Top Tips for Cyber-Disobedience
Show Me The Money
Online action is incredibly cost-effective. To send a five-page document to 1,000 people costs:
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.
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.
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
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
Beware The Bureaucracy
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.
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.
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