Friday, March 30, 2007

Online Resident Businesses as a voter bloc

It appears a new breed of voter has emerged very quickly from the tumult engulfing Loudoun County's development and transportation morass. Leaving aside the party faithful and religious right, many residents can be neatly partitioned into smart-growth or anti-growth categories (thereby trending Democratic), or dyed-in-the-wool by-right (i.e. larger landowners, businesses unto themselves, and therefore trending Republican). Most local businesses and business owners tend to stray pro-growth or by-right, and therefore support the Snow agenda (in this area, at least). But what about those voters who are both residents AND business owners, primarily home-based with no large physical infrastructure investments? Mom-inventors, Real Estate agents, home-based Internet businesses and Ebayers, etc. There's a lot of this going on in the Dulles Region; most have an online presence that's locally-oriented, though nationally or globally extended.

I'll call this voter class "ORBs" - Online Resident Businesses. On the one hand, as residents who work from home, uncontrolled or ill-planned growth severely impacts the ability to schedule and meet overlapping family and business demands, including visiting suppliers, receiving inventory and collaborating with local partners. On the other hand (non-local Internet clientele notwithstanding), more business and residential growth means potentially more business, affiliates, partners, suppliers and others participating in the virtual business network (on and offline).

Metaphorically-speaking, an ORB absorbs and reflects equivalently in all directions, as a sphere. That's the foundation of the ORB vote, where the sum of the issues and opportunities is not necessarily greater than the whole - it's the actual sum that matters, corresponding directly to business success and family harmony (or not). So, come November, the sum of all the issues, partisan platforms, on and offline news, economic climate, and all other vectors will likely point the ORB towards a compromise vote regardless of candidate personality, political affiliation or past record.

So, how many ORBs make up the approximately 40,000 persons living in the Dulles South area?

(reprinted in full from an earlier but somewhat old and buried bbs post on Dulles South Online).


Blogger loudountalk said...

Like your blog too. Great info. Keep up the good work.

4:11 PM  

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