Tom Steinberg of MySociety has coordinated it, and over the last few days it has really sprung into life, without much traction in the mainstream media. When I wrote about it on Monday I encouraged other bloggers to blog about it and to ask their readers to join the Facebook Group. Seven thousand people did. I know from the comments left on my site and private emails that at least thirty other blogs blogged about it directly as a result of seeing the story here. I also know that hundreds of you emailed your MP or contacted them through the TheyWorkForYou website. That level of lobbying has now paid off and all the sites and blogs which took part in this campaign have scored a real victory.
Well done to Tom Steinberg for coordinating it and taking the initiative. It just shows what can be achieved by mobilising an online community and with no budget. The public affairs sector will be taking note.
UPDATE: Tom Steinberg has more HERE. He writes...
This is a huge victory not just for transparency, it’s a bellweather for a change in the way politics works. There’s no such thing as a good day to bury bad news any more, the Internet has seen to that.
Over 7000 people joined a Facebook group, they sent thousands of emails to over 90% of all MPs. Hundreds of thousands of people found out about the story by visiting TheyWorkForYou to find something they wanted to know, reading an email alert, or simply discovered what was going on whilst checking their Facebook or Twitter pages. Almost all of this happened, from nowhere, within 48 hours, putting enough pressure on Parliament to force change.
Make no mistake. This is new, and it reflects the fact that the Internet generation expects information to be made available, and they expect to be able to make up their own minds, not be spoon fed the views of others. This campaign was always about more than receipts, it was about changing the direction of travel, away from secrecy and towards openness.