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Live from the Personal Democracy Forum

I am here at the Personal Democracy Forum conference at Pace University in New York City. In between sessions I wanted to share some insight from some of the great speakers that have present so far today.

danah boyd, who is a doctoral candidate at the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley, is focusing her dissertation on how youth engages in networks like MySpace, Facebook, etc. She had some great insights on social networking that could help progressives use these sites to push their issues and gain supporters. A digital handshake is important - you can't just create a site, add friends and then do nothing. You need to pull these people in and make them feel like they matter and you have respect for them. Comment are underutilized. When someone comments on your page, comment back - take a moment to learn who they are. Collecting friends can be important because it helps shape who your organization is, but you have to really know who these supporters and friends are. Social networking sites and other online organizing is where the younger generation is nowadays, vs. rallies and other in-person meet-ups.

danah's blog is Apophenia.

Seth Godin had a few thoughts on technology and how it's being used today. There is too much clutter and too much noise. People are being inundated with too many candidates, too many organizations covering the same issue and they need a way to find out who they relate to and want to support. This is why it's so important to make your organization stand out and why you can't just constantly overload your supporters with email and other information. They'll just tune out. Seth explained you can acquire someone's email address, but as soon as you misuse it, they'll block you or remove themselves from your list.

Seth touched on the ideavirus and how you have to go beyond word of mouth. Your idea, issue, or campaign needs to stand out and get easily spread like a virus. Flip the funnel. Magnify your voice and get heard. If you be remarkable and tell your story to your sneezers, they'll sneeze and spread it along to the next person.

Some things to think about.

More when I return to DC.

-Yvonne Archer

May 18, 2007 in Network Advocacy | Permalink


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