Among the throngs of tech celebrities at the SXSW Festival in Austin going on this week, Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker and Former Vice President Al Gore. Both men took to the stage on Monday night together to engage one another in a discussion on the transformative effect they believe the Internet is having on American politics. More pointedly, they were there to discuss Parker’s latest investments, including a startup company called Votizen , which was founded in 2009, and into which he and several celebrities recently invested $750,000 and a total $2.25 million to date.
Former Vice President Al Gore’s most memorable line from the SXSW Festival was that he thought “democracy has been hacked ,” by money and special interest spending, and that the fix was to be found in the Internet tools, specifically the crowdsourcing campaign and voter lookup activities offered by Votizen and another community organizing startup he’s invested in, called NationBuilder , which allow users to create their own “nations,” i.e. communities.