Four Observations About Using MySpace For Politics

Joshua Levy has a nice post at Personal Democracy Forum on using MySpace (and other social networking environments) for advocacy & political campaigns.

Nothing radically new here, but it’s a good, concise restatement of the obvious:

  1. You have to go where the people you want to reach are already at. (Organizing 101 here, folks. Sadly, this is something that I often see advocacy organizations forgetting!)
  2. If you want people to spread your message, you have to let them take control and make it their own. (Organizing 101 strikes again!)
  3. MySpace isn’t a good place to fundraise.
  4. It’s much harder to do local, place-based organizing on placeless, wide-scale social networking sites. So far, the most successful social networking advocacy campaigns have been about “wide, blunt” national or international issues.

The bottom line:

… a MySpace profile is not a replacement for a campaign’s homepage. Instead, it is meant to be part of a participatory ecosystem that campaigns must set up…. MySpace profiles are the equivalent to canvassing on the street or in a mall; they are part of a larger outreach effort. Just as it’s a mistake to think that the web will itself replace other media, it’s also a mistake to think that MySpace or Facebook profiles are simply lazy or trendy ways of gaining an online footprint.

(Hat tip to Marty.)

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