Replacing Spam with Social Network Emailing

Politics | Access/Network
Here’s a mild proposal to consider as we bring people into the political campaign. When you signup for an organization– whether that person does it online, or at a meeting or meetup or at information booth, you should be able to specify your “captain”. This is the person who will email you, call you, and be responsible for your involvement. You may pick the person who brought you into the organization in the first place. You may pick the actual precinct captain. Or you may look at the list of people volunteering to be captains, and pick the most attractive one. Up to you. That’s democracy. That’s how real estate companies work. Big brand, personal agent.

The giant leap forward is that one should only get contacted by their captain– and not get spammed by the head office. If may be “zero cost” to send out hundreds of thousands of emails, but it’s also zero benefit if the emails. It’s more effective to send the captains, who can send it on to their teams. Here’s how:

Captains will get messages from higher-up, and simply add in a few words to click & send. Their captains could review the messages at a later time if they wanted. Nonetheless, letting the captains manage the communications is conveys a clear message of empowerment. The members can easily learn about the efficacy of different captains, and switch at any time. It’s a simple political equation: who works hardest for me, and who is deserving of my support?

I’ve described a longer proposal for this Social Network Fundraising. This is not completely original– there are companies like Kintera which implement this. I also wrote a proposal about how to emphasize local information in campaign emails. Taken together, a campaign/organization can effectively strengthen and build its membership. It should elevate more people from the bottom layer into positions of responsibility.

June 17th update: Sharon Toji alerted the demtech list that the Minnesota GOP has launched WebVoter, a software project to help grassroots volunteers report to HQ on voters in their neighborhoods.