Part of the challenge for the innovation team is to refine the tagging system so it's more fluid and specific (right now its tags are extremely broad). But it's also developing a better user experience for the website, tweaking it so a user visiting it sees petitions tailored to his past behaviors. "Right now the site is customized in 13 countries," explains Lowenstein. "So if you land on the site and live in the U.K., you're seeing a different site than you're seeing in the U.S., obviously. But the end goal is to make it hyper-localized in a very specific way."
Change.org is still in the early test phases for many of these features, but Lowenstein says her team is seeing just as much engagement in the automated, user-generated E-mails as it regularly sees with staff-crafted messages. It hasn't escaped most of the staffers that the company's ultimate goal is to innovate them out of a job. Though how a computer algorithm will determine which users are most likely to feel sympathy for rattlesnakes is anyone's guess. There are some battles, it seems, that will always need a personal touch.