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Author Topic: NDP and the Internet
Chris Becker
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7873

posted 10 January 2005 11:47 PM      Profile for Chris Becker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I originally posted this on the Meetup.com NDP site, but wanted to also post a parallel post on babble.

'Hi,
My name is Chris Becker and I am currently in Windsor. I am posting this to see what direction NDP members think the party should take with the Internet. What do you as the ways that the party can use the Internet/Meetup.com to its advantage at both the central and grassroots level?

To start some discussion, here are my thoughts.

Fundraising
- Things like selling merchandise on the website (currently the Liberals do so)
- Having Jack do live online events that people can view for a certain price (i.e. Howard Dean Campaign charging 3$ to have people watch him eat a turkey sandwich. This one day event raised 300K).

Online participation of grassroots members
Blogs
- An area where People can post their thoughts in a free manner that isn't controlled by the central campaign. The Dear NDP Campaign was excellent and I think that it could be used further in the future.

Individual Message Promotion (i.e. current star wars campaign)
- Could be in a different area of the website, if a blog is placed at the top, it will encourage the most participation from members.
- Also, t-shirts and other things would serve to allow individual members to order them online, which would increase fundraising, and to wear them in public, which will increase publicity.

Meetups
Continuing to have meetups based around central campaign based themes. The U.S. election night meetup was a huge success. The promotion of it on the central website was the greatest promoter. However, it is unfortunate this has not been follow-up up on since.
If the party has the resources, it could hold the meetups from the central website. This would allow the party to keep track of info from central headquarter.

I hope this spurs a healthy debate that generates ideas. I am looking forward to discussing this in the future.

Chris Becker


From: Windsor, Ontario | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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Babbler # 6718

posted 11 January 2005 01:35 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
Maybe I'm missing something here, but why would anyone want to see Howard Dean (or anyone else) eat a turkey sandwich?
From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Chris Becker
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posted 11 January 2005 01:47 AM      Profile for Chris Becker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No situation that occurred throughout the Dean campaign better demonstrates the contradiction in fundraising potential than July 28th, 2003, the day on which Vice President Dick Chenny and Howard Dean partook in two vastly different fundraising activities. The Vice President held
a two thousand dollar a plate dinner in South Carolina that collected three hundred thousand dollars. The Dean campaign organized a fundraising event around a suggestion that had been mentioned on the campaign blog and charged
individuals a small amount to watch Howard Dean eat a three-dollar Turkey Sandwich over the Internet. The event raised five hundred and eight thousand dollars.

From: Windsor, Ontario | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 11 January 2005 01:48 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I believe it was an ironic counterpoint to one of Dubya's $10,000 a plate corporate fundraising dinners.
From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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Babbler # 5468

posted 11 January 2005 04:48 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Scott P and Chris are correct re: Sandwich eating.

Over the Christmas holidays, spindoctor and I traded a couple of PMs regarding the subject of this thread. (I hope you don't mind my mentioning this, spindoctor.) We agreed that babble could be a good place to hash out some of these issues.

I think Chris also makes some good suggestions.

Having read Trippi's book, I believe there are some good lessons to learn. Obviously, there's a signal-to-noise ratio issue here, which I didn't find that Trippi really addressed in the book, and I'm not sure about his apparent blending of citizen and consumer in the latter sections of the book. Still, I think there might be ways to use the internet to let ordinary party members feel like they can have real input and a sense of ownership.

The current anti-Star Wars e-petition which allows people to post comments is a good idea.

What about a (vetted, obviously) "Links Our Members Love" page? People could e-mail in with links to progressive sites they like to frequent on the net. Perhaps it could help strengthen networking between the party and other social movements/progressive organizations?

Just a thought (i.e., perhaps a bit of noise).

[ 11 January 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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Babbler # 569

posted 11 January 2005 05:37 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wow. I should read that book. I didn't even know it existed.

[ 11 January 2005: Message edited by: verbatim ]


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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Babbler # 6718

posted 11 January 2005 08:59 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Becker:
The Vice President held a two thousand dollar a plate dinner in South Carolina that collected three hundred thousand dollars. The Dean campaign organized a fundraising event around a suggestion that had been mentioned on the campaign blog and charged individuals a small amount to watch Howard Dean eat a three-dollar Turkey Sandwich over the Internet.

Ah, OK, that makes perfect sense! I thought there was supposed to be something inherently appealing about watch a politician eat a turkey sandwich that I was missing. I was thinking that watching one eat a crow or a hat would be more amusing.


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
spindoctor
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posted 11 January 2005 10:46 AM      Profile for spindoctor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I took a couple of things out of the Trippi book. First, I finished it feeling really inspired about the political potential of a populist, democratic movement in the current age. Maybe that was just rose-coloured glasses, but I was inspired nonetheless.

Second - and the current discussion about the turkey eating proves this point marvellously - is that online politics cannot happen in isolation. They are always intimately connected to offline politics. The very fact of the Dean campaign's succes is in only some part attributable to the use of the internet. More important was the widespread hunger throughout the Democratic Party for a solid anti-war, populist candidate. If Bush had not invaded Iraq, for example, I do not think that all the blogging in the world would have made the Dean campaign possible.

Nevertheless, given those offline political conditions, internet technologies did serve as an excellent equalizer for an outside and populist campaign.

So I think the question we should be asking ourselves is what might motivate a real activation of the NDP's base and how can online tactics support that?


From: Kingston, Jamaica.....oh alright....Kingston, Ontario | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
somersol
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posted 11 January 2005 11:08 AM      Profile for somersol   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
i think the Party already has a good reputation for grassroots policy-hashing and self-reflection.
some sort of consolidation (online and off) of strategic thinking is always good, for any party. the internet is an ideal medium for this work, as long as the debate doesn't lose focus or become wayward.
i put together a tiny geocities website devoted to pushing the NDP toward national government:
orangecommons

From: ontario | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
JasonG
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posted 12 January 2005 06:03 PM      Profile for JasonG     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First off, YES i believe the internet is a good way to get our message across. Second of all, congratulations to the brilliant webmaster who fixed the Ontario NDP site. Beautiful work. now if only we could do the same with the federal site.. :S

anyone know who was behind the Ontario site revamp?


From: London, Ontario | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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Babbler # 838

posted 13 January 2005 12:00 AM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have the job of implementing the Ontario Trinity-Spadina site.

I am planning to build it in a manner that would make it easy to use for other riding associations.

I would certainly like to hear from people here about what they want on a site and how it should look. Also from other site builders.

I expect to be writing some small design documents about this soon, would people like to read them here?


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 13 January 2005 01:02 AM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hi jrootham,

I'm a TSer too, so I'm looking forward to seeing the site. I built the NDP Quebec Youth site, but i moved here right after the election, so don't blame me that it's not up-to-date. I don't think i'd be much help to you though, my web design skills were learned and then forgotten within a period of 36 hours or so.

I wouldn't go too crazy with the site. Just stick to the essentials. An absolute minimum in my mind would be contact (yes- home phone numbers) of riding execs. Another nice thing would be some sort of volunteer sign-up thing, but of course to have that we'd need some events and such for volunteers to work on. Other than that, stick to some basics - riding events, riding communiques, a map of the riding, links to ONDP, ndp.ca, the U of T campus club, Rosario M's site, the federal TS site (if there is one), Howard H's site, community groups, labour, fundraising, etc. Guestbooks are nice, as are photos from events. Maybe a nice document section showing what resolution we submitted to the last convention, and how it fared?

I hate to "volunteer" him, and I'm sure he's a VERY busy man, but Spatrioter lives in the riding and I know he's designed a few sites (party and otherwise). Maybe he could give you a template. On second thought, are you sure there's no template available from fed or provincial office? Do we not have communications teams on staff?

Maybe you could start another thread once you have a rudimentary design up. I did that for the JNDQ site and got some good feedback, but can't find the site now.


From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged

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