I’m working on a new white paper for my good friend Ken as we attempt to use technology to leverage his Ken-ness to the world.
Here’s a new section for you to chew on while I finish up the rest of the white paper, titled “Keeping Ken Blue”:
Blogging & Podcasting
Ken Camp currently has no blog. So why should he start one? Think of it as an on-going staff meeting. Ken puts out ideas and is offered instantaneous feedback and suggestions. A blog is only as effective as the community it engages. A blog should not just be a one-way conversation or an extension of the Ken’s nasty emails. Nor should a blog be an ATM for his beer budget. The blog needs fresh content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The blog should be a team approach with at least one “front-page” author to maintain relevance and content. Examples of team blogs are Daily Kos (www.dailykos.com) and Washblog (www.washblog.com). Ken should be a regular contributor to the blog.
Ken’s friends and co-workers should be encouraged to establish blogs, in their own words, and to take time to respond to questions in the comment threads. Successful blogging is about establishing dialogue and trusted two-way communications. It is important to note that it isn’t enough to just post your thoughts and leave. Chris Bowers of MyDD (www.myDD.com) notes, “to post and not respond is the blog equivalent of ringing a doorbell, leaving a note and running away.”
Ken should be available monthly, if not more often, to take questions from bloggers via meetings or teleconferences. Make available weekly, Ken, for questioning by local and state bloggers through in-person meetings, teleconferences or the Internet.
Ken should also send daily talking points, press releases and reports to local and state bloggers for dissemination throughout the progressive blogosophere.
In addition, Ken’s website should have a “Blog News” page that aggregates and organizes discussions in the progressive blogosphere. Websites such as the Pacific Northwest Portal and Google News are good examples of this.
“A successful organizational blog expresses the needs and character of an organization, permitting people to engage beyond the talking points.”
* Zephyr Teachout, Dean campaign – Blog for America Get This Party Started: How Progressives Can Fight Back and Win (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006)
Ken also needs to be friendly to young people who are increasingly mobile. Content should not just be accessible by desktop computer or laptop, but also through RSS feeds on a PDA or on a mobile phone. Text messaging with targeted messages to voters should be explored. In addition to the traditional activists of the Ken centered world, the website needs to encourage the participation of young people. Using current and future technology will engage young people in ways other technologies have failed.
Furthermore, podcasting should be available on the website. Podcasts provide an excellent means for sharing interviews, speeches, and answering questions or addressing issues. They personalize Ken in ways a written message cannot, and provide another means for getting out his message.
Podcasting might be considered this era’s counterpart to President Roosevelt’s “fireside chats.” Direct contact, whether verbal or visual, provides a far greater bond with the recipient that email or a web page. Given the mobility and work style of so many adults today, podcasts provide not only a means for citizens to download and listen at their convenience (“on demand delivery of content”) they can be easily shared on a web page. Most recently, podcasts can be streamed to mobile telephones, a popular trend with the youngest members of the Ken supporting citizenry.
Seriously though Ken, you really need to start blogging more often. At your own blog.