My recent post on “Independence Day” sparked a spirited discussion around poll data showing that only 8% of those questioned identified themselves as members of the “tea party” (hat-tip to gs).
This, in turn, became a topic of discussion among the a group of citizen activists formed to support our local group, SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition. This team, tagged as the San-Diego Local Order of Bloggers (the SLOBS), has been the cornerstone of our local independent-conservative information networking system.
During our exchange, three points were agreed upon in full:
1) The “tea party” is an idea, not a group. So while people may not identify themselves as members, that doesn’t mean they no longer believe in the value of small government, sane budgets, and the “little book“.
2) The “tea party” is in need of rebranding.
3) The retooling of the “tea party” must include better use of popular culture and social media.
As an example, I wanted to share the background on the SLOBs and how it is effectively used. The website was created by Charles Fettinger (aka “Doo Doo Economics”). He offers some details:
Our website is technically a blog aggregator with search engine optimization and social networking automation. Each time a blogger adds a new article, the article pops up on the website, Facebook, Twitter and in our Android App. Because the article is automatically available in several places on the internet , the article gains better position in search engines.
The website is intuitive and promotes our fellow bloggers work. It keeps us reading and commenting on each other’s work to promote the collaboration of ideas. The collaboration is not managed, which maximized innovation by allowing us to pursue stories and ideas. Many great ideas are built on the shoulders of other great ideas. In a battle of ideas, this is a tremendous advantage. Because the fact that our bloggers hold diverse perspectives, the SLOBs is a rich collaborating team.
Users find and share our articles on any social networking site from one central location at www.theslobs.org. Ironically, the one social networking site that does not interact directly with our site is FreedomConnector.org, but they are working on it. Each time a user shares an article, it helps everyone gain possible readers and improves the search engine ranking of the post.
We are integrated with a Facebook, and my personal Twitter account automatically tweets every article based upon blog “labels”. At the bottom of the website is a “wire network” feed based on the top story from the bloggers at the moment. The wire network adds a hard news element.
The website automatically updates about every four hours, but can be manually updated via a blue refresh button. The site also integrates with an android app that has a few extra features like search and storage of stories. A Windows 8 App is in the works.
The features of the website are cool, but the power is found in expanding the reach of freedom fighters. The bloggers do not see the app statistics, but since Sept 2011 the android app has added 115,658 reads. The biggest uncommon usage of the our RSS feed is on RebelMouse.com, a social networking aggregator.
One of the most effective uses of this system has been to share information and analysis of local and state ballot measures. And while we had several set-backs in the California last year, at least one tax-raising measure (Proposition 29) and one regulatory expansion (Proposition 37) went down to defeat, in part because of these efforts.
Those of you who are interested in developing something locally can contact Charles directly (click HERE). And while you may not have a strong background in the new technologies, lots of unemployed college graduates literally selling themselves to pay off student loans. You can inspire them to conservatism by the direct application of capitalism!
Just giving money to some national organization or party in hope of change doesn’t work. We need to form our own “social media militias”.