Soup’s Up!


Ron Fournier’s latest and greatest went live today.

Have at it, folks…

(Full announcement when you click below…) GOES LIVE

**New issues-based online community for the millions of Americans who want a voice in the public square and the ability to influence their nation’s course**

***Community weighs in on first “Hot Issue” –What’s the most important issue ignored by mainstream media and our leaders?***

Washington DC — OCTOBER 19, 2006 —®, a new online community for the millions of influencers who want a say in how to improve America, is now open for conversation at

National surveys show a steep decline in the public’s faith in institutions and a growing reliance on opinion leaders within their own social networks. In a recent survey conducted on the “coming soon” page, more than 5,600 people responded to this question: “When you need answers or a solution to a big problem, where are you most likely to turn?” 60 percent identified peers — family, friends, and co-workers — while only 18 percent said religious leaders, 11 percent said the government, 6 percent said community groups and 5 percent pointed to business leaders.

“One hundred years ago, communities held town hall meetings to propose ideas, debate issues and resolve problems. is the 21st century version of the town hall meeting,” said Ron Fournier, editor-in-chief. members will interact with each other in a variety of ways: weighing in on featured “Hot Issues,” commenting on breaking news, leaking news to each other, participating in in-depth discussions, and expanding their personal and professional circles through social networking. Participants can create profiles, publish, and post images and video as well as text to the site. Members are also able to indicate whether they agree or disagree with comments, and can see how their options stack up to those of their peers.

Front-and-center on’s homepage is the “Hot Issues,” section where five panelists share their viewpoints on a single issue. Currently, asks, “What is the most important issue being ignored by mainstream media and our leaders?” Athlete and activist Lance Armstrong says it is healthcare, while Bobby Muller, president of Veterans for America, makes the case that the issue most ignored is war. In August, 7,500 people responded to that same question in a poll on the community’s “coming soon” page, and the overwhelming majority (36%) said “making government work.” Now, the conversation is open to anyone and everyone who wants to join the community and weigh in on the topic. is many Web sites in one. Among its features:

• Hot Issues. The “Hot Issues” section is a rotating panel of community members each responding to a challenging question or issue. The panelists represent a broad range of industries and backgrounds. They will be five individuals you typically would not see sitting side by side, each responding to the same question from their own perspective. Community members are encouraged to rate the responses of the panelists and weigh in with their own thoughts. Future questions might include: “If Bill Gates gave you $10 billion, how would you spend it,” “Is there a cause other than yourself and family, worth dedicating your life to,” or “Is the two-party system broken?”

• Issue Loops. Issues Loops are the discussion boards, or micro-communities, embedded throughout the site that allow members to go deeper into the dialogue, engage with like-minded individuals and debate those that disagree. Almost anything that appears on HOTSOUP can be looped by a member, from a breaking news story, to a new poll that is released on the site, to one’s favorite iPod tunes.

• Networking. The Networking component of lets community members with similar interests and backgrounds find one another to communicate. Every person in the community has a user profile that consists of information such as political affiliation, personal interests and hometown. Members can search on the site based upon this information to find others with matching criteria.

• Breaking Now. Breaking Now is a running news feed that connects with HOTSOUP’s Issue Loops to allow for instant discussion and debate to begin immediately as information crosses the wires. In addition to Breaking Now, the “Hot Corner” on the home page and the News Ticker on every page will also showcase late-breaking news and even tidbits of news that are broken within the community first.

• You Reading This? This section features books, author discussions and reviews that are of interest to the community, from best-sellers, to influential novels, to lost classics. The community will routinely vote its HOTSOUP “top 10” book list.

• Polls and Opinions. In the Polls and Opinions section, members can cast their vote on issues (like the upcoming elections), and see the results. Instant analysis tracks responses by political affiliation, geography, age and gender.

ABOUT is the premier online community for the millions of influencers who want a say in how to improve America. Harnessing the power of social networking technology, HOTSOUP community members discuss and debate the topics that are relevant to their lives and critical to our country’s organized institutions – from politics and business, to religion and the media. A community comprised of involved, passionate, and concerned individuals, HOTSOUP will turn the pathways of influence in this nation upside down as community members help rewrite the national agenda and leaders engage with their constituencies in new ways.

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