Liveblogging No More Homeless Pets: From the Obama campaign to your shelter

October 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm Leave a comment

Scott Goodstein, who ran the social media platforms for the Obama campaign, tis telling the audience here at the No More Homeless Pets conference that he thinks the lessons learned in that and other political campaigns apply to animal welfare, too.

The world has changed — TV viewership is going down. Viewing habits have changed. “Programs” like the news or weather have been replaced by cable news and the weather channel.

Also, people are multi-tasking — checking email, TV on in background, etc.

Similarly, newspapers changing, closing. Radio, giant decline.

What has increased? Internet up around 25 percent. Mobile up 260 percent. So it was not hard for my team on the new media campaign for Obama to point out we need to use mobile, Internet to catch eyeballs.  We may not know people that well in our geographic community, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have a community, a different kind.

Recs  book “The Long Tail.” Change from bigger audiences to a larger number of smaller audiences.

We keep moving down the tail and figure out new ways to organize. Society will change over a period of time… “That’s my brief history lesson.”

First, they revamped the Obama web presence. Needed to integrate with overall campaign themes… TV show, events and rallies, website. Same fonts, make landing page on site look the same as the events, etc. Plus, everything has to keep changing.

You can fall in love with your website, but it needs to be changed up every few months. Happens a lot more in corporate America than non-profits.

Had the primaries to try out new things, see what worked. Eventually came up with the “Yes we can” website. So don’t be afraid to experiment. MySpace was an experiment for the campaign, Twitter was an experiment, but over a period of a time we could see what we got out of it. Did the people who friended us in Facebook come out to events?

We thought MySpace would work out for us, but how many of these people would show up and vote?  A million people don’t want to hear about a campaign event in Iowa. So we created sep MySpaces for small communities… LGBT, Dog Lovers for Obama, local groups.

Facebook is different. Very local, but harder to organize nationally.We can’t change these platforms.

Shameless plugs for Best Friends Network; says it’s a great one. “Not too many organizations take the time build their own social network out.” We built our social network,, out. We built it because the tools we needed weren’t on MySpace or Facebook., eg phonebanking tools.

Best Friends Network has 80,000 in network.

Audience Q: What’s difference between “network” and website?

Interaction. Members who take a deeper step, sign up, build a community, discuss things in a deeper way. Message boards, blogs, building a relationship, comments on Flickr or YouTube, if there is a social dialogue happening.

5-10 years ago, political campaigns were one way messaging. You put your ad or press release out to the voters. Now, there is real time interaction. You even sometiomes change your message on the fly.

Social networks have deeper level of communication. People felt connected to Obama because they got their questions answered.  Becomes authenic piece of communication. We were also very transparent that it wasn’t Barack Obama sitting around late at night answering questions on his MySpace. Always signed by name from Barack Obama campaign. Transparent that we had thousands of campaign workers/volunteers.

Each platform has a different set of tools. For a setting like this Flickr would be a great tool. You all love animals. Do you need to spend thousand building great YouTube video? No. Flickr can do it.

Don’t think about how sexy the tool is. It’s about how real the engagement is.

When people come to your website, they know why they came. Now you have to start a conversation with them. What’s the next step of action you can take to organize? Disaboom, BlackPlanet — 10 million AAs on it — AsianAve.

Says listing at will get new people involved you were not otherwise reaching. Zip code based. Gave examples from Obama campaign.

Says, allow consumers to engage and validate. Put up Shephard Fairey’s famous Obama poster and Will I Am’s “Yes we can” music video and pointed out that neither came out of the campaign. Famous, iconic Obama elemetns, but not “official.” Over 30 million people saw the video.

Obama put it up on their website, and asked Fairey to do a poster for the campaign.

People felt they could engage however they wanted to engage. Dogs for Obama, voter-made artwork, videos.

Says we have to move with the marketplace. It was an honor to let him work on a campaign playing with a tool that came out during the campaign itself — the iPhone. Why would the campaign get involved in iPhone apps? Maybe it shoudln’t, but we did it with volunteers. Obama app was built by volunteers over a month and a half. Then campaign pulled it in to make sure it worked with the rules and image of the campaign.

Young college students on way back to school were able to get a free iPod Touch with a Mac computer. Plus iPhone much cheaper. Everyday users, more using iPhone store. Had over 500,000 downloads and generated over 5000 calls through the iPhone app.

He searches Twitter to watch breaking news, real time searches, than Google. Iran’s election.

He did a Twitter search of dog rescue — lots of discussions. Can make search localized by adding name of town. People are searching for your issues. Talking about your issues.

Craigslist is free, easy. Replaced local newspaper.

“Good old fashioned message boards.” Not new and sexy, but works.

Those are fun and free tools. You can advertise on Facebook very inexpensively. Google AdWords.

Mobile matters. Some of us don’t sleep anywhere, we just check email on our iPhones. Entrance into mobile not easy. Twitter easy and free, but more people will open your text messages. Start thinking about mobile.

You’ll see more vids on phones. Things are happening. “My mom finally figured out how to use the camera in her cell phone.” 25 percent of people over 65 use text messaging. Nephew teacxhes grandma how to use text messages. Happening all over the country.

42 percent of teenages believe they can text while blind-folded. Growth in society in text messageing is late adopters.

Put in your emails to say, “Text message your friends to join our organization!” Easy cheap way to get into that stream.

But keep thinking about how people are communicating. How they talk to their friends.

Open to questions.

Observation from Christie: Seems like a much more tech-savvy crowd than others at this conference.

Another note from Christie: I forgot to tell everyone, the Twitter hashtag for the conference is #09NMHP. You can read my conference Tweets and everyone else’s, too, by searching for that tag on Twitter. You can do this even if you don’t have a Twitter account — go to…

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My pet duck: Why does fate smile on some but not others? Liveblogging No More Homeless Pets: From the Obama campaign to your shelter

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