(scroll below the map for info on trubo-charging your political operation)
Today, TechPresident is telling us "Grassroots Republicans Are Not Waiting for the RNC To Revamp Their Digital Strategy" in a story about the two hackathons* we are anticipating later this month.
It's true, but TechPresident does not know the half of it!! We'll return to that news further below, because more exciting news has to come first.
We have announced that we are offering non-urban GOP counties a very special price for getting an advanced tech NationBuilder electoral solution up and running, and if the low $250 price is too much for some counties, we've offered to help them crowd-fund it to get the price down to just $150.
Unfamiliar with NationBuilder capabilities? Look here.
There are matching funds already available now, but you are the 'crowd' in 'crowd-funding' -- to provision these hi-tech sites for GOP counties, we need your help.
GOP county parties will benefit directly from your help (transparency and disclosure are here) - we know that most of the states and the RNC are not going to offer workable tech solutions that can be used at the county level for a reasonable price. Fortunately, for 5 years now, we've watched voter data and management software prices in free fall - to the point where prices have 'free fallen' far enough to put them in reach of county party committees.
And you know, just as I do, that it's the counties that must get the precincts walked and the phones banked. Can we count on your help to put a 'best of breed' solution directly into these counties' hands and train them to use it?
Back to the Hack
*TechPresident today reported on the Liberty Hackaton and the RevoltDC Hackathon as firm evidence that the GOP tech grassroots does not trust the RNC or the states to deliver workable tech solutions in time for the 2014 and 2016 elections.
Reluctantly, we concur. As some would say it should be for the GOP, private enterprise has to provision what the GOP grassroots marketplace actually needs: inexpensive voter data, and tools to manage both the voter data and the activists who will actually walk the precincts and man the phone banks, etc. Fortunately, as discussed above, that's already here.
With this class of solutions, the perennial question of local parties and campaigns examining the prospect of using RNC data 'Who Owns The Data?' goes away. You own the data -- with no obligation to share. Ever.
It's important to note that you do not need to be a coder to attend these Hackathons - the organizers are actively soliciting participation from campaign and party IT managers and social media dweebs who have a good sense of solutions they can get their activists and workers to accept - if you are one of those, you'd be welcome at these Hackathons and the coders promise to listen closely - after all they want to supply API apps that will be in big demand.
That's why we're assembling a team of experienced GOP IT folks to attend these hackathons. We'd appreciate your help for that, too. All members who plan to attend as part of this team have indicated that they will travel at their own expense, and need simply 1 or 2 nights hotel. Hotels at both locations are expensive, approaching $400/night. (I haven't checked DC, but in SF, there are no 'motels' within walking distance of the SF venue). Effectiveness at both hackathons will rely on a lot of 'after hours' networking with others, so staying close to the venue is important. In addition, we plan to print hand cards to hand out to programmers so they'll have some guidelines to take home with them.
If you decide that you want to help with hotel expenses and hand cards for these GOP IT folks, your donation will count double: it will also be applied to helping GOP counties get their NB solutions as outlined above, thanks to matching funds kindly supplied.
Turbo-charge your political advocacy operations
While written specifically for owners of NB sites, this page on turbo-charging your NB implementation will help any political advocacy effort regardless of the web/voter data platform you have deployed. Here's the executive summary:
Executive Digest: Making your new NB implementation productive immediately 'out of the box' requires some immediate adjustments. Specifically: remove site distractions that won't be productive in early stages, add advanced social media controls, ask for social media participation, get your donate page up, establish an email list, set up engaging, interactive pages or resources, get your mass email out, follow up, start measuring growth, rinse and repeat.
Without these measures, you'll be wondering why your NB implementation 'isn't working'!
If you regard NB as a 'static online brochure', then NB will not help you with your advocacy growth. If you regard NB as a pile of bricks with which you will build an advocacy edifice, then you have the right idea. Nobody is going to be impressed or interact with a pile of bricks - you have to organize and apply them.
You have to move at least one brick a day to build your advocacy edifice. You do this by engaging with your audience through interactive web pages, mass emails and social media (when you are not doing precinct walks and phone banks).
Full details are here.