Saul Alinsky's RULE 1: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." - Network adjustment: It is also about the power your people think you have. The power of the internet voice now makes audiences believes that they can not be ignored or silenced. The power of network is that your enemy doesn't believe they can figure out the limits of your power anymore.
RULE 2: "Never go outside the expertise of your people." - Network adjustment. "Your people are smarter and more skilled and much broader and far flung than ever before." Expertise is not confined inside your walls or geographically as it once was.
RULE 3: "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Network Adjustment: "The only "expertise" that is uniquely segmented and unavailable to anyone is genuine emotion and passion vs. manufactured support. All else can be acquired in a networked world.
RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." Network Adjustment: There are very few enemies that allow for "clear definition" in a network connected world. No clear enemy means no clear rules.
RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." Network Adjustment: Ridicule online is is the most potent weapon in a connected culture.
RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." Network Adjustment: A good tactic is one that breaks thru the noise of a connect culture to your target audience. A good tactic is one that creates positive movement or positive positioning of the issue or your efforts.
RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Network Adjustment: Predictable actions have usually counter-measures.
RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Network Adjustment: Keep the threat ever present but do not consistently spend resources. Spikes of attention and energy are more likely to destabilize a struggle rather than constant pressure.
RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Network Adjustment: unless the thing goes global and viral.
RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." - Network Adjustment: If you push a negative hard enough it will dominate the web discussion and become a fixed feature of discussions and debates.
RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. Network Adjustment: In a connected culture, alternatives can take shape on the fly. However, don't start an attack if you don't have some solution you back in the works.
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Network Adjustment: It is very difficult to target and impossible to freeze enemies. They have a tendency to teflon and reinvent themselves or instantly re brand. In the networked age, it seems more effective to not polarize solutions and personalize the conversation.
Long-live Sail Alinsky!
The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky and his Legacy Narrated by Alec Baldwin. Produced by Chicago Video Project and Media Process Educational Films. 1999.
A gripping story about how ordinary people can become forces for change. The documentary portrays a slice of community organizing history by revisiting Saul Alinsky’s pioneering organizing work with labor, civil rights, and religious leaders, and looking at how people use his methods today.