I am quoted in this story about a Georgia city’s experiment with social media.
“According to Steven Polunsky at the Scholars Strategy Network at Texas A&M University, social media breaks down barriers between government officials such as Wescott and the public they serve.
“Polunsky said innovations such as Facebook and Twitter allow the public to express opinions and share information readily with officials and vice versa. …
“What if there were an easy way for citizens to share opinions with decision makers at optimal moments, when their views might really count?” Polunsky said. “New forms of social media may offer just such opportunities.”
I was interviewed for this article, which provides a case study on the use of Facebook to affect government policy. http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20160730/cyber-citizenship-using-facebook-to-engage-with-your-government
A petition, whether on paper or online, is a tool with particular uses.
You need to know what you want to accomplish before you decide if a petition is the right tool or not.
If you want to influence the passage or failure of a particular bill or piece of legislation, a petition is not the right tool. Rather, you should focus your efforts on visiting with your elected officials. Using a petition for this goal is waste of time and effort.
Bonus tips: if you organize a petition, aim it at the people who can do something about the problem. For example, don’t petition the White House if your concern is at the state legislative level. Also, if you are not a constituent, the impact of your petition will probably be reduced.