Given that politics is all about people, it’s a natural fit for the Internet and online social networks. In many ways the Internet is the ultimate “precinct” in America’s politics, in that everyone “lives” there.
The overwhelming majority of registered voters have online access, and huge (and increasing) percentages of them regularly access political information online – which puts them only one step away from taking action – if they have the opportunity.
That’s where you come in.
The fact that so many people are using the Internet for political information and activity means that you should see it as a natural extension of your activism.
And while the Internet is becoming an increasingly effective tool, it’s also becoming easier to use, which puts everyone on a more even playing field.
All three of the fundamental elements of politics, (communications, organization and fundraising), have been impacted by the Internet.
As technology continues to change, it will have increasing political applications – which means you need to master and apply the technology in order to be as effective as possible.
Three benefits of online organization:
1) Better communications:
It can aid your communications efforts by making it easier for you to provide important information to your supporters, and making it just as easy for them to share it with others.
This also better enables you to inform bloggers and members of the “mainstream media” that may want to cover your efforts. The more of YOUR information that’s posted online, the more you fill a factual vacuum that would potentially be filled by your opposition.
2) Better organization:
It can aid your organization efforts by allowing your supporters the opportunity to engage with your campaign without having to come to a headquarters or go to a meeting.
It allows them to participate on their own terms – and makes it easier for them to “spread the word” to others they know, since it’s Internet based.
The Internet also makes it incredibly easy to do one of the most important preliminaries to “organization” – “identification”. You can’t really do much in the way of organizing people until you have identified “who” cares about your issue. You can do this with free online petitions, (with sites like AktNow for example).
3) Better fundraising:
Online organizing can aid with fundraising simply by providing a central place that you can direct supporters to for making contributions.
Once you’ve got a fundraising page, you can link to it in email, on printed material, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Even a simple PayPal account could get the job done for an ad hoc effort.
It can also make fundraising viral, as it makes it easy for your supporters to share a fundraising link with others, along with a message encouraging them to make a donation.
What to do?
You can approach online activity in one of two ways: either as an addition to what you want to do with an “offline” organization efforts (such as precinct or church based), or as your only method of organization.
Good online efforts can help enhance and increase the productivity of your “offline” efforts, such as recruiting volunteers, sharing information, coordinating action and raising funds.
Whichever route your organizational efforts take, you should seek to use the Internet as an integral part of your communications, organization and fundraising efforts.
Can you think of any other examples of how the Internet makes online political activity easier or more important for conservatives? Sound off in the comments.
A version of this column originally appeared in feedproxy.google.com.