July 2011 KTA: Get your Group Online!

WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY?

Is your group on facebook? Do you have a blog? Or even better, your own website? If your group wants to grow, people need to be able to find you, and the web is increasingly a tool people use to explore even their own backyard.

Try this – go to www.google.com. Put your county’s name, then the words “human dignity” or “progressive” or one of the issues you work on “gay and lesbian,” “peace,” “immigration.” If your group’s name doesn’t come up in a good old internet search, then it’s time to roll up your sleeves. The good news – it’s easy to set up a simple facebook page or site online. And ROP can help you figure out how.

 

WHY THIS ACTIVITY?

A seasoned and energetic activist moves back to their hometown. A youth comes out as gay and needs support. A person of color is stopped by police in an incident of systemic racial profiling. An elderly woman wants to make a donation to support justice in her community. If these people go online looking for support or for a way to plug in, do they know how to find you?

Sometimes it’s the simple nuts and bolts that can are the difference between a growing group and a struggling one. Issues, campaigns, activities are all important, but so are basic tools that allow people to find you. Even more important are those ways to keep your community engaged and informed about what you’re up to. If nobody hears about you or can remember your name, it’s hard to be a force for progressive change! Compare that to even a small group that informs folks about local and national happenings with a weekly blog story and daily facebook posts. The difference in impact is huge!

STEPS TO COMPLETE THE ACTIVITY:

1. Check out what other groups are doing. Lots of human dignity groups keep great online resources. Keep in mind, it’s not hard – the examples below are all from volunteer-only member groups!

2. Get with your group and make two decisions.

  • First, what kind of site do you want? A facebook site might take you 15 minutes to set up, and 2 minutes a week to maintain. A website will probably take 4-5 hours to set up, and an hour a month if you want fresh content
  • Second, who will be lead to set it up? It’s good to have one person who is the technical lead for the site, and who can train others to use it once it’s set up.

3. Have your online communications lead call/email cara@rop.org! Remember, ROP can help you with both simple and more comprehensive formats. In fact, we’d love to help you – or learn from you to help other groups – so get in touch.

4. Set up your site, then send the link to ROP to include on our Member Groups page. We want to help the world know about you.

If you already have a site in operation, and I know that many of you do, make a commitment to update it with fresh content this summer. Write a short story about your plans for 2011. Make a renewed commitment to updating your facebook. People will notice!

** You may remember last July’s KTA with step by step instructions about how to set up an actual, high-tech Human Dignity Group website. For a refresher on some of those details, visit our website here.


Human Dignity Group Websites:

Human Dignity Advocates uses a simple intro page that includes their mission, local resources, and an email address to contact about upcoming meetings.

Columbia County Citizens for Human Dignity has a wordpress site that is quite glamorous.

Blackberry Pie Society has a straightforward google site where they post their weekly updates.

The Polk Café Commons site collects supporters’ contact information through a values pledge.

Facebook pages:

PFLAG of Grants Pass has 98 friends on facebook and weekly updates about local & world events.

Rural Organizing Project, okay, we aren’t ALL volunteer but mostly. Visit our page and “like” us!

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