Yesterday Nassim from the CA GP reviewed my plans and gave me excellent strategic advice. And she had a great Green Party picture in the background. We should all do that.
The most important information that she provided me was on the “Elusive Expert” problem. You get some fancy software solution, the volunteer leaves, and you have nothing left, but trouble. So like an offshore cruising sailboat, the Green Party sticks to very simple reliable solutions. Critical functionality, like Ballot Access has to be cautious. Of course what I then see are these primitive islands of automation, asking for an improvement. But the users do not want improvements. In most cases they prefer their reliable solutions.
But there are some places open to improvements. Things that did not exist, or can be lost, like the maps, can be more innovative. The elusive experts problem tells me where I can productively put my energies. Into non-critical technologies.
We all talk about getting the maps on GP.org. She disambiguated between GP.org and HowieHawkins.us. Howie is the innovative political entrepreneur. “He has done a brilliant job on Unite the left. He reaches out to all of these different groups.”
GP.org is much more conservative. They have all of these rules. They have to follow slow due process. They cannot just kick someone causing problems from the server. They have to only list strictly defined Greens.
Fair enough. Basically we need two different servers here. One is the Howie Hawkins Unite the left. The other is the GP.org server. GP.org is under strict CCC rules. The HowieHawkins.us is much more permissive, even promiscuous. Let us invite Socialists, Independents, Progressives, and the People’s party. If not on the national maps, at least on the state maps. Let us list the RI and Alaska parties. Let us list those democrats that refuse corporate funds. You want to have a big party, invite everyone into your tent.
And remember it is not that hard to do, to have two different domain names on the same server. We already have 12 instant web sites with different domain names. We can give the gp.org site and the HowieHawkins.us site different skins. In fact we have to, in order to look like their sites. A little bit tricky, but not that hard.
So thank you hugely Nassim for disambiguating the two sites, the two groups, and their two philosophies.
Next up. I have been flailing. Fortunately Nassim told me clearly what people cannot accept, and what they can accept. I now know where to put my energies.
First into the maps. Polish up those things that Alex complained about. Fix a few things that are on my list. Make it easy to join the party. From a big perspective it won’t take that long. And then really bring on board a user interface expert, and do all the professional tracking and optimization of how to best convert page views into Green Party members. All the way out to closing the loop and getting feedback on whether they have changed their party affiliation or not.
What does polishing up the maps require? Well, events should be listed on the map. Alex had the right idea. Post the event on the map, have it also show up on Facebook, Twitter, Google Events and elsewhere.
And then third is the Discord strategy. Discord is a brilliant modern platform. They give the end users great control over their server. They give the developers great control over the server. It is a safe choice. A free commercial service. No elusive experts. End users will be happy. But it does benefit from a bot. I will be happy.
And of course we do need to run discord servers. We can do that. And we do need to teach discord classes. I can do that. With a nice picture of a sailboat in the background!
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