Blended Networking! Eureka!

Why Didnt You Call Me? in Mike Bitzenhofers Flickr stream.  Licensed under the Creative Commons.

"Why Didn't You Call Me?" in Mike Bitzenhofer's Flickr stream. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

Eureka!  I just finished reading another IPDI report, Person-to-Person-to-Person (like takes you to the free PDF), and am so glad I finally found the phrase I’ve been looking for: Blended Networking. I could’ve smacked myself on the forehead– all those posts I wrote about how everyone is describing the importance of online communications connecting with the offline work of politics.  Those authors really were describing blended networking.

Admittedly, this revelation came on page 4.  I hardly even had to work for it.  However, one I had this term to chew on suddenly a lot of the other reading I’ve done recently made sense.  Plus, this theme bound all the essays in this collection together.

I felt a bit like I could get away for yesterday’s plea for a move towards conversation and perhaps not wearing our politics on our sleeves because the reading I’m doing emphasizes how tied together the online and offline political work we do has become.

Barack Obama’s campaign just emailed me and embedded in the email is a link to their online phone banks.  Brilliant, with one click I will be able to talk to a real person on the telephone– this seems like a perfect example of blended networking.  Obama’s campaign gets me, a member of their website, to call an undecided voter they’ve probably identified using VAN data or something.

Also useful to me: their discussion of user generated content.  Making videos for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU has put me right at the intersection of institutional desire and what “works” on YouTube.  As much as I’ve been pushing for unscripted emotion, it is incredibly hard to convince my bosses to let go of their message and to let something serious, health care, become just a little funny.

The IPDI book had such useful lists of tips and recomendations– I have no doubt I’ll come back to this when I’m trying to justify my “vision” for the next ACLU-NCA YouTube video.

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