone app that would allow users to identify whether the products they buy come courtesy of companies that contribute to right-wing causes, she knew she had a decent idea on her hands. But what she didn't realize is just how much buzz it would garner.
But that's exactly what has happened with Burner's proposed smartphone app, which has received headlines on both sides of the Atlantic and generated a fair amount of buzz for the three-time congressional candidate here in her home state. Designed to empower consumers with greater knowledge about where their hard-earned dollars are going - for instance, as Burner points out, the Koch brothers, long loathed by liberals, own companies responsible for a bevy of household products, from Brawny paper towels to Angel Soft toilet paper - it might not be long until Burner's app comes to fruition.
"People are incredibly frustrated by government of, by, and paid for by large corporations," says Burner. "The more frustrated people become, the more ingenious they'll become trying to solve the problem."
And so her app idea was born. While Burner, a Harvard-educated former software developer at Lotus Development and Microsoft, is quick to note that she's probably not the first person to scheme up such an idea, she may be the most high-profile, which is likely why it has received the attention it has. Buoyed by coverage in places like Forbes and The Guardian, Burner says the reaction has been "bigger than I was expecting," with people's opinions generally falling in one of three categories.
Not surprisingly, Burner says she's heard from a number of conservatives who are "infuriated," by the potential app. But she also says she's received "hundreds of emails" from people who either want to know where to get the app, or how they can help make it a reality.
Burner says the app is still in the early stages of development, and she expects to produce more detailed specs in the next few weeks.
"It's going to be a collaborative effort," says Burner, "which is exactly how we should be solving problems at this point."?
While Burner says her keynote address at the Netroots Nation 2012 Conference - where all this app talk started nearly three weeks ago - "wasn't a stump speech," she has noticed its impact on her ongoing campaign for Washington's 1st Congressional District seat.
"I certainly think the talk I gave 2 ½ weeks ago has had some impact on the race," says Burner. "The fact so many people are talking about what I proposed has changed the way people look at me as a candidate for Congress."
Considering the fact Burner is 0-for-2 in her previous congressional bids, that might not be a bad thing.
Find video of Burner's keynote address at the Netroots Nation 2012 Conference on the following page ...
Darcy Burner delivers the keynote address at the Netroots Nation 2012 Conference: