Below is a list of rules for online campaign organizing. I did an initial list and asked for thoughts and help in a diary at Kos. This is the evolution of that and will probably change more than once.
I’m allowing comments on this page in order to provide a place for people with thoughts on how to improve this to do so – doh! New theme won’t display comments for pages, only posts. Gonna move this soon so peeps can comment on it again. Feel free to copy this, print this, and use this in any way you see fit. If you make any changes you feel significant, please let me know so I can consider changes to this document.
1. No BS. Save your slick PR and spin for the masses. Those of us engaged and online typically know a bit more about current events than the average Jane. Not all of us, but most. I suggest you stick to the straight talk and cut the shit early and often.
2. Money – Don’t ask for money. Have a place to do it. Make it prominent. But don’t make it your primary mission in online strategy. It won’t work. The blogosphere especially hates being seen as one big virtual ATM. Give us ideas, give us leadership and vision, inspire us. The money follows this…never before!
3. Ads – we don’t buy ’em. Neither should you. One of the beautiful things about being online is I can get software to block the things, even cool flash ones. The Internet and blogs are not an online version of the nightly news. Unless it is an issue that we care deeply about, we ain’t lookin. Most likely you are wasting money on the ad buy, and quite possibly if you do it wrong it will cause more harm than good. Just enter the space and talk with us. Ads are a form of talking AT us. If you do decide this kind of “visibility” is what you want, make it that. Don’t run ads that try to trick us. One thing you need to learn now is that bloggers are a very critically thinking sort. We’ll figure it out (one of us), then the rest will spread the news faster than Billy Carter can open a six pack.
4. Disclosure – If you have a relationship that might have an impact on your posts, comments, or other activity online, TELL US! Once again, if you don’t we’ll find out and blog on it…and you’ll most likely lose some face over it. If you are not sure whether there is a conflicting relationship, just tell us what that is – we’ll decide. When in doubt: Disclose.
5. Spam – If you are ever in a meeting and someone says, “Hey, let’s copy and paste the latest press release on as many blogs as we can…in their comment sections”, fire the fucker. On the spot. He’s killin’ you. People who live and breath in the online world like spam about as much as having fingernails removed with chainsaws. Never, EVER, do this.
6. Identity – Let us know who you are. Don’t hide it. Use your real name and have your candidate do the same. Don’t have someone blog or comment using a candidate’s name. And whatever you do, do NOT comment or post as multiple people. We’ll figure it out and it will be reported on multiple blogs. Imagine being in a room and farting and having six people with megaphones point this out to the crowd. Unpleasant to say the least. Just don’t do it.
7. Invitations – Invite us in, give us the tools we need to spread your message. If we like it, we’ll do it. If we don’t we may not. But don’t get mad. You don’t own us. We own you. Deal with it. Focus on crafting your message and doing the best job you can. We’ll take care of the rest.
8. Tools – If you have tools for bloggers, make sure you use them. If you have us give you our email addresses and we never get in on any scoop or inside information…or worse yet NEVER hear from you, guess what? Yep, we’ll blog about it.
9. Participate – You and your candidate. Become a genuine part of the discussion. Blogs are about voice and everyone has one. Add yours to it, don’t try to talk over ours. It won’t work. Our megaphones are bigger online. Elsewhere you got us, but online we got you.
10. Be real. If you are not, we’ll again figure it out and blog about it. Speak in your natural voice. The one you use when you talk to your kids. It’s the only one we care about.