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Nonprofit Advocacy Blog Strategy

What's a Blog, and Why Should Nonprofits Care? by Zafar S. Shah has inspired me to crank out my top five reasons I blog as an Executive Director of a small nonprofit.

1. "Online Thinking Space" - The number one reason I blog is to flush out my ideas into a communication. I am often get these thoughts (Oh we should sell ringtones that generate revenue for nonprofits, we should decentralize our content, someone should work on polling the people who work for nonprofit community to find their common stories and values, etc .etc. but until I sit down and google the concepts, play around with the idea and crank it out as a post for my friends (the 34 of you that read this thing) the idea sits as a one line to do in a notebook.

2. "Build my research library" - I see cool things, rants and concepts and articles that I know come up in my work. (I.e.. someone is going to ask me about internet ads someday...Here is a cool example of an effective ad...bang it becomes a post that I can share and that becomes available on my little Google side bar search)

3. Vanity and Dreams of Greater things. - I am so sick of walking into conferences and meeting with nonprofits only to hear all of us complain about the stupidity of foundations (don't worry if you read blogs you are probably not one the idiots everyone is complaining about) and the way that if they only changed our work would be solved. I dream that someday folks will find the rants and perspective here interesting enough to read it (beyond you 35 people) and slowly the target audience will find messages that help them change the behavior of key opinion leaders. I also hope that my rants give my friends the sound bytes, factoids, examples and stories that they can use to further expand the movement of folks that are willing to look at the network capacity of our movement.

4. Virtual Mentor - Being younger, inexperienced and running a small organization is a huge challenge. In Fortune 500 companies most of us punks would be climbing middle management and being cultivated by senior managers to help us access experience, wisdom and network. The online thinking space has been a huge help in getting building ties with a handful of external mentors so they can see my "thinking" and offer feedback to improve the design and execution of my ideas.

5. Comfort with Mistakes and Being Wrong - I am the type of yahoo who gets lots of thoughts and thinks better "externally". I am not the quiet contemplative type person that tends to think better alone ( I think this comes from the way my mom used to help me work thorough life while we sat in the kitchen). There are some people that (think, edit and speak) and there are some of us that (converse, think,speak,edit) I typically edit last. Unfortunately, it means that I say (blog) lots of dumb things (I still wonder what the hell I was thinking with the computer virus attack on Democratic Primaries post?) but I get to throw them out here and get snagged by fellow bloggers. It catches the mistakes or reinforces good ideas and helps me edit more of my thoughts (beyond 8-6 work conversations). 60% of these post could hunt me in the future and I know the language, witting and thoughts are often way more convoluted than I would ever kick out in a meeting or for work products. I also mess up typing and spelling all over the place. However, I am pretty comfortable with the idea that I am not stupid and that cranking stuff out on the blog helps me refine my thoughts. I am verbose. I am comfortable that I make mistakes and I am not perfect. The blog merely reflects my thought process if it is smart and thoughtful and this line of thinking would be helpful in a campaign I can work with groups. If your staff are ahead of me on this thinking and they write perfect and never make mistakes then you don't need my help so I am comfortable that the blog is a bit of a reflection of the kind of person that shows up everyday. Seeing my thoughts online and may actually just serve to make me more comfortable with the idea that some mistakes are OK.

My general thoughts on the article
Another interesting push for the nonprofit community to consider the value of making more of the thinking and learning of the organization available to staff, friends and the public. while the topic is not new and there are old blogs and rants on the nonprofit use of the blog as a tool in their work, Zafa makes a contribution to the chorus pushing nonprofit staff to be more transparent through use of the blog as an easy content tool.

Related Post:
Weblog Strategies for Nonprofits
Blogs as Training Tools
Going Beyond The Internet: Blogs from the Front
Web Dominance No Longer Tactical Strategy for Campaigns

My favorite clips from this new article:

When she encouraged her staff to blog about their work, Sisnett recognized another benefit of nonprofit blogging: She could now easily keep up to speed on her staff's work and the progress of various, concurrent projects. Soon, between the executive director, the technical staff and volunteers, Austin Free-Net had three staff blogs full of updated and archived information that could easily be incorporated into strategic plan updates, VISTA reports, press releases, newsletters and grants. When a colleague, a sponsor or even a journalist needed information about a project or issue, Sisnett could refer the interested party to a blog.
blogs with an "internal focus" have made it easier for organizations to capture the knowledge of teams and support their collaboration. "Rather than only a linear discussion list for a team," she points out, "individual and collaborative blogs make it possible to see ties among team members and issues they are working on."
While blogs entail a requisite amount of timely attention and care, the work you put into them is not "just blogging," Sisnett adds, thinking about how the research and learning behind her blog have improved Austin Free-Net's projects and partnerships. "That work affects all of your organization's work."

Surfer Moms number 31 Million

MediaPost Communications

This is interesting food for thought. "Study Finds Internet Is the Medium Moms Rely on Most" . Think of alll the potential for collaborative work. Many professional women are "opting out" of the workforce to raise children. They represent a huge potential "work" force if task can be generated and assigned via the web



Eighty-four percent of mothers who use the Internet said that if they had to give up one type of media, they would miss the Internet more than any other source of information or entertainment, according to a study commissioned by The Walt Disney Group's Disney Online. The report, conducted by C&R Research found that mothers are making the Web an integral part of the daily lives. The study deployed segmentation analysis to identify four distinct groups ranging from heavy Internet users to non-techie moms. The findings revealed commonalities between three segments: "The Yes Mom," "Mrs. Net Skeptic," and "Tech Nesters,"which together comprise 77 percent of the 31 million moms online.
Commonalities include using the Internet for information gathering, purchase research, and openness to online advertising that provides tips and suggestions that relate to family life. "The fact that these Internet moms are interested in Internet ads related to family life suggests that online media can be purchased using many of the same buying techniques used in traditional media planning, by segment as well as by reach," said Ken Goldstein, executive vice president and managing director, Disney Online.
Among the study's other key findings: Moms now use the Internet almost twice as much as they watch TV


Wildfire Story Triggers New Attempt to Push Logging Agenda

Here is another example of the emerging tempo of policy and media cyclones that are increasingly wedding policy change to media events. While this is nothiong new, the event to action window is getting smaller and the intensity of the media attention cycles is growing so we are going to both bigger and shorter burst of attention being used to move policy agendas.

Wildfire Watch #12: Rep. McInnis Blowing Smoke to Hide Logging Agenda Congressman Scott McInnis (R-CO) recently wrote a letterhas attempted to argue that this project is somehow related to mitigating fire danger, when in fact post-fire salvage logging has little to do with preventing wildfire and is most frequently undertaken to benefit timber company profits.

C-SPAN Reflections

I am coming out of the closet. On this historic date, I proudly admit I am a CPAN junkie. (I really have been hooked since I was younger but with two toddlers I love throwing late night C-Span on the tube to keep me company bottle to bottle. My favorites include C-span radio (listen to and watched Senator Byrd fight the war resolution. ( I tune in for all the State of the Unions and love Book Notes) I encourage folks to take a moment to "watch sausage being made." C-SPAN has survived for 25 years and amazingly emerged as the 7th most watched cable network!

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This little control and low production quality network has made significant contributions to political debate. In towns across the America there are informed political hacks that are fellow C-SPAN junkies. These political hacks from Scranton PA, Millidgeville GA, Eugene OR, or any other small town can tune in just like the wonks from the Hill. C-Span viewers both vote more and engage in politics.

The same dynamics that support C-SPAN's growth will take root in our advocacy movement. The gavel to gavel coverage makes the process a bit more transparent and low production quality makes it a bit trusted. The more transparent we can make the process the better (unfortunately, most of the really interesting staff takes place off camera. I want to see the Tom DeLay cam) . There may even be a value to covering the people sitting down before or getting up after a panel? The whole model is based on raw feeds and real pseudo-reality TV.

My (quick off the top of my head) C-Span Network (Senate too) Top 10

1. Senator Byrd : We Stand Passively Mute
2. NASA hearings on Shuttle Failure
3. Random Lectures from Kennedy School of Government (great on e the other night on the Fog of War4. Impeachment debates and Hearings in the Committee
5. Franken vs. O'Reilly (book notes)
6. National Press Club Annual Dinner and Political Roast
7. Jim Traficant's Censure
8. All the Sunday talk shows replayed by radio without commercial every Sunday
9. Ollie North's "Irangate" Testimony
10. Washington Notes and all the crazy bastards C-span lets on the air.

Tune in an enjoy. C-SPAN


Watchout Dittoheadz - Robert F. Kenndy Jr. is getting on the Radio? Uhh OK?

I am very excited to see the launch of a progressive radio network. I have traveled many miles (visiting sites and organizing grassroots group) listening to Rush on the radio. It will be nice to have a counterbalance on the dial (although, I assume I will still tune into the blockhead channels, they fire me up which keeps me awake as I drive).

I am excited about the channel ( I hope they pay attention to ratings (RFK, JR. is no shock jock.)

Air America Radio, a progressive talk radio network, announced it will hit the airwaves on March 31st. "Air America Radio is launching in the top U.S. markets with leading talent that will provide compelling and entertaining programming on the radio, on satellite feeds, and on the web," said Mark Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of Air America Radio. “We aim to build an important new media franchise that delivers results.”

The network’s on-air personalities represent today’s top political and popular satirists, commentators and activists. Comedian, and best selling author Al Franken, who was recently taken to court when Bill O’Reilly and Fox News were seeking an injunction to halt distribution of "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right," and is known for fact-based, drug-free satire, will host a weekday show on the network called “The O’Franken Factor.”

“I’m so happy that Air America Radio will be on in three battleground states, New York, Illinois and California….no wait…those aren’t battleground states. What the hell are we doing?” said Franken.



Janet Jackson Can Show You SOmething : About Activism

You have got to love Janet Jackson and Hollywood (for the Janet recap and photos visit Drudge) . In the middle of a war and in the midst of an economic slump, JJ has motivated hundreds of politicians to take action on a long dead issue. She has also demonstrated the power of media trigger events to shape political culture and shape political agendas. There are lessons to be learned from her wardrobe malfunction and gay marriage. These issues have dominated 3-4 weeks of news and set tone for upcoming larger issue debates. I predict that 99% of the groups fundraising did not plan for these events and not 1 foundation staffer could have suggested that these would be the dominate issues of Q1 2004. Who thinks they know the issues that are going to define the summer? (Fall will be the election) How about next winter?

The Jackson event is another amazing example of the new "tempo" of American politics. Although legislation has been proposed for many years to increase control of the airwaves, weaken the hold of networks on local content and stiffen penalties on media companies for offensive breaches used to promote product or ratings, the legislation did not move (until January 21, 2004 - Day after the Super Bowl).

H.R.3717 a Bill to increase the penalties for violations by television and radio broadcasters of the prohibitions against transmissions of obscene, indecent, and profane material, and for other purposes. The Bill picked up 145 sponsors and launched with a similar Bill in the Senate. Expect it to be law in the weeks ahead.

What happened? What are the lessons you need to consider?

"I knew immediately it would cause great outrage among the American people, which it did," he said, citing "thousands" of complaints received by Monday morning. "We have a very angry public on our hands." Powell said MTV and the CBS network's more than 200 affiliates and company-owned stations could be fined $27,500 apiece. He said he would like to see the enforcement penalties strengthened to 10 times their current amount.

Janet's "show" generated 200,000 complaints! In an interesting follow up to the policy implications check out the follow up story with Bill Moyers.

I have grabbed some great quotes from the committees from the Now site below.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA): "The paltry fines that the FCC assesses have become nothing more than a joke. They have become simply the cost of doing business for far too many licensees particularly in the radio marketplace. Many stations regard the prospect of a fine as merely the potential slap on the wrist.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell: "The time has come for us to work collectively-the Commission, the Congress, the industry and the public to take the necessary steps to prevent allowing the worst that television has to offer from reaching our unsuspecting children. I commit to you that this Commission will continue to put our resources into vigorously enforcing our indecency rules. I urge Congress to assist us in these efforts and urge the industry to do its part to protect our nation's children."

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI): "Indecent and obscene programming on TV and radio are becoming the norm rather than the exception. And local communities and local broadcasters are losing their power to tell the big media conglomerates no. Was the impact of consolidation on indecency ever considered by the FCC before it issued it rules and before the Administration forced greater consolidation on the American people?"

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps: "I pleaded before we voted on media consolidation last June 2nd, we owe it to our children, let's look to see if there's a connection between the rising tide of consolidation and the rising tide of media indecency. And we did not do that, and I think it was a disservice to our kids."

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein: "Just today we heard about Comcast trying to swallow Disney. So it's swallow or be swallowed. How do you avoid being swallowed? You get your stock price up so you can swallow somebody else. How do you do that? It's quarterly results. You have to make as much money as you can every quarter. How do you do that? If it takes pandering, if it takes crassness, if it takes making people eat worms on TV, if it means having people dance in lewd ways, whatever it takes, apparently, these broadcasters are willing to do it. So, there may well be a connection there."

These are just another example how the tigger events let loose the controls of the agenda and debate and give rise to unlikely allies and new opportunities that will only exist in the midst of the chaos. We have always had a movement that is prepared to direct people toward meaningful change. However, we need to retool and restructure our advocacy efforts so that they can keep pace with the tempo of the American Debate. We will need to build the network capacity to respond to media trigger events and we need to accept new models of engagement.


Cooking with the Internet -- A Recipe for Grassroots Success

Cooking with the Internet -- A Recipe for Grassroots Success By Jonathan Peizer takes yet another peak at the lessons from the Dean campaign. JP raises some nice solid points to consider as you plot new advocacy campaigns. I recommend reading the article. However, I thought it was important to tease out and comment on some points.

The biggest point that I struggle with is the setup of the ingredients. Successful online advocacy through social networking is about having the right ingredients to organize, communicate, and, most importantly, win the day. It is important to not separate the successful advocacy and successful online advocacy. They are one in the same. JP's article flows from that understanding but the leap in the modern political campaign (Dean, Kerry, Edwards and Bush) is that campaigns can now work both ways. One successful strategy is to use modern connectivity to define issues, communicate, organize, social network and the win the day . This is reverse of traditional order and decentralized from the start.

The rest of my comments flow from that subtle difference but ultimately I agree with the general guidance JP lays out.

Quotes, I like:
You can't artificially contrive issues -- they either capture people's attention and imagination or they don't. Each issue also has a ceiling for participation. I would also add a time limit. Campaigns need to increasingly respect the idea that people are only going to give you a brief window to engage them and use their support.

When organizers were paired with the new technology tools available, a potent combination of skill and logistical support was achieved. It is the logistics capacity that enables new campaigns to change tempo and scale effectively. The basic organizer challenge is to understand how to use that new flexibility to create a political advantage.

Busy people wishing to engage in a variety of activities often require one-stop shopping online to learn what is going on and to connect with those disparate activities through some centralized links. JP focus on aggregation sites. However, it is just as likely that we can adopt strategy to allow more temporary connection campaigns using micro-issue specific hubs that do not attempt to engage in longer term or broader agenda of issues.

A serious, sustained national or international issue campaign needs substantial resources behind it for both online and offline advocacy. - YES! BROTHER

Finally, JP does nice job wrapping his assessment and looking at the successes and failures of advocacy using online strategy. The important point is that we have not seen the final style of the successful campaigns just yet and we need to keep pushing to figure out how to update advocacy strategy to the age of connectivity. We need to focus on designing network-centric approaches to advocacy.


Creating a Common Communications Culture: Publications: Virtual Diplomacy Initiative: U.S. Institute of Peace

Rob Stuart hooked me up with a wonderful article Creating a Common Communications Culture: Publications: Virtual Diplomacy Initiative: U.S. Institute of Peace

The focus of the paper is on the relief and humanitarian aid groups working in life and death environments. In an atmosphere which groups have stressed the importance of communications (internal and external) and breakdowns lead to mission threatening and therefore life threatening situations. The paper lays out an assessment that the network to foster communication is still set up with no clear central direction or game plan.

What are we building in the nonprofit advocacy sector with no central direction or game plan. What are the structures we are leaving in place by "accident"? Are they systems of connectivity that others can exploit in future campaigns or are they legacies of bureaucracy that must be struggled with in future endeavors?

Even with these visionary applications of information technologies to crisis management, we are far from fulfilling their potential. We tie our hands with outdated institutions and practices.


No technologies have been more powerful in reshaping the post-Cold War international system than those of the information revolution. Over the past two decades, nation-states and subnational groups, international businesses, and multinational organizations have struggled to incorporate the dramatic possibilities for their work of satellite communications, the Internet, inexpensive telephone and cell phone services, fax machines, and global computer networks. The innovations have occurred largely without central direction or a clear game plan, and the effects of the ongoing revolution in the way we communicate on international affairs will continue. We are only beginning to see purposeful efforts to channel all the power in these technologies in support of good governance...

We are certainly not the only sector struggling with updating strategy to leverage connectivity effectively or struggling with the appropriate value and role of outdated institutions and practices.

Perhaps most central to these assessments, we came to realize that communications interoperability is less a technical problem than a matter of organizational politics. Commitment at the very highest policy levels to implement and enforce omni-directional information sharing is required before there can be meaningful information exchange from headquarters all the way down into the field.


Blogs | Gossip | Advocacy

153-how_news_travels_on_the_internet_infographic.gif

Lifted from danah's site

from Stephen Vandyke

This post from danah is on the way news travels and the impact of blogs on the information flow. danah's subsequent rejigger to develop an infographic for the way gossip flows and the individual nature of geek vs. hipster inspired me to think about the infographic of advocacy information. Groups all think that our issue is the most important. Our "Dark Matter" is also a source like gossip. It is a combo of policy wonk chatter (Congressman X is attacking national forest ), stories that motivate people and actions that affect people (news from the NIMBY movement...power lines, walmart, development being planned that relate to larger policy failures.) These issues peculate with lots of groups referring to these new "Sources" which are in turn become initiatives of organizations or foundations to meet donor (or create) demand and then information flows out as RFPs, web sites, press releases, action alerts, grassroots groups picking up new language and programs, etc. The feeding of the secondary sources intensifies the cycle. Finally, the politicians and donors start to move like mainstream "offline" outlets. Just like danahs individual-centric overview of gossip, general advocacy follows many of the same dynamics.

I am sure there are a few of these infographics on advocacy issues. I should try to hunt them down.

The thing is, things twist all around when you do that. The "Dark Matter" becomes the SOURCE, personality tests become the "Dark Matter" and "Offline Media" become the "Traditional Big Media." Plus, instead of having greater/lesser blogosphere based on visits/day, you have hipsters/dorks based on internal perceived fashion (note: everyone thinks that *they* are the hipsters and that everyone else are the dorks so these graphs are inevitably individual-centric). What's important though is not getting to some "MetaNews" but affecting Friendster Profiles and getting loads and loads of support in the comments. That way, everyone knows that you're gossip is way more valuable than anyone else's. And then, of course, there's Gawker.



MobileActive: Rock the Mobile Vote

Many of our groups and progressive campaigns could have had this system deployed last year. I started shopping a broader proposal to build strategy for use of cell phones for civic engagement in 2002. Kudos to the Rock the Vote crew for getting it funded.

Rock the Mobile Vote

For the first time ever, your mobile phone can be your voice for change. Rock the Vote and Motorola will grant you entry into the first-ever community of citizens who will be politically connected virtually anywhere, anytime throughout this election year.

There is so much more that could be done in this space. If you know anyone with the funding to help the nonprofit community take advantage of mobile phones for civic engagement contact me via Green Media Toolshed. I am going to drop a line to the rock the vote team later today.


Talk Radio Tips and Tools from the Bush Campaign

Here is an amazing little tool that good people should co-opt.

1. Develop your daily talking points (post them on a blog)
2. Add a link to the Bush radio from your blog http://www.georgewbush.com/GetActive/CallTalkRadio.aspx?zip=20005 Replace the zip at the end with your local target zip. (Or just cut and paste the content to your local site.)
3. Check the Bush site for radio contact information (or become a GMT member).
4. Build your own talk show strategy.

Why do you need to talk to a few thousand conservatives? Are they your target audience? What message are you putting in front of them? Will your message change behavior of these conservatives? How are the conservative callers going to "spin" your call after you are gone? Is it still worth the effort?

Remember talk shows and talk show strategies are not about callers ..who cares if 50 callers hate your message ... or flame your lines when you appear on radio ..talk show strategy is about moving messages to the listeners (most never call).

The interesting thing about the Bush site is that they know the audience. They are psyching each other up for the game. Talk radio is the locker room pep speech for the right. We all know that the GOP is a master of the talk radio channels but it is kind of cool to see the tools and the decentralized approach encouraging folks go off in a sounding chamber. (They are not using talk radio to win converts but to reinforce the message out to the base.)

It is good radio and it is really good practice to call shows once a month.

Do you ever debate with truck drivers? (I used to drive a lot of hours as a circulation driver for a paper in rural PA and lots of miles zipping around GA to save rivers) The conservative truck drivers sound like spin men for the GOP. It is because they are coached in a sort of mobile madras. Day after day of 12 hour shifts listening to the same spin on the same message from hundreds of ditto heads.

It is worth looking at and thinking about who is your target audience? What do your core supporters believe about your issues? How are you reinforcing that message on a consistent basis?

As promised, here are the Bush Tips (includes everything but how to dial)

Tips for Calling Talk Radio Call Early: Call early in the show so you can be sure to be included in the program.

Keep Calling: If the call-in line is busy, just keep redialing the number. You will get through, especially on a local program.

Plan What You Are Going to Say: Print or write out your talking points to help you plan what you are going to say before you are on the air.

Know the Single Point You Want to Make:

Be Clear and Concise:

It is safe to assume that the White House (or surrogate) has called the radio stations in most markets to bolster your chances of not getting cut off with conservative boobspeak. (However, if you are calling to ask questions about WMD, Mercury in the air, jobless economy expect to be censured.) Remember they control everything so don't expect to make any debate points. Small market radio talkjocks will often hang up, change subjects or make up (or quote others') lies after you are off the air to refute your point of view.


If you can get through, testing a conservative message can be lots of fun on radio. Often your own core values and beliefs can really resonate with talk listeners. Talk about a specific dishonest industry or industry tycoon and bridge conversation to enforcement issues. Talk about the unresponsive government staff (ignoring home owner input) that ignore the public then go work for the very industry they were supposed to regulate. Talk about the other failures of the free market (inappropriate government intervention is only one) focus on the impact of externalities on price and health of the economic system.

Talk about your spiritual connections to environmental work (feel free to invoke St. Francis, St. Martin, the Pope or pull anything from the Interfaith-Coalition-for-the-Environment site . Talk about the facts that you are an environmentalist that you volunteer in your community, pay taxes, care for your kids and your neighbors. Talk about the horror stories that inspire your anger (asthma, lead, communities that live with GE's PCBs while GE shareholders take huge dividend checks) and make fun of the shrill divisive way that radio typically portrays environmentalist. Ask them if they trust corporations (Enron, Boeing) with the health of the community or local volunteers that rally to protect a special place.


Babies Against Global Warming: Great Internet Campaign Garners 235,000 Actions

full_postcard_baby.jpg

SIGN THE PETITION

There are some smart folks working at Environmental Defense. I really like this internet campaign. I will try to track it's success (235,000 as of 3/2/2004). It seems to follow the great rules of advertising (see Andy Goodman's Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes)

Things I like:
1. Strong Visuals
2. Good spokesperson (baby)
3. Simple message (protect my future..get a will, take care of education, protect my planet)
4. Viral spread (sending out across trusted networks that know which ad will resonate most with target audience. ...I will be sending baby ad to my moms groups and smoke stacks to friends in PA and NJ)
5. Focus on connecting children and environmental protection is playing to core American values
6. Baby looks like my 6 month old son
7. Works the environmental message in with other solid parent "to dos"
8. Specific ask that is a low threshold action.
9. Rewards participation (t-shirts)
10. Most important, the site allows people to pick up the campaign to some degree (glifs for IM, wallpaper, sign up sheets, etc.)

Things that could be improved:
1. The receiving screen is not customized based on the email-card sent and received (baby card should have children message! This is really offensive and easy to fix based on url hidden in post card link).
2. Step by step process could be clarified (progress along a side bar is only available on the home screen).
3. Confirmation email conflicts with the "STAY IN THE LOOP" tone and wording. I clicked " Yes, send me periodic updates from Environmental Defense about global warming and other environmental issues on which I can take action. but the email I received in one minute says "Welcome to Environmental Defense Action Network, a rapid-response email activist community that puts the power to
protect the environment at your fingertips. You are joining nearly 1 million other email activists taking action online with us to protect the environment. Being a member of Environmental Defense Action Network is absolutely FREE. All we ask is that you respond to at least 3 alerts per year. You can expect to
receive your first alert soon!"
One..It does not read like a periodic update about global warming and other issues but a ACTION NETWORK heavy traffic response list.
4. Donation is not clearly linked to my campaign interest (specific ad, staff or expenses to protect my boy)
5. Donation requires me to fill out everything all over again.
6. Donation is to "become a member" rather than support the campaign specifically. Yes, I would like to become a member! Count me in! I am excited to join Environmental Defense's member community over 300,000 strong. I support your use of leading-edge scientific research, sound economics and tireless advocacy to achieve key victories to the world's most urgent environmental problems. After I complete the short form below, please send me a confirmation of my gift.
7. Nice site but the navigation is jumpy. No press room for the media. The petition signers in your area should be more like local environmental meetups, or spokes people for the campaign or a way to connect to others not a map.
8. Activists Downloads are not very useful. Why not add fact sheets and factoids that can be used in papers and web sites of allied groups. What about talking points for the campaign? What about speaker training? There is a huge amount of content and expertise on this site alone that could be packitized into useful products for lots of other groups to use.

Overall, the campaign seems like a nice design and good communications effort. However , the success is being handicapped by poor technical execution, and failure to respect the user experience (ie. total focus on keeping participants moving the campaign goals forward. ) The focus keeps trying to pull users back into the Environmental Defense umbrella (membership, action alerts and branding on everything (except pull tab handout) rather than enabling supporters to continue to move the agenda.

Kudos for the campaign. I will continue to support it and hope other do too. I also hope we can use these analysis to further refine network approaches to advocacy.