Kudos to the CRP at their convention this weekend for hosting the RNC's new digital CTO Andy Barkett (hired from Facebook) for an educational session entitled 'The Wonderful World of Data'.
In a fairly comprehensive (and somewhat technical) presentation, Mr. Barkett both instructed his audience at set forth hints of his overall vision for data development within the RNC for the near future.
Democracy.com has released a new web site resource that claims to offer you a free candidate web site (although we suspect there is a percentage charge for donation processing) and significant social media hooks.
I swear if I see another set of social media icons like I see at the right, I'm going to commit hissing, spitting seppuku right here online.
The sad part is, illiterate GOP consultants are giving candidates and parties the icons at left and guaranteeing that they are 'good to go' with social media.
Bunk. And even more unsavory expletives.
Let's consult the acknowledged experts, the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos. Leaders of the left social media, I guarantee you can follow the links to those sites above and you will not see the icons at right, nor pages similar to what those icons link to.
Instead, you'll see icons/buttons that actually work to promote their web site content - the very reason that the left is winning in social media spaces. At the experts' sites, you see icons and toolbars like this:
25 or so of them on each HuffPo page, fewer on Kos, but both take advantage of one idea: let your readers promote your ideas to their friends and followers.
If you are a conservative candidate or party you do not see the buttons immediately above but instead see the buttons at the top, you should immediately be on the phone with your consultant screaming bloody murder.
Why? Because the second set of buttons promotes your site and gets you free advertising. The first set of buttons does not.
Does the second set of buttons cost more to put on your site? No. They are copied/pasted onto your site just like the first set of buttons. The only explanation for the presence of the first set of buttons and not the second set is social media illiteracy.
At the end of this article, we'll offer you (free) the solution we discuss: subpoena-resistant email servers set up in Europe, with encryption tech you can use like a mini-storage: you lock it, you keep the key. NSAmail.us (or also innoc.us). Permanent FREE secure email accounts will be available for a limited time so you can try our NSAmail.us Beta.
Today, we learned that CryptoSeal has followed Lavabit and SilentCircle in stopping secure email operations for US customers. A moment's reflection (and wide discussion) reveal the theory that they shut down because they received US Government subpoenas for their encryption keys - subpoenas that contain secrecy orders, imposing severe penalties if they disclosed that that their encryption keys had been subpoenaed. We don't know for sure, because they aren't saying, but the fact that they won't disclose specific reasons for shutting down their services suggests they have been placed under legal obligations of a subpoena with a gag order attached.
Although these vendors benefited from the misconception, the entire scandal rests on one deplorable consumer miscalculation: that people and companies must rely on an outside vendor to manage their day-to-day encryption and privacy security for them.
That's simply not the case. Like Americans in an earlier era, we do have the capability to be easily and securely self-reliant for our privacy and ciphers to secure our own communications. The tech is available, and it's easy to use.
And if we are self-reliant with easily-deployable tech in that fashion, then the NSA, CIA, Homeland Security and DOJ can issue all the subpoenas, warrants and pen register demands they desire, and even retrieve encryption keys from the vendors... and the contents of our communications are still safe, still secure.
Advanced tech was
essential to the caucus
By all reports, the 'maiden voyage' of the Tea Party California Caucus (TPCC) at the recent CRP Convention in Anaheim, CA was a complete success. The TPCC digital operation was a big part of that success.
At the convention, caucus managers discovered that they possessed a communications system that could help them deal swiftly with unexpected events in committees, etc., as well as a platform that allowed them to publicize the cause, enroll activist delegates, recruit volunteers, raise funds, organize workers, and cause its TPCC Convention App to go viral on delegates' mobile phones.
While political opinions may differ, few can assert that the TPCC did not make the splash it hoped to make at the recent Anaheim convention of the California Republican Party.
Digital tech was involved in nearly every aspect of the caucus' labors at the convention, to recruit additional voting delegates, and to manage the caucus politically while at the convention.
So everyone knows the story of how the Dems used automation and social media to kick our butts in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
If you're using NationBuilder, you already have the tools to match that game. You do. Totally.
You can even do better than Obama and OFA.
Here's how the Dems do it:
|Caucus Floor Management at the CRP?
Tea Party tech may allow minority to caucus like a majority
It's major good news, both politically and on the tech front as the Tea Party California Caucus (TPCC), a collection of Tea Party organizations from up and down California, announces its intent to be present at the California Republican Party (CRP) Convention in October as a formal caucus.
I dare say that many Tea Party activists may well look back on the last week of August, 2013 as the week that real Tea Party political influence began. Many savvy politcos I've talked to across the country regard this as a HUGE development.
There are four major tranches of good news in this story: the formation of a Tea Party caucus at the CRP convention, the technology that the TPCC is employing, TPCC help in becoming a voting delegate to the CRP Convention (this means you!), and TPCC help in becoming a voting member of your district/county party central committee (again, this means you!); in short: learning to actually help govern the GOP effectively toward more conservative Tea Party principles. Then exercising that governing power effectively at the state party and subordinate conventions (other states outside CA have subordinate conventions, CA does not).
All three, together and separately, are the most powerful short- and long-term tactics for exerting influence in governing the party.
But it's not just the intention of the Tea Party to start getting inside CRP governance that's good news, it's also the tech they've deployed to both manage and inform the caucus during the CRP convention in October.
Although the picture above, (which perhaps suggests a lot of delegates on the convention floor getting their voting instructions directly from caucus managers) is definitely a wild exaggeration, there are many very valid and exciting use cases for the technology that will help political underdogs wield real influence at a state party convention.
Imagine attending such a convention and getting a text message that says something like:
"Resolution committee considering affirming 'comprehensive immigration reform' now. Pls proceed to Ballroom A to speak out."
The idea that electoral power can be seized from central authority and exercised locally is gaining traction in many more quarters.
Well worth reading today is a Forbes article by Ralph Benko (read the whole thing: "Will Republican Superdonors Rein In Karl Rove And Other GOP Rogue Elephants?").
In his article, Benko explains that superdonors are getting very wary of RNC promises to deploy tech that will dominate future elections. Benko advocates 'pushing power to the edge' (the counties in my interpretaion) to empower local parties, and he advocates tech to do it. Benko's 'power to the edge' concept is so important, he mentions it no less than 7 times in the article.
NRCC copies creepy OFA tactics, but with less truth...
The NSA apparently has not forsaken all integrity - in truly ecumenical fashion, they appear to be sharing data with the NRCC as well as the IRS and OFA.
Lots of folks, including Jim Geraghty at NRO have noticed that former Obama campaign org OFA is sending out those creepy 'OFA is watching you personally' emails.
Geraghty has apparently never given the NRCC his email address or he'd probably be aware that the NRCC is doing exactly the same thing, but with an interesting and dishonest twist.
I'm a tech evangelist who's constantly calling attention to tech that our adversaries get right, but I've never advocated copying tech just because it's better. Yesterday I got the email below from the treasurer of the NRCC.
Not only have I never 'joined' the NRCC, but if I had, I suspect they would have remembered my name from the credit card transaction.