Perhaps the only surprise is that it took this long for the big guys to notice: plenty of people have known about the more controversial parts of the Paul oeuvre forever (Dave Weigel notes that he wrote about the newsletters four years ago). But the interesting part from an online politics point of view is that this is a classic example of the internet’s double-edged nature.
But if you live by the ‘net, you can die by it, too: the internet gives old, old documents a new shot at prominence, including those newsletters apparently aimed at winning at least a few of the white supremicist crowd over to the Libertarian creed. Just as Romney’s flip-flops are lovingly preserved on video on sites like WhichMitt.com, the words that went out in Paul’s name in the early 90′s can spread infinitely farther in digital form than they did on paper, and in the process potentially convince a lot of people who might have given an iconoclastic candidate like him a chance to stay the hell away instead. Consistency is Paul’s main virtue, and a rare one in a politician. But consistency with these words? Political doom — and rightly so.
Thanks to long-time friend and Epolitics.com reader Burt Edwards for suggesting that a Ron Paul piece would be a good idea right about now.
Online Fundraising that Respects the List: The Essentials
Donors are trusting you to make the right decisions with their money. Give them a good reason to do so, and don’t betray them.
Offer a Value Proposition
Show people how their donations will make a difference. What problem are you trying to solve? How will their money help get you there? Be realistic in what you’re asking.
Be as concrete as possible about how you will be putting the money to use. Will it fund a particular ad in a given state? Will it buy mosquito nets for thousands of people? Will it pay for a staff member to work in a country or on a project? Show, don’t just tell, how you’ll use a donation.
Form a Human Connection
Tell your human story whenever you can, particularly that of someone your organization has helped or is supporting. Or, feature one of your volunteers or staff whose work is supported by your online fundraising. (more…)
Oof, here’s yet another reminder of why campaigns should be damn careful to nail down relevant web addresses: American Bridge is having a little fun with NewtGingrich.com. If you go to the URL, right now it redirects to one of several outside websites, including:
Well, not willingly — a week or two back, Warren’s campaign for Massachusetts senator was running online display ads asking for donations to her “response fund” to reply to the television attacks Rove’s American Crossroads had launched against her (I was too swamped to write them up at the time). Warren’s ads featured the very flattering picture of Rove to the right, which is a great example of using an enemy unpopular with your supporters to mobilize them to act on your behalf.
I saw Warren’s ads on Epolitics.com and shortly thereafter on Space.com, but it’s impossible to tell what kind of targeting was involved. Was the campaign geo-targeting DC internet users? Was the targeting topical on political sites (mine) or sites likely to attract a certain kind of reader (Space.com)? Or, perhaps I was seeing them everywhere because of some kind of cookie-based retargeting based on sites I’d visited earlier. (See the most recent Campaigns & Elections Tech Bytes column for more on ad targeting options.)
Screenshots below — note the near-takeover of the top of Space.com.
Twitter 101: Tips for Influencing the Conversation
Twitter = A Conversation
Twitter is (very short) blogging mixed with social networking, creating a simultaneous conversation among many millions of people. Participating in that conversation will get you the most value out of the tool.
Who’s on Twitter is More Important than How Many Are
Twitter has a much smaller audience than Facebook, but it’s loaded with journalists, bloggers, activists and other influentials. Even a small following can be effective if it’s composed of the right people.
Find Your Niche and Add Value to It
Some people can Tweet about trivia and get away with it, particularly if they’re famous or hot, but most of us will need to concentrate on a niche and build up a reputation within it. How? By regularly tweeting content — including links to content — that people are interested in.
Hi folks, I hope you’re enjoying the end-of-year frenzy — I’m just wrapping up the last details of the NWLC’s EOY online fundraising email sequence, and I’m sure all of our inboxes will be filling up soon with various desperate appeals for $$$ from nonprofits and campaigns.
But they tell me that to give is better than to receive, so lets pass out a couple of freebies today. Campaigns & Elections magazine just published the second installment of my running “Technology Bytes” column, with major sections covering online advertising targeting options and social media monitoring. Check ‘em out and spread the word:
More content coming soon — last weekend’s Netroots NY conference was great fun and yielded some timely article ideas, starting with some cheat sheets from the two trainings I put together. Look for them shortly, along with some pre-Christmas Quick Hits.
Hey kids! Sorry for the sparse publishing lately — Epolitics.com has had to take a back seat lately as the pre-holiday frenzy starts to crank up. Never fear, though, we’ll have fresh edition of fan-favorite Quick Hits tomorrow.
In the meantime, check this out: Netroots New York is coming up fast and you don’t want to miss it. Registration for the December 17-18 event gets you two whole days of political organizing goodness, including two trainings I’ll be leading on email fundraising and on using The Twitter More:
At Netroots NY you’ll be hearing from some of the most dynamic progressive leaders and activists including many of original Occupy Wall Street organizers who helped envision the movement. More panels and speakers are being added every day.
Trainings include: How to Scare Companies and Influence People Online, Using Humor to Turbo Charge Your Activism, How to Ensure Your Web Project is Failure, Fundraising That Respects Your Email List, Online Organizing Strategies That Work, Effective and Economical Online Advertising.
Panels include: OWS: How it Happened, Why It Sticks, What’s Next, The REAL Committee to Save New York: Fighting Austerity By Taxing The Rich, Organizers’ Perspectives on OWS, Wisconsin: The Real Story and Can It Happen Here?, After Marriage: What Next for the LGBT Rights Movement? and Fighting the “Digital Divide” Myth Within Your Organization.
The biggest problem? Choosing what sessions to go to when all your faves are scheduled at the same time. C u there.
Some days I do love this gig! This morning, Republican Presidential wannabe Herman Cain showed off his ways with The Ladies. No, not THOSE ways, these ways:
“Women For Cain” is an online national fellowship of women dedicated to helping elect Herman Cain as the next President of the United States.
Mr. Cain has been a strong advocate for women throughout his lifetime, defending and promoting the issues of quality health care, family, education, equality in the workplace and many other concerns so important to American women.
Gloria Cain is the National Chairperson for “Women for Cain” and is the very special woman who Mr. Cain devoted his life to many years ago. Mr. Cain and Gloria celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary earlier this year. The couple has two children and three grandchildren and a legacy of family, friends, and community and church involvement.
“Women For Cain” was formed to inspire a national women’s alliance in support of Herman Cain 2012 and Friends of Herman Cain.
I love how he’s put these ideals into practice! Clearly, “you want a job, right?” is code for “equality in the workplace,” with a little dash of “community involvement” thrown in for flavor. I’m sure a “national women’s alliance” could easily be assembled for Herman Cain — if its job were to run him out of town on a rail. Though the women posting on the site so far do have his back (Cain would likely let them have the rest if they were a “friend in need“).