Thursday, October 27, 2005
Why start another political blog?
A few years ago my organization threw me headfirst into online grassroots organizing. Its been quite a ride. And in all that time I never thought to start blogging, if you can imagine, because I spend all day every day crafting email-based campaigns. And after writing all that email, its hard to imagine getting back online to join the great blog cacophany.
But I've learned a bit about blogging in the past year from my lovely spouse--Scott Henson, of GritsForBreakfast. And I've helped create two organizational blogs for the ACLU of Texas and for Consumers Union (Consumer Scribbler). The first is already good. The Scribbler needs a lot more scribbling.
When I thought about what I may have to contribute to the already significant and substative ongoing dialog about the role of the internet--I decided to focus on how nonprofit organizations need to change and adjust to get their message out in this modern media universe. Because the messages from good, hard working nonprofit advocates are important. Nonprofit organizations do some of the nation's leading research and policy development in dozens of areas rarely covered by the major media--criminal justice policy, consumer product safety, media consolidation, hunger, malaria and other preventable disease, and so much more.
But many nonprofit organizations are really struggling to get their message out. All of us who join organizations and volunteer are flooded with email. We read what we can. We screen out a lot. And nonprofits don't necessarily find ways to talk to people where they are; instead we assume that if we talk enough or put out enough white papers, that people will join us where we are. Mostly that just keeps the conversation circle really small.
I don't expect anyone to read this blog for the time being. I have everything to learn about blogging, but the best way to learn is by doing.