Characteristics of the net Network theory 6 degrees of separation Hubs A process not an object Long-tail
Democratic market 50 years ago Homogenous/ Mass Market Loyal/Tribal Hierarchical Relatively Passive Not mobile Community defined by geography Decentralised and small scale
Democratic market now Differentiated/Niche Markets Volatile Flat Demanding Mobile Community defined by interest Large scale
How is internet likely to change politics? Increase market differentiation Make electors more volatile Further flatten hierarchies More demanding Increase numbers of communities of interest Scale will be less relevant Re-engineer the back office
Traditional political organisations Political Parties, Trade Unions, many NGOs Strong hierarchies Exclusive membership Creed
Modern political organisations Greenpeace, WWF, GetUp, US political parties Membership convenient casual opportunistic Works, not faith/Transactional not relational
Why traditional political organisations are withering Inherent conflict between a corporatist approach and a participatory structure. Like a Macdonalds where you have to buy a membership before you can buy a burger.
Internet If it didnt exist the modern political organisation would need to invent it. Convenient Undemanding Ubiquitous Agnostic
McCain v Obama Obama 50% online (Open Secrets) $215 per person (Daily Kos) New Hampshire $500,000 in 30 mins, $4.4 M two days
GetUp – AFL Grandfinals Ad competition $50,000 per ad $280,000 Five ads
Organising supporters 287,868 supporters Email still the killer app
Organising supporters FaceBook According to the BBC a student protest in Britain has been successful in getting HSBC to reverse its policy change on interest- free accounts for graduates. While the protest also had a real life component, with a protest at the banks London headquarters organized by the national Union of Students, the campaign took shape on Facebook, with members calling for a boycott of the bank. Over the time of the protest the number who had joined the protest via Facebook reached more than 4,000. http://democracy.nationalforum.com.au/articles227.htmlBBC
Organising supporters MySpace Nearly 40,000 students from across SouthernCalifornia staged walkouts to protest proposed immigration legislation Monday, blocking traffic on four freeways and leaving educators concerned about how much longer the issue will disrupt schools. The protests are believed to eclipse in size the demonstrations that occurred during the anti-Proposition 187 campaign in 1994 and even a famous student walkout for Chicano rights in 1968. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/mar/28/local/me-protests28
Community Jennifer Marohasy Celebrating heroes Sharing beliefs Sharing information (e.g. Arthur Smith) Rehearsing arguments Understanding objections Esprit de corp
More community Twitter Twitter Saves Berkeley Student Arrested in EgyptTwitter Saves Berkeley Student Arrested in Egypt mercurynews.com Buck, 29, used the ubiquitous short messaging service to tap out a single word on his cellular phone: ARRESTED. The message went out to the cell phones and computers of a wide circle of friends in the United States and to the mostly leftist, anti- government bloggers in Egypt who are the subject of his graduate journalism project.
Key Considerations Action Information Community Discussion Blogs just one way to organise information Form should follow function Dont get bogged down on blogs.