Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:advocacy“

E-Advocacy Strategies Not to Use

by Jason Z.

So you know: think twice before targeting your email lobbying campaign at the federal judge who's hearing your case.

Facing a new ruling from U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman, after a federal appeals court instructed him to reconsider an earlier $37.6 million contempt sanction, infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau apparently thought the judge might take note of praise from his fans for his books.

And Gettleman clearly did. Finding his court e-mail and BlackBerry flooded with thousands of messages sent in response to a blog post yesterday by the syndicated radio talk show host, the judge addressed what he described as e-mail harassment by threatening to have marshals come and get Trudeau if he didn't appear at an emergency hearing today, reports the Associated Press.

Then, when Trudeau did appear, the judge held him in criminal contempt and required him to surrender his passport and post $50,000 bond, the news agency recounts.

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Mission Over Membership in Online Advocacy

This is from an article posted by NTEN. It's a distillation of the panel I led at the NTC this year. Attending the NTC was loads of fun and well worth it - see you there next year, I hope! See full version here: Online advocacy at its best is about giving more citizens more power to act together in creating social change. At its worst, online advocacy is a fundraising technique and promotional strategy that can work, while generating some very negative inadvertent outcomes. Organizers working for the common good should do a better job of articulating good online advocacy strategies and resisting demands that our work be measured in dollars raised or a higher public profile. What we have at stake is not (just) the integrity of our cause or organization, but the effectiveness of our mission. Good organizing is like voting: it always has power, even after the 20th time. Bad organizing is like spam: today’s Viagra message is far less likely to get you to buy some, even though there is more of it out there than ever before. The conflict between the different ends of the online advocacy spectrum can be captured in a phrase: Mission over Membership.

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CCR Closes the E-Advocacy Loop With Holiday Video

Two weeks ago, the DIAtribe picked the brain of Owen Henkel at the Center for Constitutional Rights on the hit Send Bush a Copy of the Constitution action they've been running. So, after everyone clicks-here-to-take-action, what happens? Did they actually deliver all the Constitutions? Well ... sort of. Here's a wink-nod wrap to the action with a little virality of its own:

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E-xemplar: Earth Day Network Ramps for April 22

Earth Day Network, one of our newer users, is hailing the approach of their signature holiday with multiple online actions. The action here is pretty straightforward as pertains the technics -- there's also a pledge to use energy-efficient bulbs, which is a basic signup page -- but it's drawing traffic from several enormous mailing lists looking for topical links and turning its supporter signup chart vertical.

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NTEN Seeking Online Success Stories for ABC News Piece

Copied verbatim from a message NTEN E.D. Katrin Verclas posted to a listserv, and which has as I've been typing this become a blog entry of its own ... a very short-notice opportunity to share your online success story with the world.
I am seeking some very good stories from YOU for a piece on ABC News/vcast that will feature "technology for good' or how nonprofits are using tech to make the world a better place. Here is what I am looking for: Nonprofits are getting more and more savvy in using tech - and deploying techies who are doing good in the world. In April, more than 1,000 of these "Techies for Good" are coming to Washington DC.

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Fee For Constituent Service

As the coalition of vendors (including DIA) providing email-your-rep services to advocacy organizations continues to churn away at the Congressional email deliverability logjam, the changing times may be in the process of evolving the question -- at least on the national level -- towards obsolescence. The Center for Citizen Media got a post-election pitch to buy an updated legislative directory, and sensibly wonders ... why does this cost money? "[M]aybe someone could create a wiki to keep track of comings and goings"? Congresspedia has it covered. And a tool like Google's Google Earth/electoral district mashup basically covers the part of the equation that determines a legislator from an address.

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Congressional Email and the Myth of the Platonic Grove

With Capitol Hill a ghost town as members scramble to retain their peerages, the lull in legislative activity offers welcome pause to step back from the e-mail deliverability fracas of recent weeks.

A great many of the unmet expectations and bad feelings that have become bundled up in online write-your-rep actions ultimately trace to the unspoken assumptions various parties have about the communicative framework in which the action takes place.

That point was underscored in the live chat with Washington Post reporter Jeffrey Birnbaum the day his column ran Capitol Advantage's deliverability study. In response to a question about how to differentiate grassroots campaigns from astroturf, Birnbaum opined, "I'm afraid if an interest group incites a flood of e-mails, that's Astroturf lobbying by definition."

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