From five entries to eight — that’s how much the Simple Rules section has changed as the Online Politics 101 rewrite has progressed. Here’s the (final?) new rule, added today, which takes its place along two other new colleagues:
Look at Every Channel, But Go Where Your Audience Is
Once you’ve identified the audiences your message needs to reach, get out in front of them. If you’re trying to reach opinion leaders, journalists and other “network influentials”, you’re likely to focus on connecting via Twitter or (if possible) back-channel email discussions. But if you’re aiming directly at the general public, you’re likely to end up using Facebook outreach, YouTube videos and Google advertising to catch people where they spend their time online. If dedicated activists are your chosen targets, you may need to look at political blogs and Twitter, since these are havens for the political class — likewise for other niche audiences, for instance targeting the “mommy blogosphere” to reach women who are parents. The trick is to figure out whom you’re trying to reach and where they gather, and then to use those channels to persuade and recruit them.
Otherwise, the new Online Politics 101 is just about wrapped up — the website itself is updated and ready for the promotional blitz (note the new social media buttons below and to the right, for instance). The goal is to launch the new version on the morning of Monday, January 31, which as I write this is tomorrow! Wish me luck.