Saturday, December 06, 2008

Ideas for how the coalition should use the internet to its advantage.

[From here originally.]

I think we need less partisan suggestions around here; much of what I read is useful for the Liberal Party, but not for the potential coalition government. E.g., the suggestion that the Liberals and NDP unite. There are so many things wrong with that suggestion, but the worst is that it overlooks the fact that we wouldn't need a "united left" party in a PR voting system.

Still, focusing on online resources:

(1) A blog aggregator for coalition-supporting blogs, a la the Progressive Bloggers or the Blogging Dippers.

(2) Coordinated online messaging, using YouTube to release short informational videos (not just commercials). The Obama team used YouTube to great effect in this regard. That would require the Liberal Party have a better video operation than some guy and a broken camcorder. (Not entirely a cheap shot, as it seriously detracted from what Dion was saying). The point would be to, in an effective and persuasive manner, present political arguments that people can trade around online.

(3) Blogging. How many MPs do what Garth Turner did and conduct a full-blown, free-for-all blog, for anyone to come to and speak their mind to an MP? I can't think of any. But it was a good idea. Y'all are supposed to be accountable to us, but the only means we have of communicating with you online is Facebook wallposts and email. Pretty primitive, and pretty hierarchical.

(4) (or something pithier). Like

(5) Microdonations. Canadian financing laws may be getting in the way here, but part of Obama's strength online was his ability to get millions in small-dollar donations from millions of people. And that was coordinated through his website.

(6) Text messaging announcements. Why are we relying on email and Facebook as the only means to announce important events? Text messaging is far more effective: everyone has a cellphone with texting capacity these days. It would give the ability to reach thousands in a matter of seconds.

(7) A database. No, a good database. Again, I pick on Obama as an example: one of his strengths was the database of information his team collected on volunteers and campaign staff, allowing them to determine instantly who was available to perform basic tasks such as calling supporters, driving people to polling stations and rallies, etc. It also included such important details as where these volunteers and staff lived (so they could be assigned to work with people close by) and how much time they could devote. His website was also set up to allow people to volunteer themselves, for any useful tasks, for any length of time. In that regard, no one should have to invent tasks for themselves. Campaigns and political organizations of all stripes know what tasks need to be accomplished. So, let the potential pool of volunteers know.

(8) I still don't see the purpose of Twitter. Sorry!


Constant Vigilance said...

Great ideas. Here are my contributions to the discussion.

Davey Crocket said...

Good suggestions.