ActRed and going social

I just saw over at RedState that there's an effort underway to create a right-wing version of ActBlue, called "Slatecard". It will work analogously to ActBlue, but the following caught my eye, from the description:

* Users can contribute donations to candidates that they support, and then "tag" the candidates with issues to help others find the candidate, e.g., "No Amnesty For Illegals" or "Fair Tax"; and

* Build a Slatecard of candidates that support your values which can be shared with your network through email, a website, facebook, or MySpace using apps and widgets."

This brings up two issues in my mind.

First, ActBlue is certainly innovative but is intended to use simply as a tool. There's no way to "tag" a candidate as slatecrad proposes, and that's something which would be nice to see (either on ActBlue or on a competitor). The immediate benefit would be to help channel donations on a more granular basis; I might be interested in creating a slate of pro-muslim candidates, for example. The ability to tag would have to be limited to existing users who have already donated - before I can tag a candidate, I need to have made at least a token donation via the page. That should filter out the graffiti.

Second, the primary sites in the ProgSphere (ie the Short Head that Bowers talks about) often refer to Facebook, etc in the third person but do very little to actually embed functionality that would serve as a pathway for users to transit between them. Embedding and sharing your ActBlue seamlessly on facebook would be brilliant; the same shoudl be argued for myDD or Dailykos as well, however.

What I'd like to see is development of simple tools like buttons that let you submit a story on DK or myDD directly to digg and facebook, and on every User Info page have a one-click "add to my Friends" buttons also. We need to stop thinking of these blogs as blogs and start thinking of them in community terms; that means paying more than lip service to "communities" in large blog posts, but actually building functionality that lets the communities crosstalk and cross-fertilize.

(as a sidenote its a lot harder to dismiss the left netroots as firnge if it starts to overlap substantially with the far vaster social networking sites out there; plus it allows for more rapid diffusion of our arguments into those virgin spheres.)

As for stories, the glue that binds is RSS. Twitter creates an RSS feed; that feed can be imported into FaceBook as a Note; why not have an official myDD Facebook user? And then port the Breaking Blue to run exclusively off of Twitter? All the BB contributors shoudl sign up for Twitter; then you replace the BB sidebar section with the Twitter widget; and export teh RSS. A side benefit is that ANYONE can embed the Breaking Blue feed on their own blogs.

Thats just one example of the kind of way we can truly embrace the web2.0 stuff rather than just pointing to it and saying, "woah, cool". Lets actually USE it. brainstorm!

Tags: Fundraising (all tags)



Re: ActRed and going social

Now, THIS is a diary of consequence.

Good topics.  Embedding our tools cross-platform and cross-functionally is hip, it's cool, and it's going to be effective.

by Peter from WI 2007-07-16 08:51AM | 0 recs
Good call

pitch your idea to the actblue people the next time they post on dailykos or here

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-16 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: ActRed and going social

PLEASE crosspost on Kos and OPen Left.  Great Diary!

by yitbos96bb 2007-07-16 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: ActRed and going social

i think a centralized disccussion has more merit; hopefully the overlap between the sites is high enough that the people who ardee interested in this stuff will read it here, esp now that it made the rec list (which rather surprised me).

by azizhp 2007-07-17 03:51AM | 0 recs
Great ideas!

It would be pretty amazing to be able to post your own personal ActBlue "slate" on your Facebook profile through an ActBlue application.  That could end up being an amazing tool.

by psericks 2007-07-16 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: ActRed and going social

hi.  i wrote actblue.

we intended for pages to be used exactly this way -- you could put together a page of pro-muslim candidates, and then promote it to any audience you wanted.  i'm reluctant to give candidates official tags (i can't imagine everyone agreeing on these designations) so we're left w/ the open approach of varied fundraising pages.

what have we missed?

by deberg 2007-07-16 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: ActRed and going social

Cool. Are you working on a facebook app, may I ask?

by sayhar 2007-07-16 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: ActRed and going social

thank you for replying. Congratulations on a literally game-changing application, and the 25million mark. I wish you guys were around back in the Dean Nation/baseball bat days.

Bearwith me, I tend to get wordy...

simply put, a page on ActBlue is like a single blog post. Its created y one person, its got a unique URL, it exists as an "end node" - the idea is that people get to it and STOP, and ACT.

Adding folksonomy capability to ActBlue as I suggest above would be like when tags were addded to Dkos and mydd. By allowing users to tag both individual candidates AND specific ActBlue pages, you are creating horizontal linkages.

For example, suppose we have a tag called islam. Now I might create an ActBlue page devoted to my candidates and tag it such; but so do others. Then, someone new coming to ActBlue with only the idea tha they want to support muslim-friendly candidates, but who are new to politics and do not have the resources that I and others do to actually research wih candidates might meet that criteria, simply will lok for candidates and pages tagged Islam. This is a much more valuable and targeted "search" than simply typing "islam" into ActBlue's existing search boxand hoping for relevant hits in a candidate bio or an ActBlue page description, because the tag was applied by a human being.

The key here is that the new user, withh money to burn and a desire to effect change for progressive  politics, can immediately leverage the experience of the more seasoned users and start making a difference. They can jump in; that lowers the barrier to entry and - of course - increases the amount of money you can raise/coax out of pockets.

Remember that ActBlue pages, like blog posts, are a vast ocean. No one can credibly argue that tags have been anything but massively useful for blogs; witness the runaway success of Flickr, and Technorati.

You express your reluctance,

to give candidates official tags (i can't imagine everyone agreeing on these designations) so we're left w/ the open approach of varied fundraising pages.

no offense intended, but this betrays a misunderstanding of how tags work. You imply that tags are official, and closed. In fact they are precisely the opposite. I will leave it to others to expound more on the merits of tags, but I can point you to this reading material for starters: ter-mediated-communication/folksonomies. html

in a nutshell; add tags to (a) candidates and (b) ActBlue pages. For quality control, require that to tag a candidate, you must be a registered user AND you must have made a token donation ($2) to the candidate. Allow anyone, even non-registered users, the ability to tag ActBlue pages (but allow the owner to edit the tags). This will create rich, detailed metadata that will vastly increase the targeted traffic to pages at ActBlue and result in more overall donations.


Note that tags are only half of what I recommended. The other half is to crerate explicit linkage to Facebook, LinkedIn, and mySpace. I shouodl be able to add a widget to my Facebook page that lets my network on that site immediately donate to my pages of choice, for example. Thats only the most obvious trans-community connection, but there are a lot more things you can do. I am hoping that others will chime in here so we can get a real brainstorm going on what forms those connections might take.

by azizhp 2007-07-17 04:15AM | 0 recs
Re: ActRed and going social

by deberg 2007-07-16 01:55PM | 0 recs
Totally agree here...

I would love to see these features, too, on these blog sites.  Just a click of a button, similar, someone to RSS feature, only the user/we, would have control as to what group to send it to.

by icebergslim 2007-07-16 02:12PM | 0 recs
Re: ActRed and going social

Aziz -- You were a true pioneer literally at the launch of the Dean candidacy -- once again with these ideas you are helping to build a formidable progressive infrastructure.  I hope ActBlue will take these ideas and run with them -- and that people take advantage of Facebook apps and other tools to make things really move.  The power of the progressive movement is going to have to come from the creativity and ingenuity of the netroots and grassroots.  You can already sense the careful cautious nature of establishment Dems taking hold and not looking to change the way things are done.  Thanks for making real change possible.

by JoeTrippi 2007-07-17 02:40PM | 0 recs


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