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St. Petersburg and Clearwater, FL Social Media Training

American Majority will be conducting a Social Media training session in Clearwater, Florida on Saturday, July 30th. The event will be geared toward giving grassroots activists in Florida the resources and information that will help them effectively utilize platforms of social media as they defend free market principles and individual liberties in their communities. Some of the topics that will be addressed are:

-          The History of New Media: Take a look at how organizations and campaigns have been successful online, and inspire local groups to create their own social media identity.

-          Facebook: Starting with the basics of building a page for your organization, and how to market it effectively.

-          Twitter: This micro-blogging site has become the quickest way to spread breaking news. Learn how to get started, find followers, and communicate with the Twitter universe.

-          Blogging/Wikis/OIM: Going beyond social media, creating and sharing content that is relevant to your message is critical. Learn how to get started.

-          Social Capitalist: Now that you have gotten started, take a look at how all these social media tools work together to create a comprehensive strategy online.

 
The training will be held at the Homewood Suites, at 2233 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater, Florida, from 10:00AM-3:00PM. The registration fee of $25.00 per person includes lunch and training materials. We recommend that you bring your laptop if possible.

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, email Ken Mayo at  Ken@AmericanMajority.org, or call Barb Haselden with the South Pinellas 912 Patriots at 727-709-7039.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

* Topics are subject to change. Registration is open to the public.

Facebook Security: Must you share EVERYTHING?

This morning, my husband and I were perusing the newspaper over our usual cup of coffee – I was reading the Arkansas section and he was glancing through the National portion.  I tend to scan the obituaries first (I know, I have become my grandmother) and Clay typically hits the sideline with all the short articles of the goings on around the world.  It didn’t take long for him to sigh in frustration over what he was reading, so of course, I had to take a look over his shoulder.

The article told the unfortunate tale of a short-sighted 20 year old hunter who couldn’t restrain himself from bragging about his latest “kills” which included 1 too many deer and 3 too many geese.  Not only did he boast about his hunting skills, but he posted pictures of his trophies, that were noticed by law abiding Facebook “friends”, who then notified the authorities.

Immediately, I think what an idiot!  Kind of reminds me of the stupid criminal videos you see every once in a while on TV.  You know what I am talking about, the goof ball who decides to rob a convenient store of their lottery tickets while wearing his name tag from work proudly displayed on his uniform.  Not that I am heralding criminal behavior, but it just goes to show you how stupid people can be….not just for breaking the law, but for doing it so poorly!  (tongue in cheek of course)

The point of this is to remind people that while we all enjoy Facebook for a variety of reasons, it isn’t necessary to reveal to the World Wide Web every single thing you are doing!  Just like it wasn’t terribly brilliant to boast about illegal hunting practices with picture evidence, it wouldn’t make sense to post on Facebook your holiday plans and where all you will be travelling.  For obvious reasons, that would only let your “friends” know exactly how much time they have to ransack your house and play reverse-Santa.  Besides, do you REALLY think that everyone cares about how you spend every single moment of every day?  Let’s try and keep our postings to informative tidbits, interesting historical facts or even uplifting quotes from Gandhi or Mother Teresa.

Oh, and by the way….my husband was most frustrated about the hunter getting in trouble for his over the limit Geese picture.  Why? Well, do the math.  There were 3 friends in the photo and 12 Canada geese pictures with them, and the limit was 3 geese per person.  Immediately, one might think each hunter shot one extra than they were supposed to.  But wait, who took the picture?  Looks like the braggadocios Facebook hunter might get out of that one.

10 Ways To Maximize Social Media Before Election Day

As analysis continues to pour in from Tuesday’s primaries, there’s one statistic that we as the grassroots need to note. According to a CNN blog post, candidates with more fans on their Facebook page were more successful in their primary. Whether or not this is a chicken or egg scenario isn’t the argument, but instead it highlights that social media will continue to play a role in elections. Users continue to flock to these places for relevant and up to the minute information.

With Election Day right around the corner, here are 10 tips to maximize your social media presence.

1. Create! If your campaign or organization doesn’t have one yet, building a Facebook page and creating a Twitter account is where you need to start. Check out our video tutorial on creating a Facebook Page here.

2. Update! Posting relevant content at least once a day will keep fans interested in your page. Ideas include posting event information, relevant news stories and polling place information (as it gets closer to Election Day). Your page should be a hub for activists and voters to learn and share information. But avoid repetition! “Updating” and “Reposting the same link every morning” are not one in the same.

3. Engage! Social media is designed to be just that, social. Thank friends and followers for their feedback, answer questions and use social media as a platform to share your message one on one. (Or one on 1,000, depending on your page.)

4. Share! Sharing content from other like-minded campaigns and organizations can save time without losing your message. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with every post. If someone else has said it already or said it better, share it! ReTweeting content with your comments can gain you credibility in the long run as an information source.

5. Filter! Quality is superior to quantity. Rather than posting 10 articles on the same topic, choose one or two with the best coverage. Your fans and followers are counting on you to find gold in all of the muck.

6. Friend! Again, it’s called social media for a reason. Be friendly! Like other pages on Facebook, follow other accounts on Twitter, and they are likely to return the favor.

7. Proofread! This might seem silly, but taking an extra beat to ensure accurate spelling or the correct form of there can be the difference between dozens of RTs or a post sitting dormant.

8. Tag! Not #every #word needs a #hash tag. Use Twitter tags appropriately to categorize posts. Words without # will still appear in search results, so no need to # every word in your post. Instead, use tags to join a lager conversation. For example, using #majority and #tcot for a post related to your beliefs. Tags for specific races are also relevant, for example, #desen to track posts related to the Senate race in Delaware.

9. Be Real! No one enjoys following robots. Making your account personal humanizes the content and makes you and your candidate more relatable. But be cautious of over emotional posting. If you think you’ll want to remove it later, don’t post it.

10. Adapt! Social media is constantly changing, with new trends, products, and uses emerging every day. They key is to stay on top of these trends and be open to shifting strategies. We certainly don’t hear much about MySpace anymore, but what is the next medium we’ll find our voice on?

#TWITTER TIPS FOR @YOURORGANIZATION

I was recently asked by a former American Majority training attendee how he could use twitter in order to grow his organization and make it more effective.  This is something that quite a few activists I’ve encountered have had questions about.  Many people know what twitter is and the basics of how to use it; but so many fail to realize what an effective FREE tool this social networking site can be for their organization.

Many times during my trainings when I present the idea of using twitter for political purposes I see eyes roll and hear mild scoffs.  However, when used in the right manner, twitter can do great things for your grassroots organization.  Below are a few simple ways that you can benefit your group, your candidate, and the liberty movement easily and at no cost:

  • STEP 1: CREATE A TWITTER PAGE FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION

When creating this twitter page, be sure the username for the page is the same or similar to the name of the organization.  Twitter allows you to have a username of up to 15 characters.  If your group’s name is longer than that, you might have to get creative in coming up with a similar, but shorter name.  The name needs to be similar to the actual name of the group so that people searching on twitter for your organization can find it easily.

  • STEP 2: BUILD THE INFO

Before you start finding followers, you need to build up the information portion of your page.  You want to make sure that those visiting your page will know what your organization is about so that they will know whether they want to receive your group’s tweets or not.  To do this, sign in to your twitter page and click “settings” in the upper right-hand corner.  This will bring up the account settings portion of your settings options.  On the settings option bar, click “profile.”  Here, you will have the option to upload an image or graphic that represents your organization.  You will also have the option to enter the full name of your organization, your organization’s location, your group’s website, and a short bio about your organization (no more than 145 characters).

  • STEP 3: FIND FOLLOWERS

Be creative when trying to find followers and promote your group’s page.  If the organization has handouts, a website, or business cards, put the group’s twitter information on them.  Another good way to initially gain followers is by following people in the community that you think might be interested in your organization.  When you choose to follow somebody, they will receive a notification in their email informing them.  When they see that there is a like-minded organization following them, they will likely choose to follow that organization’s twitter updates.

  • STEP 4: TWEET TO BOOST ATTENDANCE

Tweet all meetings with times and locations multiple times so that people following the group are reminded of when the next meetings are going to be.  Do the same with any events that the group may host or attend.  Also, tweet links and summaries of news articles and blogs that would be relevant to the movement and the group’s members and followers.

  • STEP 5: TWEET USING #HASHTAGS

When tweeting, use hashtags as much as possible when it is relevant.  Hashtags are words that are used in tweets to describe the subject or topics at hand.   A few good hashtags to keep in mind while tweeting are #tcot, #tlot, , #teaparty, #tpp, #912, and #majority (used by people who believe that WE are the majority in America).  The benefit to using hashtags in your tweets is that the more a hashtag is used, the higher it appears on “trending topics” which is viewed by all twitter users.  It also provides a link on your tweets for your followers to click and view every tweet that has used that particular hashtag.  This allows your group’s followers access to a large group of like-minded twitter users.   You can also create your own hashtag for your group and encourage group members to use it in their tweets to further promote your organization.

  • STEP 5: RT’ing & TWEETING @TWEEPLE

“RT” stands for “re-tweeting.”  Re-tweeting is best described as taking a twitter message someone else has posted, and rebroadcasting that same message to your followers. When tweeting this message, you typically give credit to the original poster.  Re-tweeting is a great way to promote an organization, person, or message to your followers.

When you tweet at “@somebody” you are tweeting a message towards a person.  This also helps to promote that particular individual to your organization’s followers.  This can be very effective if your group chooses to support a specific candidate during an election.  By tweeting a positive message at a candidate, your group can promote that candidate to all of its followers.  It also provides your followers a link to access that candidate’s twitter page so that they can check him/her out for themselves.  The organization should also tweet at other organizations that they want to promote.  To do this, simply type an “@” sign before the person or group’s twitter username (with no spaces) and then type the message before or after that.

  • STEP 6: #FOLLOWFRIDAY

There is a twitter trend on Fridays that allows people to promote others on twitter that they think their followers should also follow. It is called follow Friday.  If there are members of the group that are particularly good about updating twitter with information that would be relevant to the organization or the movement, you can tag them in follow Friday.  The follow Friday hashtag is either #ff or #followfriday.  A sample follow Friday tweet would look something like this, “@twitteruser1 @twitteruser2 @twitteruser3 @twitteruser4 @twitteruser5  are all on fire for the liberty movement! Check them out! #followfriday.”

  • LAST STEP: UPDATE FREQUENTLY

Make sure that you are updating your group’s twitter page on a regular basis, preferably multiple times a day.  Not everybody keeps twitter open on their computer or cell phone all day long (though some of us addicts might).  This is why updating frequently is so necessary.  The more frequently you update your group’s page, the more likely your tweets are to reach a broader group of your followers while they are checking twitter.

Please, don’t allow yourself to discount twitter as just another way to procrastinate online.  It can be an AMAZING tool for your liberty-minded organization if you simply take a little time out of your day to follow the steps I’ve outlined above.  And the best part is that it’s FREE!  We’ve all heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  That may be true; but I’m here to tell you that there is such a thing as free advertising, and it’s called twitter!

“Checking in” or Campaigning?

On Wednesday, a particular CNN article caught my attention.  The article was about Gowalla (a social networking site based on location) releasing what they are calling a “campaign tool kit.” Gowalla has now made it easier for campaigns to engage their supporters, let them know what the campaign is doing, and allow supporters to reach out to their friends and other prospective supporters.

What is it?

Gowalla is a mobile application that allows users to check-in to their current location and then post it to their Facebook, Twitter, or both (much like Foursquare). I know what you are thinking, we are already live in a world where everyone has a Facebook, people “tweet” what they are doing in 140 characters or less, and now people feel it necessary to update their friends on their current location every time they go someplace new? If you are new to social networking, you can check out American Majority’s guides to Facebook and Twitter here.

Personally, I do not have a Gowalla or Foursquare (its competitor) account, but that is mostly because I do not think I go anywhere interesting enough to let other people know about. However, I think the opportunities that these social networking accounts give campaigns and candidates are definitely something that need to be taken advantage of on every level.

How can your campaign implement Gowalla?

With the new Gowalla campaign tool kit, campaigns can now create events on Gowalla, so that supporters can check in and receive a campaign stamp (with the candidate’s logo) to show their support. This is a new, specialized feature, because usually when you check into Gowalla, you are given some generic stamp for your virtual passport. This new feature is a great way to engage your supporters and get them excited about your campaign rally, fundraiser, or other event. It is also a way to identity supporters (kind of like Facebook advertising and Google ads) and to further develop/mainstream your brand and logo. If your campaign is wondering how to set up a successful event to post on Gowalla, check out this article about creating successful events.

Another feature of the new Gowalla campaign tool kit is the ability for constituents, volunteers, or supporters to check-in on Gowalla, then tweet or post their locationto Facebook or Twitter, encouraging their followers and friends to join them in participating in the event. This is important, because, even if someone isn’t supporting you on Facebook or following you on Twitter, maybe they are friends or are following someone who is. They will be able to see this update and then go get plugged in with you or your candidate’s campaign.

What if your candidate can’t make it to a campaign event, but your supporters still want to have one and get the word out? Gowalla allows for your supporters to register their own campaign events, without the candidate’s participation, and spread the word through Facebook and Twitter. Depending on the size of your campaign, you, or the candidate, aren’t going to be able to physically be at every event. You are going to have to rely on your volunteers to host events and get the word out. When your supporters check in, they will receive a stamp showing whether they are at a rally, town hall, or fundraiser – depending on the event. There is even a ballot box stamp ready for Election Day, when your supporters go to the ballot box and vote for you!

Don’t think that Gowalla’s campaign tool kit is for you? That’s fine, but be sure not to write-off Gowalla, Foursquare, or any other social networking website and the usefulness it will have for your campaign. We live in a world where just about everyone is getting a Facebook, more and more people are on Twitter, and having a smartphone is becoming a social norm.  The time for campaigns to adapt the ways they reach voters is now.

HOP ON THE SOCIAL NETWORKING TRAIN

After spending four years in college in the Public Relations department I have come to understand the ins and outs of sending press releases, PR planning, and the importance of networking.  Now that I am out of school and working for American Majority, I have tried many of the techniques I spent four years learning.

I now see that the most effective form of PR is networking.  This is great news!  We are now surrounded by free networking sites (facebook, twitter, youtube, ect.), and if we use these tools in the correct manner we will be able to gain free press and create a larger base of followers

In this blog I will describe, point by point, how to effectively network in this day and age.  I admit I am not a professional facebooker, but I do spend a LARGE amount of time on it.  For this reason, I would consider myself seriously educated in the school of social media.

  • PLAY ON THEIR COURT

When reaching out to certain people via social networks, find their preferred networking tool.  Look at a person’s online habits and how they spend their time.  Do they spend time on facebook or twitter?  Meet them where they are comfortable.

  • SHARE THE LOVE

If you want your blogs, posts, and events to reach the masses then make sure to help others do the same.  Social networking works as a spider web, where everyone is linked through each other.  The goal of reaching large amounts of people is more easily reached by having other networks aiding you.  This can be accomplished by sharing other’s links, “liking” posts, re-tweeting, and inviting your friends to their events.  Remember, if you scratch their back, they will scratch yours.

  • COMMUNICATE LIKE A HUMAN BEING, NOT A SALESMAN

There is a very fine line between networking and spamming.  When networking with others, make sure your message is genuine and person-specific.  Even if that means copying and pasting a person’s name into the title of your message; it’s better than a mass generic message.  I like to feel like the messenger took time to think of me, typed the message for me, and is waiting anxiously by their computer for my response.

  • BE TRUSTWORTHY

Naturally, people talk, and if you do not stay true to your word – the news spreads.  In social networking, word spreads as fast as you can click the “post” button.  These days, it is important to build trust within your networking group.  You can gain trust by sharing valid content, refraining from spam, and by putting time into each relationship (i.e. replying to facebook messages in a timely manner). 

  • DON’T OVERLOAD ON NONSENSE

We all have those friends on facebook and twitter who clog our newsfeeds.  If you are one of these people, odds are I have defriended you.   No, I don’t care that your bologna sandwich was yummy, I don’t care to see your daily pictures of yourself standing in front of the mirror, and I especially don’t care about your new acre of land that you acquired on Farmville.  I care about events you have attended, your professional interests, and your recommendations.  Therefore, when posting on social networking sites make sure your posts are significant and meaningful, or you might notice your friend list decreasing more and more with every “this sandwich is yummy” post.

  • KEEP THE DOOR OPEN, EVEN IF NO ONE IS WALKING THROUGH

Always keep up to date on your social networking sites.  If no one is taking interest in your posts, give it time.  If your content, posts, and comments are up-to-date, others will soon catch on and become followers.  The popularity of social media is growing and maybe a newcomer will take interest in what you’re saying.

It is essential to have a functioning online network has become essential for success and we should treat our online friends with the same respect we treat our physical friends.  If you are still confused on how to effectively use online media you should 1) attend an American Majority training near you or 2) check out our online media guides. Jump on that social media bandwagon and start networking!

Appealing to the younger generation

The success of a political party, organization, or candidate is greatly influenced by how they appeal to a young audience.  Unfortunately, it is something that followers and leaders in the liberty movement seem to be struggling with in comparison to those of the left.  Though you’ll never hear me say this in any other context but this – it’s time we take a small lesson from the left.  After suffering from the results of the 2008 elections, it’s time we, as conservative and liberty-minded individuals, make a serious effort to get online and make a change in the way we are perceived by the digital generation.

After analyzing some successful, yet liberal sites, it is easy to see that there are a few things the left is doing right, in terms of appealing to both the younger generation and those who frequent the internet:

Overall layout and visual appeal – When you ask anybody what first attracted them to their spouse, the smart ones will always say, “It was their personality.”  However, the cold hard truth is that most are first attracted to physical appearance.  Just as one doesn’t fall in love with someone’s personality at first site, individuals don’t fall in love with the content on a website at first site either. As much as we hate to admit it, looks do matter. Having an aesthetically pleasing color scheme and user-friendly layout can go a long way.

Social networking – Social networking sites are not solely being used for people to keep in touch with friends and family.  More and more they are being used as a search engine when trying to find out about candidates or organizations, especially by young audiences that want to be engaged in the political process.  They are becoming an essential part of the political process, and the left is using this to their advantage.  Not only do left leaning sites excel in making their content very easy to share on facebook, twitter, flickr, youtube, etc. via links on their site, but they seem to have a bigger active presence on facebook as well.  After searching through prominent left leaning organizations’ fan pages and groups, and comparing them to those of the liberty movement, it was easy to see that we have some work to do.  While some prominent conservative groups have fan pages with a few hundred members, many left leaning groups can boast numbers in the tens of thousands.  Don’t get me wrong – the liberty movement is making some fantastic strides; however, there is still much work to be done.

Extras – If you want to be able to influence the younger generation, you first have to understand them.  The left appears to fully understand this concept based on certain content that is offered on their websites.  Having been a college student during the 2008 presidential election, I saw first-hand the left’s success in influencing my peers.  It became trendy and fashionable for college students to walk around campus wearing t-shirts with a presidential candidate’s face on it and campaign buttons on their backpacks.  They did this by marketing it to an online audience. They understood the appeal of pop culture icons, for example the characters in the Twilight series.  (Which I believe to be a ridiculous craze) They used the commonly touted terminology “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” to formulate “Team Obama” t-shirts and bumper stickers.  They even used college mascots to reach students.  At a nearby university, t-shirts with the words “Rock Chalk Barack” sold like hotcakes and were worn to class constantly, which I assure you, influenced many more than just the students that bought them.  Anyone who has ever walked into a college dorm room knows posters are practically essential to a young person’s room decor.  The left, having marketed “Hope” posters during the election, was able to reach a plethora of young individuals with their message simply by making these products available on left-leaning websites.  It’s much easier to appeal to a group of individuals when you understand them, and the left understands.

I’m not saying that we need to copy the left or change our message to something that could be summed up on a trendy t-shirt.  Our message needs to stay consistent; however, we need to make it easier for a younger generation to get involved and feel engaged.  Though not all of the digital generation is able to make an immediate difference in terms of voting now, recruiting them to the movement as early as possible will help shape them into the kind of active citizens that will make a positive impact on their country.  Changing our online appeal will not only help the movement in appealing to the younger and politically active generation, but will also be an investment in our future.

“Nobody does it better!”

Well really, nobody else really comes close.  American Majority is in the unique position of being the premiere non-profit, non-partisan, conservative political training institute in the United States that offers what we offer; and, if I might go ahead and toot American Majority’s horn a bit, I’d contend we are the best at what we do: training conservatives to win.

So rather than take some time to pontificate on a platitude (as we tend to do sometimes on this blog), I would like to share some of the recent feedback we’ve been getting from folks in the field (and brag a bit too).

New Mexico State House candidate Tonia Harris has this to say:

Grassroots Leader Therese Cooper plans to become an implementer of freedom:

Former US Congressman Bill Redmond fully endorses American Majority’s “Precinct Power” strategy and wishes American Majority were around when he was running for congress!

New Mexico Conservative Summit Organizer Linda Merrell of Albuquerque, NM says:

I’ve attended seminars and trainings by the dozens, here and around the country.  When I told these people that no one does it better than American Majority, I meant it, and I have the experience to back up what I said.  I can’t thank you enough for coming here and sharing your knowledge with our New Mexico activists.

Seriously folks, I’d hate to sound conceited, but here at American Majority we’re for real about teaching conservatives to win!  Our political trainings, whether it’s for grassroots leaders or candidates vying for political office, are top-notch and cutting edge.

If you’re interested in bringing American Majority to your community, feel free to request a training!

Also, please take advantage of all the free resources we offer on our website under the Resources section.

In the esteemed words of Stanley Kirk Burrell or more widely known as “MC Hammer” – American Majority is…..

Continuing Campaign Education

At American Majority we work to give the best political training available to conservative activists and candidates. In the end it’s about fielding an army of conservatives who are more than just fluent in political buzz words…we want the men and women who come through our training to be stronger campaign volunteers, empowered activists and winning candidates.

Part of that kind of training is giving continuing resources for education after our training sessions have ended. We do this by giving trainees access to presentations, manuals, podcastsvideo tutorials, pamphlets, guides and other materials through our website but we’ve also found other resources that can help you in strengthening your campaign education.

Killer Campaigning: Phil Van Treuren has been involved with politics for a long time. He’s worn the hat of beat reporter, political consultant, campaign volunteer and local candidate. He currently serves as a City Councilman in Amherst, OH and does a great job blogging about running for local office. He also did a guest post for ArtOfManliness.com that gives some great tips on seeking public office.

ePolitics.com: Their slogan is “Disscecting The Craft of Online Political Advocacy.” ePolitics does a great job of providing tips on how to use online tools to enhance your campaign and political impact in general. One of my favorite posts they’ve done recently is, “Nine Things Campaigns Shouldn’t Forget in the Gee-Whiz World of the Social web.” Check it out!

TechPresident.com is a “cross-partisan” forum where a large number of veteran campaign operatives share knowledge about how technology is influencing our electoral process and politics in general. They crunch a lot of data and provide cool graphs like this one, tracking top politicians and their number of facebook followers.

Mashable.com probably doesn’t rank on most folks’ list of sites for politicos to follow but there’s no excuse for leaving it off of yours. Social media and web-based campaigning are facts of life in today’s political world and Mashable is the place to go to find out the newest ways to use the web and social tools. They’ve also got some pretty cool techno-geek articles.

Majority Connections‘ is to help conservatives understand how to use new media and social networking platforms to reach new followers, engage their activists, and create online movements. Their blog gives fantastic tips on how to engage more effectively with online activists and strengthen your campaign.

Seth Godin is one of the few people who can truly be considered a new-media guru. He’s pioneered social media use  and his blog is a must-read. His book Tribes is what hooked me on social media in general and Twitter specifically.

All of these sites are on my bookmarks bar and I recommend that you put them there too!

Leave a comment and share your favorite sites with campaign tips!

Focus Local: Finding Your Blogging Niche

One of the main areas that I help train in for American Majority is New Media…which loosely translates into: Blogs, Wikis, Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare…etc. I believe that if we’re going to make a tangible impact on this country that we are going to take the fight to where not only the liberals are but where we can touch a large number of individuals who are engaged. In today’s online world it’s very clear that those mediums are the modern political battlefields.

One of the first questions that comes up when I’m talking to people about starting a blog is, “What should I write about?” That’s when I reach back into my college economics vocabulary and pull out: Comparative Advantage. Basically, comparative advantage is someone’s ability to create something or do a task with greater efficiency or at a higher quality than another person. So, when I’m asked that question about writing topics I ask people what they can do that others can’t or arn’t: Where is your comparative advantage?

My point is this, if you are going to write a blog you need to be able to give a compelling reason why people should read yours instead of the 100 million + other blogs that are out there. I don’t recommend that people dedicate their blog to writing mainly about national issues because millions of other folks already do. Pick something that you are familiar with and become an expert!

I’m convinced that the best way for new bloggers to have a significant impact for liberty is to focus on local politics: county, city and school government. These are facets of government which are covered less and less by traditional media and where an appalling amount of our dollars get wasted.

You’d be surprised how few cities have any kind of blog, let alone a conservative one, dedicated to keeping an eye on what local officials are doing. We need those kinds of local watchdogs in order to hold our elected officials accountable.

Starting a blog dedicated to local politics doesn’t take much time or resources: Find some friends that are also concerned about local politics and begin taking turns attending city council and school board meetings. Let the officials know that you are there to write about what they are doing and be congenial. Get hooked up with Twitter (read our Guide to Twitter Activism here) and tweet live during the meeting. Then, when you get home, write up a summary of what happened and your opinion to post on the blog.

Over time you will become an indispensable resource for your locality and conservatives in your area that want to hold their government accountable. By keeping your focus local you can find your blog’s niche and capitalize on your comparative advantage.

Muskogee, OK Patriots 2.0 Training

The Patriots 2.0 program was launched in 2010, providing eActivism training to those who want to focus their efforts on defending freedom through new media and social networking. The program targets people who are new to the social media scene, and teaches them what information to share, how to reach new people, and how to share resources and build a good image online.

Please join American Majority in Muskogee, OK on Tuesday, June 15th from 6:00 to 8:30 PM for a special New Media Activism and Social Networking training.  This is your opportunity to make a difference in your community by learning about new tools and resources and by networking with other like-minded individuals and organizations.

The training will be conducted at the Muskogee Public Library in the Southeast Meeting Room located at 801 West Okmulgee St. in Muskogee, OK.  Pizza and soft drinks will be provided.

Some of the event topics that will be covered include:

  • Holding Your Elected Officials Accountable through New Media and Social Networking.
  • The Power of Blogs and Wikis.
  • Social Networking with a Cause: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Other Social Networking Tools.
  • Building Coalitions Online

This training will be a hands-on exercise in social media!

The cost to attend this event is $10.

Political Training Registration

For more information, please contact Trait Thompson by phone at 918-289-0159 or by email at trait@americanmajority.org.

NOTE: If you have a laptop, please feel free to bring it with you (not required).

Bixby, OK Patriots 2.0 Training

The Patriots 2.0 program was launched in 2010, providing eActivism training to those who want to focus their efforts on defending freedom through new media and social networking. The program targets people who are new to the social media scene, and teaches them what information to share, how to reach new people, and how to share resources and build a good image online.

Please join American Majority in Bixby, OK on Monday, June 14th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM for a special New Media Activism and Social Networking training.  This is your opportunity to make a difference in your community by learning about new tools and resources and by networking with other like-minded individuals and organizations.

The training will be conducted at Goodies Community Coffee House located at 13160 S. Memorial Drive in Bixby, OK.  Food and drinks may be purchased by the participants at the venue.

Some of the event topics that will be covered include:

  • Holding Your Elected Officials Accountable through New Media and Social Networking.
  • The Power of Blogs and Wikis.
  • Social Networking with a Cause: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Other Social Networking Tools.
  • Building Coalitions Online

This training will be a hands-on exercise in social media!

There is no cost to attend this training.

To RSVP, please contact Trait Thompson by phone at 918-289-0159 or by email at trait@americanmajority.org.

NOTE: If you have a laptop, please feel free to bring it with you (not required).

Phoenix, AZ Candidate and Activist Training

Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people. Today, citizens are once again called to hold hold government accountable to the people. While the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have not changed, the strategies and tactics used to communicate, organize and win politically have changed greatly.

American Majority is hosting a Candidate and Activist Training (Separate Tracks) on Saturday, May 15 at the Embassy Suites Phoenix Airport located at 1515 North 44th Street in Phoenix.  The training will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm with registration beginning at 8:30 am.

Candidate Track

Regardless of campaign experience, American Majority’s Candidate Training Program makes running for office easier! American Majority Candidate Training Seminars are designed specifically to educate candidates on every level how to run effective and victorious campaigns and prepare them to become successful elected officials.

The Candidate Training Program includes:

  • Lectures* from campaign veterans, including:
    • “Your Campaign Plan to Win: Planning for the Time, People and Money to Win.”
    • “Dollars and Sense: Fundraising for What You Need, Not What You Can Get.”
    • “New Media Engagement: The New Ways to Talk to Voters and Engage Supporters.”
    • “Grassroots Action: How Ordinary People can get Extraordinary Results.”
    • “American Majority’s Core Principles.”
  • Personalized communications training.
  • Interaction with individuals thoroughly involved with the issues confronting your state.
  • The opportunity to network with other liberty-minded candidates.
  • A complimentary resource guidebook full of material designed to further assist candidates.

Upon completion of this political training seminar, candidates will receive continuing education materials, access to podcasts and other presentations, communications curriculum, and suggestions to help them utilize think-tank resources.

Activist Track

American Majority believes that it is time to move beyond protesting to implementing freedom and liberty. The American Majority Activist Training Program provides the tools and resources needed to move your grassroots efforts from protest to effective strategy. Our political training covers practical steps your organization can take to maximize its online efforts, ability to organize, and hold public officials accountable.

Topics* Incude:

  • “Building Coalitions and Reaching Your Community” (ideas and practical steps to engage your community and organize a coalition of volunteers)
  • “Government 101” (how government operates, how legislative and executive bodies work, how to get involved)
  • “Holding Government Accountable” (how to hold leaders accountable once they are in office)
  • “Effectively Communicating Your Views” (how to write effective letters to the editor, opinion editorials and blogs, using social networking tools and wiki projects)

Full training materials, samples and supplements will be provided to help you apply what you learn to your organization, candidate, cause or community.

Registration, Pricing and Contact Information

The cost of this political training session is $35 per candidate/first attendee in the Candidate Track in advance or $50 at the door and $15 for each additional attendee (spouse, campaign staff, campaign volunteers, etc.) or $25 at the door.

The cost is $15 per attendee in the Activist Track in advance or $25 at the door.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.  Space is limited.  NOTE: This event sold out in September 2009, pre-registration is strongly recommended and the only way to guarantee your seat.

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions, please contact Seth Brown at seth@americanmajority.org or via phone at 405-639-8896.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan organization whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.

*Lectures are subject to change.

Albany, NY Activist and Patriots 2.0 Training

American Majority will be conducting its Activist and Patriot 2.0 training seminars for the Grassroots and Campaign Training event hosted by Americans for Prosperity Foundation New York on Saturday, March 27 in Albany.  Full details of the event are contained in this email excerpt from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.  For more information, please contact Raz Shafer at Raz@americanmajority.org.

“AFPF NY will be hosting grassroots and campaign training by American Majority on Saturday, March 27. During this all day program, you’ll learn how to build coalitions and organize meaningful events, hold your elected leaders accountable, get involved in political campaigns, and use new media to communicate your message. Join us to learn how you can advance the conservative cause.

What: Grassroots Training
When: Saturday, March 27, 2010
Time: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Where: Best Western Sovereign Hotel
1228 Western Avenue
Albany , NY 12203

Cost: $30 per person includes lunch

Guest Speaker Dr. Victor A. Skormin, distinguished service professor in electrical and computer engineering at Binghamton University (SUNY), will recount his experience in dealing with a state-sponsored system of bribery in Kazakhstan’s bureaucracy, judicial, and health care systems.  He’ll explain how we cannot take our liberties for granted and we must be vigilant to defend our freedoms.

Hotel rooms available by calling 1-800-528-1234 for $79 plus taxes and fees for single or double occupancy.

Space is limited so please register at: http://afpnytraining.eventbrite.com/

Join us and other like minded activists in this crucial opportunity to improve our state now and for the future.”

Chesapeake, VA Activist and New Media Training

Our nation was founded by ordinary citizen activists desiring a government that was accountable to the people.  Today, ordinary citizens across our nation are tired of the status quo and ready to engage for the betterment of their communities.

American Majority is pleased to announce an Activist and New Media (Patriots 2.0) Training will be conducted on Saturday, February 27 in Chesapeake, VA to provide citizens with the tools necessary to become effective activists and to engage effectively online.

The training will take place at Paradocks East Coast Grill located at 801 Eden Way North in Chesapeake from 11:30 am to 5:30pm.  Registration opens at 11:15 am.  The cost is $39 per person if you pre-register online by February 26 and $44 at the door.  Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

ONLINE-ONLY SPECIALS
2 Attendees for $70 (Save $8)

3 Attendees for $90 (Save $27)
4 Attendees for $120 (Save $36)
5 Attendees for $150 (Save $45)

Topics* to be covered during the Training include:

  • Government 101
  • Holding Government Accountable through New Media and Traditional Means
  • Precinct Power and Volunteering in Campaigns
  • Effectively Communicating Your Views
  • The Power of Blogs and Wikis
  • Building Coalitions Online
  • Social Networking with a Cause: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Other Social Networking Tools.

Full training materials, samples and supplements will be provided to help you apply what you learn to your organization, candidate, cause or community.  Lunch will be provided.

Political Training Registration

If you have any questions or would like additional information, call Jaoni Wood at 540-338-1251 or e-mail Jaoni@americanmajority.org.

American Majority is a non-profit and non-partisan political training institute whose mission is to train and equip a national network of leaders committed to individual freedom through limited government and the free market.