John's Top Tips

Top Tips for Cyber-Disobedience


       Show Me The Money
        fax.gif (3193 bytes)

O
nline action is incredibly cost-effective. To send a five-page document to 1,000 people costs: 
    Via regular mail:  $330 in postage -- 2 to 5 days delivery;
    Via fax:  $750 in phone charges -- 24 hours to send; and
    Via email: 0 to 10 cents for Internet access -- about 8 minutes to send. 

Calculate the cost of your alert -- enter the following information
1) The number of people receiving your alerts:
2) The number of pages in your alert:
3) Sending your alert via snail mail costs: $
4) Sending your alert via fax costs: $
5) Sending your alert via email costs: $

 

       E-mail, Schm-email       hh01580a.gif (1311 bytes)

Once you get online, don't junk traditional political strategies. Use email and Web strategies to complement and supplement your current work - but remember, sometimes the best organizing tool is still a phone. 

  

        Think Small

Bigger isn't always better, and fancy doesn't mean effective. You don't have to have a nationwide campaign and a million-dollar Web page to benefit from being online. Local environmentalists, churches, child care providers, and school districts have all effectively used no-frills Internet strategies to assist their missions. 
      

       Technique Talks      pe01661a.gif (1977 bytes)

Simply having a phone and fax doesn't make you a good lobbyist. What's important is how you use those tools, not the simple act of using them. The same goes for being online -- technique is everything. 

  

       Me, Me, Me -- No, No, No

Don't go it alone.  Use the Internet, and your millions of new friends, to pool intellectual resources. Exchange information and tips, ask questions, link to useful Web pages, use your networks' networks. Share the wealth. 
  

       Go for Goldilocks

It's crucial to nurture your network just right -- don't drown or starve them. Always think of your network first: how should alerts/updates be written (tone, style, length, urgency); when did you last contact them (is another communiqué too soon, or way past due); and finally, would you want to read what you're sending? 
  

       Miss the Abyss       wb01361_.gif (611 bytes)

Managing an email/Web advocacy network can suck every minute out of your day. There's updating the database, responding to email, preparing and sending updates/alerts, and finding new subscribers. An effective network takes nurturing -- but beware, and aware, of the time commitment necessary. 
  

       Beware The Bureaucracy      hoops.gif (3743 bytes)

In many organizations, success brings fear -- and fear brings bureaucracy. Effective online organizing will be noticed internally -- with a resultant increase in the level of scrutiny, and levels of approval, needed to send out an email or post a Web page. Don't let bureaucratic delays smother your network. 

  

       Practice Paranoia     sharks.gif (3766 bytes)

Always expect an email/Web publication to be seen by your worst enemy -- protect your secrets. And, for that really important email, recognize that it could arrive late, to the wrong person, ill-formatted, or not at all. 

    

Wanna Know More?    pe03328a.gif (2743 bytes)

To find out more about Internet advocacy, visit our Web page detailing Wired Strategies' lead role in the Timothy McVeigh online privacy case.   Or send us an email, or call 202/328-5707.

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