Online Politics 101: An Invaluable ReferenceSubmitted Mon Oct 23 2006 18:00:00 GMT-0400 (EDT)
The other day, I mentioned in passing Colin Delany's Online Politics 101 (.pdf). And ere it age too much -- at one month old, it's already nearing midlife crisis in blog years -- I wanted to return to it.
In many ways, writing an online politicking guide feels like a fool's errand. Read a few from two or three years ago and see how well they've aged. As Delany himself allows, "techniques that worked brilliantly six months ago might yield eyeball-melting failure today."
Nevertheless, there's indisputably a yawning need for this sort of guide, for the considerable swath of causes unable to retain the most current e-advocacy expertise but who quite understandably might require a digestible answer to a question like, "should I use MySpace?" or "how do I raise money online?" From tools to tactics, Delany compactly addresses questions spanning search, blogger relations, e-newsletters, legislative communications, video, guerrilla marketing, and just about anything else a harried nonprofit staffer might be charged by an E.D. to master by C.O.B. Valuable as it is for resource-scarce organizations, it does not shy from some of the more advanced challenges that await bigger-ticket projects.
The use-by date for half the material -- you don't know which half; that's what's fun about the Internet -- might be Valentine's Day,* but for the time being, it deserves to be considered the introductory how-to reference of choice for online campaigns.
*(Delany's e.politics blog is a good way to keep current.)