Friday, September 18, 2009

How Can I Protect My Turf? Know'em!

KnowEm checks the availability of your brand name, user name or vanity URL on 120 popular Social Media websites.  If you're planning to launch a major online lobbying campaign, you should not only protect your brand on every major site, but also secure it so competitors and enemies can't falsely represent you.

This is an easy to use website where they do all the tedious work of signing up for all these sites for only $64.95.  How do they do it?  By hand!

In between 1 and 5 business days, KnowEm will manually go to each of the 120 sites and enter your information - secure your user name and use the password you provide.

According to KnowEm, they:
 "could have automated this system and published it a while ago but that would be a violation of the terms for the majority of these sites. We didn't want to go that route so we actually recruited a great team to complete the signups."

Once the signup is complete, your data is erased unless you want to sign up for the subscription service for new sites that are added to the list.  If you forget your password, just go to the site and ask for a password reset.

I haven't tried the service myself, but it looks like a great way to save a lot of time if you're trying to protect your name across the social web as you jumpstart your advocacy campaign.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How Do Politicians Raise All That Money Online?

Take a look at Slatecard a "utility to support and enhance Republican activism."

Congressman Joe Wilson has turned to Slatecard in the wake of his "You lie" outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress last week.

Slatecard has created a simple, convenient interface for online fundraising.



Slatecard is a utility to support and enhance Republican activism.

"Slatecard" is PAC. PAC is an independent, federally registered political action committee (PAC) which acts as a "conduit" to raise money online to help Republican candidates for federal office in compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA).

It is no secret that Democrats are far ahead of Republicans in converting their online presence to offline support. One website which the Left has used effectively since 2004, is (ActBlue PAC), a site which provides a tool for activists and committees to raise funds for the candidates and causes they support. In fact, millions of dollars have been raised through the site since 2004.

It is our hope that Slatecard will level the playing field for Republican candidates and causes by providing an innovative platform for use by the Right kind of activists.

Our utility is available for use by all candidates running for a Republican federal office and we hope to make this service available to state and local candidates where possible in the near future.

Using a commercial vendor to handle our transactions, we are leveraging some of the lowest available rates on the market, which means that by contributing to candidates through PAC, a larger percentage of the donation will actually end up going to the candidate. Soon, we will work to integrate with PayPal to offer more options to our users.

In addition to supporting candidates via this site, Slatecard has created an opportunity to fund their own commpany through the mechanism below.  Basically the donor can offer to "tip" the site providers by adding a percentage or designated amount to the contribution.

Slatecard is a platform that leverages the power of the Internet to better connect Republican candidates with grassroots activists. Slatecard is a volunteer effort, and we need your financial support to pay for bandwidth, continue our work, and improve our services for the community. Please consider supporting Slatecard with a donation today. We will continue to make you proud.

No Tip
Other Tip Amount :
Is this tip monthly?
You can use the power of the Internet to support a candidate supporting your issue.  I'll profile other portals in a later post.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Type Once, Update Many Part 2

Last month I told you about the social media updater service HelloTxt .  This month, let's take a look at

The basic premise and results are similar:  Sign up for several social media sites that include status update functions and consolidate them all in one place.  Type in a status update once and automatically update all of your social media outlets immediately.  This is a great tool to spread the message of your advocacy effort far and wide to as many social networks as possible.

Click here for a full list of partner social media sites.  They include the basics like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Delicious, Friendster and Flickr and dozens more. has experienced an outage recently, but has been able to restore most of its data.  As with many social media sites, the technology is still evolving and there will be hiccups.  However, this service is very popular and will continue to grow.

Type once, update many!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Track Your Advocacy Success with

How do you know anyone cares about your social media advocacy?  One way to track your success is to use a url shortener that contains analytics.

The basics:  If you want to link to an article, an action alert or something else on the web but the url is really long (over 25 characters), use a url shortening service to make it manageable.  Just copy the long url and paste it into a shortening service, hit enter and Voila!  You have a url that is nice and short and will fit in your Twitter or Facebook post.

A service I've used with some success can be found at  This service will keep track of the number of clicks on your link and let you know where they came from.  You can begin to analyze the usefulness of Twitter vs. Facebook or any other social media or website you're using. 

From Cligs:

  • Cligs Helps You Understand Your Traffic
  • Does anyone care what you post on Twitter?
  • Which marketing messages work best?
  • Who is clicking on your links?
  • Which email campaign is the best investment?
These are the types of questions anyone working on the web asks. You need to understand what is working and what is not. You need hard data to help you figure out how your marketing message is doing. That is where Cligs helps you!

Cligs tracks the traffic going through your links. Not just that, Cligs has unique tracking and redirection features that give you the best insight:

Cligs is free! You do not pay us anything to use all of its awesome features.

Private analytics No one apart from you can see your stats data. This way your competitors will not be able to see your marketing campaigns and how successful they are. To do that, you will need to register and sign into Cligs.

Real time analytics You want to know what is working now so you can adjust quickly.

Deepest analytics around Lots of interactive charts and data, like a world map, that show you where your traffic is coming from and who are the people clicking on your links.

Social media monitoring Cligs keeps track in real time of who tweets your link, who shares it on Friendfeed, who links to it, who blogs about it, who writes a blog comment about it, and more. Not just that, Cligs does that for the destination URL too! All in one handy interface.

Multiple links to the same destination Share different links on different services like Twitter, Facebook, and email and track the traffic and watch it spread across services.

Search engine optimized Cligs uses the 301 forward which is recommended by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft to help you get the best rankings benefits.

Easy to tweet With one click you can send your short URLs to Twitter. No fuss.

Custom URLs Get your brand name in your links! You can create links like

Real time analytics You want to know what is working now so you can adjust quickly.

Deep Real-time Analytics

So, why not give it a try on your next social media lobbying campaign?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Twitter to the Rescue of Congressman Joe Wilson

Last week during President Obama's speech to the nation regarding his health care insurance proposal, Congressman Joe Wilson (R - South Carolina ) blurted out during a quiet time "You lie!".  This action was heard clearly by other Members of Congress in the room and the entire viewing public.  A camera focused on Congressman Wilson at the time quickly published the video and it spread throughout news outlets and the web immediately.

Before the outburst, Congressman Wilson had basically no opponent for the 2010 election, but literally overnight an opponent reportedly raised $400,000 online.

Wilson subsequently hired a profesional PR person to take to Twitter in his defense.  David All, a consultant and former capitol hill staffer has taken to the airwaves with pro-Wilson tweets.

Follow Wilson on Twitter @CongJoeWilson
Follow All on Twitter @DavidAll

Following are several Tweets from @DavidAll in defense of Wilson from September 10 to September 13.  Follow them both to watch this play out.

RT @wesleydonehue: RT @mashable Joe Wilson’s Payments Provider Reports DDoS Attack

Fox News: "Hackers imperil Wilson campaign web site" #TechGOP

@taxplaya Just for the record, that BlackBerry @CongJoeWilson uses is his campaign BlackBerry and not official.

After Fox News Sunday, @CongJoeWilson drops a Tweet

RT @mattklewis: "I am not going to apologize again." - Rep. Joe Wilson on Fox News Sunday. #tcot

Tune in or TiVo: @CongJoeWilson live on Fox News with Chris Wallace at 9AM EST. Please RT

@mattklewis great job on Fox News today. Hope you have a swell Birthday tonight.

National Review Online: "[@CongJoeWilson] is telling the truth, and President Obama is not."

Hey @jaketapper CBS disagrees with your take: "Does Joe Wilson Have A Case On Health Care, Illegal Aliens?"

Politico: @CongJoeWilson "I will not be muzzled" #tcot

Hey @JakeTapper "Obamacare won't cover illegal immigrants? Yes it will, says Congressional Research Service"

RT @CongJoeWilson: Over 8,500 Americans are standing with me against the liberal attacks. Join them at

@jaketapper I'll ask Congressman Wilson for a response. DM me your email address to send response.

AUDIO: @CongJoeWilson Speaks Softly with @RedCounty

I'm a fan of both Andrew Breitbart and Mike Flynn so yeah, I'm digging #TechGOP

Stand with Congressman Joe Wilson - donate today at

[fixed link] Support Congressman Joe Wilson with a donation (plz RT and take action

Get more analysis at Mashable.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What is This Follow Friday Thing?

Twitter users love to be recommended by others as worthy of a "follow."  Every Friday, thousands of people on Twitter highlight friends and favorites in the Twitterverse to other to follow.  It's like a stamp of quality - a reference from others.

Use the culture of Follow Friday to recommend key public officials and allies that should know more about your issue or following you for future public policy actions.  The public officials will appreciate your vote of confidence and will be more likely to follow you back. 

Use the hashtag #FollowFriday or #FF to let others know why you're listing groups of names.  Be sure to put the "@" symbol before each friends name so others can click straight through to add their name as a follower to your suggested friend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Should you Connect your Twitter and Facebook Updates 100% of the Time?

To connect or not to connect?  That is the question many ask themselves early in their usage of Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

You can automatically push your Twitter update into Facebook, or you can automatically push your Facebook update into Twitter through the use of some popular add-ons.  But should you?

Personally, I experimented with the connection and quickly broke the link when I realized that I wanted to use Facebook for a different purpose than Twitter.  However, many do keep the link without concern.

I tend to update more serious, promotional topics on Twitter whereas Facebook tends to be my closer friends.  Twitter followers tend to be more anonymouse while Facebook friends really are friends.

Think carefully how your message will be received before you link your accounts.

Facebook application that connects you to Twitter:

10 Ways to Connect Facebook to Twitter from Simple Thoughts

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

President Obama Uses Social Media in his teach to Schoolchildren

President Barack Obama's speech to schoolchildren has been over-shadowed by extreme controversy, but it's interesting to see how he's using the emergence of social media for his uses.  Not only did the speech become a topic of much conversation via social media, but the President is also attempting to relate to todays kids be referring to many of their favorite past-times in the speech. 

Excerpt from the "Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama, Back to School Event , Arlington, Virginia, September 8, 2009"

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Social media is part of the political process at the highest levels -- use it wisely!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hashtags for Public Policy Advocacy on Twitter

Twitter has emerged as an important communications tool for public policy.  Many of the most popular members of Twitter are either public officials or news commentators who focus on politics.  One of the most important organizational tools on Twitter is the so-called "hashtag." 

The hashtag received its name due to the use of the hash symbol "#" (otherwise known as the pound sign or the number sign) immediately prior to a short word or acronym that categorizes certain topic areas. 

If you are creating a lobbying campaign online and are using Twitter as part of your strategy, be sure to create a short word or acronym by which you and your supporters all tag their tweets.

For a great example of a political movement on Twitter, search for #TCOT (which stands for Top Conservatives on Twitter),

Many events create hashtags so attendees can communicate with each other during the event and those not in attendance can easily find information from the event. 

Search by keywords like "politics", "government", "Congress", and other related terms to find the politically inclined opinion leaders on Twitter and then follow them.  Hopefully they will follow you back and learn about your public policy campaign via Twitter.

What's your hashtag?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Want to Know a Congressman? Know

If you want to see what the hottest issues are for advocates looking for relief from Congress just check out  As a part of the Roll Call family, is a central location for action alerts published by their Capitol Advantage clients, relevant advertising by coalitions and corporations around major issues, and the ability to email your Member of Congress and whatever issue is on your mind. is really a one-stop-shop for those seeking information about Congress, specific issues, and legislators. allows users to:
  • Identify and contact elected leaders in Congress, the White House and state legislatures
  • Post letters online and see what other Americans are saying to elected officials
  • Create and post "Soapbox" action alerts to enlist others on your issue.
  • Have letters printed and hand delivered to Congress.
  • Find and contact local and national media by ZIP code or by state with the "Media Guide".
  • Have your representatives votes sent to you by weekly email.
  • Search alerts and take action in the "Issues and Calls to Action" area
  • As a client, get your action alerts posted there and on Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and other sites.
If you're running a low cost advocacy campaign, take advantage of the free opportunities available to you on this site.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Facebook: Group vs. Fan Page?

When establishing an online presence for a public official or an advocacy effort Facebook should be part of your communication strategy.

The first question to answer is:  Should I establish a "Group" page or a "Fan" page?

Others have created excellent descriptions of this very topic.  Click here for the Mashable version of an excellent tutorial of the similarities and differences.

In short, Fan pages are more public and visible.  They are indexed by Google.  Politicians tend to prefer Fan pages.

Group pages can be private and are more personal and are not indexed by Google so not found by a search.  Alumni clubs and more personal contacts tend to create groups.

From Mashable:

The bottom line

Groups are great for organizing on a personal level and for smaller scale interaction around a cause. Fan pages are better for brands, businesses, bands, movies, or celebrities who want to interact with their fans or customers without having them connected to a personal account, and have a need to exceed Facebook’s 5,000 friend cap.

Facebook is constantly updating the functionality of pages, so be sure to evaluate your needs with the latest information.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Find Foreign Public Policy Influencers

Do you need to know what foreign countries are doing in Washington, D.C.? What impact are they having on your member of Congress?

Check out the Foreign Lobbying Influence Tracker and get some answers.

An explanation from the site below:

Filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) provide far more
detail on how lobbyists interact with government officials than those required
by the Lobbying Disclosure Act; they contain information on efforts by foreign
governments and organizations to influence U.S. policy on trade, taxation,
foreign aid, appropriations, human rights and national security.

Since May 2007 the Justice Department has maintained a Web site that posts image
[pdf] of FARA disclosures online, but none of that information is
available in a digitized format. Thus, it is impossible, for example, to see how
many times the office of an individual member of Congress has been contacted.

With the Foreign Lobbyist Influence Tracker, you can now find out with ease
by selecting any member’s name from the pull-down list.

You can search their database by member of Congress contacted, country, client or lobbying firm. You can also search by "contact issues" as reported by lobbyists.

You never know when this information might be needed - this is a great source to research how foreign governments influence the United States

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Find Your Government on Twitter

Many folks like to encourage and track public policy officials online. One to check out is GovTwit -- the Government Twitter Directory.

According to their blog/website:

GovTwit is the world’s largest directory of all facets of government on Twitter: state and local, federal, contractors, media, academics, non-profits and government outside of the U.S. You’ll find official government Twitter IDs as well as individuals from different agencies in the directory, and I’m confident you’ll also find folks tweeting great content about how to improve the “business of government.”

In addition to visiting the website, you can also join the Facebook fan page or follow GovTwit on Twitter, where directory updates will be tweeted as they are made.

GovTwit was originally launched in the fall of 2008 as a central repository of government contacts on Twitter and has been updated ever since.