NetGen Wants Small Group Organizing
Searching for the "Sweet Spot" in Group Effects

Activate Yourself: Decentralized Wake Up Service for the Body Politic.

One of the biggest problems with decentralized action is that it will be "spiky" in nature. People in decentralized campaigns might get "fired up and engaged" during a crisis or accompaning media circus but eventually they will shift attention to other activities. This is the biggest problems for the current advocacy groups and a dynamic the politicians count on to push some of the worst special interest policy. They have traditionally exploited the idea that people have short term memory.

Large organizations have used this reality as a major reason to keep people engaged and try to recruit them into the long term membership. Network-centric advocacy needs to make sure there are mechanism to "reactivate" people at key moments (like elections). A flash mob against the war does not scare politicians today but a flash mob that resgisters voters and commits them to an election day flash-reunion would start to get the attention of those in office. (See Move-On Democracy Mobs)

I went overseas on a volunteer assignment when I got out of college. Before all the volunteers departed, we wrote letters to ourselves. The letter was given back to us as we landed two years later. It was a powerful experience.

So...We need to do the samething for our network-centric advocacy efforts. We need a decentralized campaign management tool. If we get folks interested in an issue today, we need to have them leave themselves a message (voicemail, email, posting, etc.) that will be delivered "from them to them" on election day. No need to keep a third party organization around to remind people, no message, branding or spokespeople problems. During the network-centric campaign the organizers would only need to point folks to the "wake up" system and provide them with some prompts and language to work from.

Marty, Please call 555-1212 confirm your return number or send a messsage to yourself at this link. (we will deliver for you reminding you to register and on the day before the next election. Please record how you fell about the Issue "X" . How do you want to make sure you vote? Tell yourself how important this is" How From You to You

Think of it like a long term wake up service "to the people from the people". A simple report could let politicians know that 100,000 people have left reminders to look at the candidate positions on clean water before they vote. No lobbying group, no PACs, no electioneering reporting..message loops that are managed by the masses to self-organize political clout.

The job of professional advocactes would then shift from attracting an individual to a branded longterm relationship to a series of campaigns that get folks to pay enough attention today to leave themselves a serious message. (something like an open source "Mr Wake Up"Iping) the whole service could be set up with a single democracy grant. The service will send no ads, no one owns your name, the data will never be used for anything exept the reminder the user sets up.

This would be really easy to do.