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If you are like most people, you check your smartphone within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Heck, you probably check it before you even get out of bed, right? With 95% of Americans owning a mobile device, we need to meet people where they are: their phones!  PCDC member Sandi Fox of Smart as a Fox says, “Mobile is truly the best way to reach and engage with your supporters and motivate them to take action.” While there is still a gap between those who have a basic mobile phone and those who have a smartphone, both can receive text messages. Sandi says mobile is also the best way to reach communities of color and those in rural communities with limited broadband. Communities of color text about 2% more than whites. “Did you know that we spend more time now texting than talking on the phone?” asked Sandi. On average, we spend 26 minutes a day texting and nine minutes on the phone. And studies have shown that 90% of those that get a text message will read it within 90 seconds of receiving it. Imagine, contacting your target audience in 90 seconds! Well stop imagining and do…

Posted by Cindy Hoffman in Uncategorized Read More

This attic item was originally posted at techPresident on October 11, 2011.  By Alan Rosenblatt (a.k.a. @DrDigiPol) Editor’s Note 2019.05.22: Insert bots. Editor’s note 2011.10.11: With Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and the rest of the Republican field set to meet tonight for the Bloomberg/Washington Post debate, now is the perfect time to inaugurate Backchannel, what we hope will become an ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, hosted on techPresident. This piece comes from Alan Rosenblatt, associate director for online advocacy at the Center for American Progress. It would be a serious mistake to think that just because Mitt Romney has 1,129,189 million Facebook fans and Rick Perry only has 167,060 fans that Romney is more successful on Facebook than Perry. Meanwhile, the surging Herman Cain has 255,315 fans. There are two key considerations that we must make to make a proper comparison between these two candidates’ Facebook presence. First, the stark difference in the number of fans each has is directly the result of time. Romney has been building his Facebook presence since he launched his last presidential bid in 2008. That means he has been building a national audience for four years, fueled by enormous press…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Uncategorized Read More

Here is a piece I wrote in October of 2014 for the now defunct Connectivity blog at CQ-Roll Call. It called for campaigns and organizations to make social media a top priority, with appropriate staffing and resources. This is still a message that too many have yet to embrace. With the rise of fake news on social media, it is even more important than ever for reputable organizations and campaigns to posts reliable and credible content there. ________ Among Americans online, more people get their political news from Facebook than from CNN or Fox News. A recent study from the Pew Research Journalism Project finds that Facebook is second only to local TV news as a source for political news among the 89% of Americans with internet access. That is 48% of online Americans and 39% of Americans in total. And that is just Facebook. Throw Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ into the mix and you see very quickly that social media is the most powerful way to reach people across the nation with news about politics. This raises the question: Are you putting enough emphasis on social media at your organization? People who work at advocacy organizations, trade associations and…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Uncategorized Read More

Here is a piece I wrote in 2006 that apparently disappeared from the Internet. Someone asked if I still had it. Lo and behold I do. So here it is. NOTE: This was written 12 years ago. Nothing has been edited since then. _______________________________________ Can you just hear James Earl Jones saying that title?  I can. All jests aside, we are in the midst of a very touchy and serious debate over our rights to petition Congress via email.  There are two key issues at stake here, as has been pointed out by Jeffrey Birnbaum of the Washington Post. First, and most importantly, constituent email to Congress is being obstructed by Congress in two ways.  Technologically, Congress has been implementing webforms and validation processes (for example, CAPCHA codes and Logic Puzzles) that are obstructing the ability of citizens to exercise their First Amendment rights to petition the government in the name of protecting Congress from SPAM.  Behaviorally, Congressional staffers are apparently ignoring and sometimes deleting constituent email because they don’t believe it comes from real constituents. Second, as a result of the technological barriers erected by Congress, there is growing evidence that the ability to deliver email to Congress via…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Uncategorized Read More

I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the new Instagram Stories, which competes directly with Snapchat’s Stories, will reduce the need of advocacy and political campaigns to rush to colonize Snapchat. Stories is a feature that allows many people to contribute to a single aggregated thread on Snapchat, and now Instagram. Used with geo-fencing, for example, Stories allow everyone attending a rally or a conference to post to a collective forum on either of these respective platforms. That helps to create not just a sense of interaction with the event organizer, but a real sense of collaboration. For political campaigns, as I have written before, this can go a long way towards improving trust in the candidate and political efficacy. So why does Instagram’s new Stories feature forestall the need to colonize Snapchat? There are several reasons to consider: Instagram and Snapchat both reach the same Millennial audiences that campaigns drool over While Snapchat boasts 150 million users, Instagram has 500 million Instagram, according to the Pew Research Center, is at least as important a social media platform for youth and young adults as Snapchat Unlike Snapchat, which is primarily a peer-to-peer platform designed for private…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Uncategorized Read More