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partnerships:articles:ed1 [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Email as a tool for campaigning
 +===============================
 +
 +\
 + by [Ed Schwartz](mailto:​edcivic@libertynet.org),​
 +edcivic@libertynet.org\
 +
 +\
 +
 +
 +US activist and community networker Ed Schwartz recently wrote a book on
 +the use of the Internet for campaigning (NetActivism:​ How Citizens Use
 +the Internet, O'​Reilly,​ 1996).
 +[http://​www.ora.com/​catalog/​netactivism/​noframesl\
 +\
 +](http://​www.ora.com/​catalog/​netactivism/​noframesl) In Ed's view the
 +most basic Internet tools are the most useful.\
 +\
 + He comments: 'The heart of political organizing and advocacy is
 +communication. At any given moment, we need to be able to reach one
 +another and to speak out to the people in power. Up to now, we have to
 +do rely on snail mail, telephones, and fax machine. All are expensive
 +and limited in their outreach. Only large organisations or movements
 +with sizeable budgets could make full use of them.\
 +\
 + '​Email now adds a powerful new resource to the list. It is not simply a
 +"​me-to-you"​ broadcasting system. It is a powerful "​we-to-us"​
 +communications system. It is this system that permits people from all
 +parts of the world to connect simultaneously with one another quickly,
 +easily, and at minimal cost. This is the system that holds the greatest
 +for the Internet in politics.'​\
 +\
 + Email is also be useful in the day to day work of organisations,​ says
 +Ed.\
 +\
 + '​We can use email to develop online, to establish ongoing discussions
 +within our civic and political organisations,​ thereby strengthening the
 +relationships among group members and attachment to the group itself.
 +The hardest problem facing any organisation is securing attendance at
 +its meetings, especially now when both parents in families are likely to
 +work and need their evenings to spend time with their children.\
 +\
 + '​It'​s rare for a group to get together more than once a month and even
 +these occasions involve only a small portion of the membership. The
 +result is that boards and committees end up doing most of the work,
 +which is then conveyed to the membership via a newsletter.\
 +\
 + '​A group that established an email list for its members, however, could
 +conduct business every day. There would still have to be "real time"
 +meetings, of course. Even ongoing electronic communication is no
 +substitute meeting face-to-face. Nonetheless,​ a list would permit those
 +who could not attend regular meetings to offer suggestions online in
 +their absence. It would enable members to see drafts of proposals prior
 +to meetings and offer feedback before formal discussion began.\
 +\
 + '​People could even "sign off" on final drafts of proposals and
 +resolutions without having to wait a month for the next meeting. If
 +citizen activists and political organizers had asked the
 +telecommunications industry to develop a new technology just for us,
 +they couldn'​t have found a better one. '
 +
  
partnerships/articles/ed1.txt ยท Last modified: 2017/06/12 10:20 (external edit)