I had a good discussion with a local political organizer near DC this evening. The discussion was about why he wouldn’t consider using Web 2.0 tools to empower his base but instead uses them in a traditional style for one-way broadcasting of information.
He mentioned that the most pressing need is to generate content for his base to read. My closing thought to him was that he could relieve that pressure on himself by letting his base generate some of that content.
Tools like AthenaBridge can help, because they let campaigns ask key questions and then invite voters to the table to discuss these questions.
Campaigns should empower their voters with an opportunity to be heard, and then campaigns should prepare to be surprised– yes some of the content will not be worthwhile, but a tremendous amount will be valuable, providing new insights and strategies that can bubble up into the campaign’s official talking points and strategies.
Web 2.0 offers a way to more fully harness the intellectual capital that volunteers bring to the table. When these volunteers know they are being heard and not just talked to, they’ll step up and be your biggest advocates.