Twitter activism training




Twitter activism and the Patriot Act
Notes from Tuesday, November 3 training sessions

Please join us in the Patriot Act Action Hub to apply some of these lessons!
Wednesday November 4, 12:30 p.m. Eastern


Resources




Detailed notes


Patriot Act & FISA Social Network Activism Training (11/03/2009)

Original notes by Harry Waisbren, edited by Jon Pincus
Note from Jon: the tweets on the #patriotact hashtag were included in the the chat;
I've left them in the notes because I think they help convey the feel of Twitter activism
GetFISARight:
Twitter #patriotact activism training starting at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern -- please join us! #privacy

PrivacyCampDC:
RT @GetFISARight: Twitter #patriotact activism training starting at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern -- please join us! #privacy

ahulse:
RT @GetFISARight: Twitter #patriotact activism training starting at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern -- please join us! #privacy

jdp23:
RT @GetFISARight: Twitter #patriotact activism training starting at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern - please join us! http://is.gd/4Lo5t #p2

HarryWaisbren:
RT @GetFISARight: Twitter #patriotact activism training starting at 10 am Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern - please join us! http://is.gd/4Lo5t #tlot

ColinCurtisKS:
RT @GetFISARight: Twitter #patriotact activism training starting at 10 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Eastern - please join us! http://is.gd/4Lo5t #p2

GetFISARight:
the page once again for the #patriotact training: http://is.gd/4Lo5t


Intro

So far on the call, Gerald from Epic, Becky from Government Accountability Project, Deborah from Privacy Activism, Amy from BORDC, Jon's brother Greg from The Happy Accident, Amy from Philadelphia, Korkie from Get FISA Right. Gerald said from his perspective what he wants to get out of this are information on getting your name out, pushing a message, and fundraising. Will not be discussing fundraising much, but getting the organization's name and messages out on the Patriot Act, it keeps broader frame in mind.

A bit about where Twitter fits into Patriot Act reauthorization debate. One thing we are trying to do is start up social network activsm complementary to all the other kinds of activism going on. most of the campaigns are email/phone based. All important, and we can complement it by getting out on scial networking and meeting other poeple, getting them inovvoled

Twitter's key advantages from an activism perspective:

1) It's very fast. Activism on twitter can take stories from nothing to major media in 24 hours. Successful examples include motrinmoms, #amazonfail, Moldovan pro-democracy demonstrator (only 60 twitter users in Moldova); all got substantial press. See the Twitter section of my selected writings on activism for these and more.

2) Twitter is a way of reaching diverse audiences -- people who have not been included in civil liberties activism we have been suing so far. Social network activism and the future of civil liberties discusses this more.

3) Twitter is also a great mechanism form communications even amongst ourselves. Question of how do you know wht is goign on. 14 groups issuing action alerts for patriot act, want to promote them to get the word out, but how do we track that? Follow the latest in legislative action and analysis.

4) Twitter is also increasingly becoming a place where we can give direct feedback to politicians. Lot of politicians have twitter account, and can contact htem directly. No guarantee they repsond, but takes little time and very public. Lots of transparency, and then it's viral. When you contact a poitician, all of your followers see you ahve done that.

We'll be talking about tools to make all of these more effective.


The #patriotact hashtag


A hashtag is a tool for organizing on twitter with pound sign. Very easy to search.

We're using #patriotact for topics related to Patriot Act. Lots of other tags related: #privacy, #cfpconf for the Computers Freedom and Privacy conference.

So one easy thing we are encouraging everyone to do, as you see stories related to patriot act, if you would be telling people about anyhow, make sure to use #patriotact hash tag when you tweet.

Jon: that way, you can use any kind of serach on twitter to see all the storeis on the #patriotact tag. For example

http://getfisaright.twazzup.com is a custom search page put up by the SF based startup Twazzup which gets the tweets from #patriotact tag and related searches: "Patriot Act", "telco immunity". At the top there are the popular tweets, those that are the most retweeted. Below, a list of organiaitnos to follow. Most recent tweets from about 10 orgs. At one glance can see what's the most recent thing each of these organizations ahve said related to patriot act in last 48 hours.


BleuZ00m:
On the call: @GETFISARIGHT Twitter training. #patriotact #p2 Do you value your privacy?


On right hand side are "featured tweeters". We have GFR members in there, other people who have been blogging and wrtiing about this.

Below that on the right is the most popular links: what people have been tweeting the most.

Scroll down can see all the real time tweets and see who else is talking about this issue. one of the things this allows is you can follow up with folks like this indivdually. Often, if someone is retweeting GFR stuff we will thank them for the help. sometimes leads to a dialogue. A great way not only to get hte word out, but to engage

Greg: connections are important: if you just braodcast, not as good as conecting. Way to engage them. If you get htem interested they become an ally and a fan. If you feed information constantly, you do not build that.


Jeremy @ ACLU:
Can also watch Twubs that include multimedia content
http://twubs.com/patriotact
http://twubs.com/torture

Jon: Jeremy makes a good pont about twubs. similar idea of twazzup, making more senese on a topic of a particular tweet. Slightly different organizaiton, different strokes for differnet folks. one complicated part of twitter enviornment is there are a zillion different tools out there.

Amy: one thing I ahve done is I ahve added twitthis my browser this, and when I tweet an article I add a #p2 tag and will start adding #patriotact. It's very handy

Jon: a browser plugin you install or a tool bar thing?

Amy: tool where you get points and they offer to sell you crap. Just don't agree.

Jon: tools like Twazzup are really amazing. During unrest in Iran, were tens of thosands of tweets each day. Taht's where the value of a twubs or twazzup really shows through. can find out what's going on instnatly. As thigns ramps towards a hearing or activism heats up, using htese pages for dealing with rapid events. Also good if dealing iwth once a day. Look at it as a TV channel where I can see what's going on. Also good to come in and just see what others are saying

Jon: twitter lists are new funcitonality that has just come out, making this easier. we are setting something up for GFR adn will ahve more information soon, but not yet

Feedback to politicians


Letting people know what's going on is one thing, but taking energy and channeling it in a way to provide feedback is important. Just like in action alterts there is "phone you congressman", tweeting congressman is increasingly becoming an option

  • Tweet Congress is a directory of who's on Twitter
  • we also have lists of Senate and House Judiciary Committee members on Twitter and Facebook

So for example when the Justice Act and HR 3845 and 3846 were introduced, we immediately tweeted to congersspoeple thaknign them for sponsoring. Twitter is very polite environment, very nice compliment to loud and abrasive tone of so much activism. We can be loud and abrasive too, but it's a nice place to do the thankyou stuff

act.ly us a tool for twitter petitions. Written by Jim Giliam. See Nancy Scola's Can petition tweets change the world? for more. goal is to take these natural behaviors, do some more tracking with it to see who is tweeting. go to act.ly, can see which campaigns are catching fire

Some real successes with act.ly in other spaces, women in technology have used it it to put attention to conference organizers who are not having enough women (more here).When Feingold and Durbin introduced JUSTICE act we set up a petition to them, and we heard from someone in Feingold's office that after 30 tweets they noticed and thanked us. So it probably takes 30-50 to get on someone's radar, but after that it has a very concentrating effect. Here's some example act.ly petitions to Jane Harman, Hank Johnson and Sheila Jackson-Lee, and Arlen Specter

A nice thing about act.ly petition is all you ahve to do is retweet. Don't ahve to go to act.ly page. Here's one of our current ones: http://act.ly/R19 Jon: can sign in, click on the tweet button, or just tweet it from any browser. Notice I embedded #patriotact in the petition. When I tweet it, it lets people on that tag know someone else is tweeting this. it let's you follow how many people are doing this, mixed in with other things. On twazzup or twubs page, one of our act.ly's is in the most-tweeted list.

Jim Gilliam says the most effective act.ly campaigns are n driectly in response to events. At Obama's healthcare speech, when Joe Wilson shouted out "you lie", someone got up an act.ly petition very quickly asking him to apologize. As part of htat petition, directed peopel to a fundraising page, got a thousadn tweets in an hour and was great for fundraising.

They dynamic is, if someone sees just one person they are following tweeting something that's not as big a deal, but if others are tweeting that's a bigger deal. Esepcially if it's compresed in time

Jeremy @ ACLU:
and now there's @TheJusticeDept

Brons:
@RepJaneHarman thanks for sponsoring #patriotact reform, please also sponsor H 3846! (Please RT) http://act.ly/R1a

GetFISARight:
@RepHankJohnson @RepJacksonLee: thanks for sponsoring #patriotact and FISA reform! (Please RT) http://is.gd/4Mbcn

act.ly is far from perfect. Can't use it if you are trying to pressure multpile people simultaenously, have to set up a whole bunch of different petitions. ideally, would like to say "my zip code is ___" take me to my reps page. Infrastructure doens't exist yet. There is a site, tweetcongerss, with info from all the congresspeople on twitter. No smooth interfact for it, but that will come.

Amy: I think OFA has a page for that. How about I lookf or that and send it to you?

Jon: that'd be great

Jeremy @ ACLU:
notes pushed me up ... @TheJusticeDept is on Twitter now which would be good for Act.ly

Question: have people found it take s aconcentrated amount of tweets in a period of time, or so many over a day? Coordinated effort in advance?

Jon: good question. When things happen more quickly on twitter, more likely to get viral. Compressing things into a shorter time is a lot more effective

Brons:
@RepHankJohnson @RepJacksonLee: thanks for sponsoring #patriotact and FISA reform! (Please RT) http://act.ly/R19

eff:
Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e

kenny:
RT @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e


Trending topics, petitions, and more


Jeremy @ ACLU:
the ultimate goal would be to become a Trending Topic on the Twitter home page if we can focus on a day/time

Jon: At a twitter wide levle, there is a constant list of top 10 hashtags. See it on your home page and twitter search, lot of people who follow that When you get a hashtag to be a part of the top 10, get a lot more attention. One fo oru gaols has been to get the patriotact hashtag to be one of these trending hashtags. Need about 400 tweets or so an hour to do that. Lots of concentrated effort

Greg: a lot of it depneds on time of day. In general, 400 can work at some times, but the number has gone up per hour to do that. Most times #kidlitchat is over 1000 tweets in an hour and were not trending. We trended just for the shroterest period of time with about 1200 per hour, and when we did that we immediately gained attention. Got robots in it, and it was exciting. People do pay attention. Does take coordinated effort or a viral event, however

Jon: the national equality march managed to trend right when they were going by the whtie house

AmyStephen:
Hope so. RT @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on list, contact them today http://eff.org/r.b9e

PatJD:
RT: @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e


cherokeedems:
RT @EFF Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e




Amy: what do people feel about tweeting change.org petitions? Are they effective mechanisms? Depending on how you write it can generate email to legislators.

Jon: change.org petitions ahve had some successes.

Jeremy @ ACLU:
Change.org is limited to their network of users and typically is just to support orgs that don't have their own in-house advocacy platform (CRM) like Convio or DiA

Jon: I view these as all complementary. Tapping into a largely different base on change.org, or care2 which is a petition site. tweeting the link to that petition does two things. One, you get some crossover form twitter to that petiton. 2. it gets the word out on twitter that htere is stuff going on. I sort of see this that it's useful to retweet, and similarly the credo action petition had that made it easy to forward on twitter. Useful, each time it goes out you are letting them know that something is going on here

Jon: Jeremy points out that change.org is limited to their network of users.

Jeremy: have to be a signed up user. You may have ana abandonment rate becasue you ahve to sign up. Oragnizations are using that if they do not have their own platform for action alerts.

Jon: I wouldn't suggest organizations to do it, Get FISA Right expeirenced high abandonment rate. Would suggest for individuals though.

Amy: I know in my own circle on the east coast, I was amazed by response for change.org petition I did. Were people from all over the world signing up.

Jon: that's the thing, all of these things are complementary networks. When you think about civil liberties activism as a whole, very important to incorporate each of these

Jon: if you are following in the chatroom, lot of tweeting going on right now. @EFF has their action alert going out, and it's a classic best practices thing, using the #patriotact hashtag, various people are retweeting it. What Gerald said at the beginning, it's using twitter to get hte message out

GetFISARight:
RT: @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://is.gd/4Mbvh

ch3mi0n:
RT @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e

BORDC:
RT @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on list, contact them today http://eff.org/r.b9e

icono:
Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e (via @EFF)

korkie:
rt @EFF Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e

jjx:
RT @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e

BleuZ00m:
PLS RT: @EFF Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! #p2 @buzzflash

jimlegge:
RT @EFF Important vote in Congress on #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e #Alert

normative:
RT: @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://is.gd/4Mbvh

saranicole:
via @PatJD RT@EFF Important vote in Congress on #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list,contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e

Integrating blogs

Jon: one other thing I want to briefly cover is the idea of tying your blog in. having things go out automaticallyf rom yoru blog to both twitter and FB. Also on the blog having a "tweet this" or "share this"

Greg: I think that being able to make things as easily shareable as possible is the best possible strategy. I use TweetMe and ShareThis applicaiton. Both embedded in every post that goes up. sometimes people do share and tweet, don't know who will do it, but want to make it as easy as possible for them. I could write something up about that.

Jon: does any of your organizations have good practices for this that you would like to share iwth others? I think between the range of groups here there are a ton of great things going on.

Amy: one thing I found about connecting twitter to FB is it can have negative effects that you need to be careful of.

Jon: correct, think it's a huge mistake to couple tiwtter to FB feed. Waht I'm saying is slightly different, want blog posts in general to go out form yoru org's account on twitter and org's account on FB

Jon: your point is also a good one. The way people talk on twitter is very different than FB. danah boyd has a great essay on the two different kind of statuses. Whie it's tempitng ot say "i'll jsut make this easier and cross over" you typically don't want to do that

Amy: case in point, young campaign manager tweeted out personal things, showed up on congressioanl apge. Wildly inappropriate, and I dinged the candidate about htat

MikeRiggs:
RT: @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://is.gd/4Mbvh

ahulse:
RT @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e

Brons:
RT @eff: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://eff.org/r.b9e

Amy: I'm going to play around with my list, see if that's a way to notify eachother. Just started doing it, keeping it private for now, have a lot of republicans following me, selectively moving ina dn blocking them, need to be careful. Do it and report back.

Jon: great, thanks Amy.

Amy: are you going to send us the weblinks to follow for tomorrow.

drjonboyg:
RT: @EFF: Important vote in Congress on the #patriotact reform soon! If your Rep is on the list, contact them today! http://is.gd/4Mbvh

Wednesday's tweetchat during the markup

Tomorrow, 12:30 PM EST, is the much anticipated markup of H.R. 3845, the “USA PATRIOT Amendments Act of 2009“. The event will be webcasted and we will be holding a live “tweetchat” in our Patriot Act Action Hub to aggregate any coverage and to facilitate acting upon what happens.

http://get-fisa-right.wikifoundry.com/page/Patriot+Act+Action+Hub

Jim: last time we did that we filled up the CiL. Might want to make more people panelists.

Jon: good suggestion

Jeremy @ ACLU:
or maybe use USTream has little stronger "chat" platform

jon:
good point jeremy









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