Sunday, November 18, 2012

How Not To Do A Web Based Grassroots Thing

Well Pat Quinn's grass roots thing for pensions has kicked off...

The webiste is www.ThisismyIllinois.com  doing a whois lookup, it appears that is was registered on 31-Oct-2012,  There is also a Facebook Page

BTW first off several variations (like .net) are still available..   Also it looks like the whole set of ThisIsMyIL is also available.

There is also a twitter account with a whopping two tweets so far (that's a groundswell). It appears the only non press entity it follows is Pat Quinn (might I suggest you add CapFax to those you follow).

It has a kid and a video on the front page, not sure who the dude is in the video, it isn't Pat Quinn. Also it appears to have a reference to Squeezy The Pension Python.  Who seems to have generated his own buzz. BTW www.squeezythepensionpython.com is also available.

But wait OneMan I want to be involved in this....

Well good luck with that Timmy..

Why because the Get Involved Page has two uses of the phrase 'stay tuned' and one of  'Dates and details to be announced soon' and interestingly no place to enter your information if you want to be involved.

That is why this is going to fail IMHO unless some major changes are made quick.

At their most basic any web based grassroots action has had to things.
A) A Call To Action
B) A way to immediately act on that call to action


To be blunt a you are pointing out a problem, not offering a solution (a problem with A) but even worse twitter account, a hashtag and a  Facebook page are not ways to act on a call to action (so you fail B).

Just look at the Oatmeal and his fundraising for the Tesla Museum (warning bad words) or his stuff about Bear Love  (also bad words) and the fundraising he did there.  He illustrated (literally in his case) and issue and gave you an immediate way to act.   You have had since August to figure this out, and after 3 months you have a get involved page without any specific immediate actions (or scheduled actions).

People are not going to come back to the site later to do something, pure and simple. They just don't. Every hit between now and when they can take specific action (or at least leave there name so you can contact them later) is a complete waste.

What they should have done/still may have time to do....

The video is too long (it is the longest 3:44 of my life, do it in 90 seconds with a different host). Do not explain what a pension is in your intro video, have a different video for that.

Have some ways to illustrate the problem from a local perspective...

Enter your address and see how much the pension hole is for your school district(s) for example... How big is your family's cut of the pension hole.

Have immediate next steps defined.  There should be no 'stay tuned', there should be we are having a meet-up/tweet-up/google+ meetup thing on X at Y and again at Z on A

Start taking names for a e-mail list... Gee, this is obvious.

Go to the Lincoln Presidential Library and go see the short film about casualties and area controlled by each side during civil war by date.  Develop something along the same lines about pension debt over time and the number of active and retired employees.  Send someone to training by Edward Tufte (the best $380 you may ever spend)...

You need to graphically illustrate the problem so someone can see and understand it in a single image.  This is doable.


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