Weekend Reading From Votenet: September 20, 2013

September 19, 2013 September 19, 2013 in Weekend Reading by Michael Tuteur, Votenet CEO

Here are our favorite posts this week about crowdsourced decision-making, voter participation, elections, communities and engagement.

MoveOn.org and Military Action in Syria (David Karpf, Oxford University Press Blog)

For more than a decade, MoveOn has encouraged political action by asking members to sign online petitions and send email blasts to Congress. But recently they switched it around. They asked members to vote for one of three policy positions on military action in Syria instead of deciding on a stance on their own. “Digital technologies provided three strong signals — user-generated petition activity, detailed member surveys, and a full-membership vote — all in the space of a few days.”

San Francisco Wants to Let Residents Vote on the City’s Budget Online Next Year (Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Verge

Participatory budgeting – giving constituents the ability to propose, debate and vote on budget items online – is spreading. It started in Brazil and is being used now in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Malaysia and college campuses. It’s part of a broader trend that we see in government, media and all kinds of organizations to engage stakeholders, constituents and communities by giving them a voice and letting them make decisions through voting.

Hey: Now You Can Mass Email People Just Like Obama (Brian Fung, The Washington Post)

Why would The Washington Post start a headline with Hey? Because Hey was the subject line of the most effective fundraising email sent by the 2012 Obama campaign. Fung writes about the Action Network, a new software toolkit that “could connect like-minded political advocates on an ad hoc basis to tackle new niche issues. E-mail lists — which President Obama famously used to powerful effect in the last electoral cycle — could be combined and applied even by people with little to no advocacy experience.” He says, “It’s all part of a nascent movement to democratize political organizing.”

Learn the Science & Art of Community Management (Ben Martin, CAE, Online Community Results)

How’s your online community doing? Lots of active participants? Lots of discussions and resources shared? No? In that case, you might want to take a look at the eight-week program starting October 2 that Martin writes about: Private Community Management Certificate Program from SocialFish and ICF International.

The Dos and Don’ts of AMS Selection (Caroline Bronaugh, McKinley Insights)

Mention the words “AMS implementation” to some association professionals and you’ll see a look of horror in their eyes. Let’s just say they have some stories to tell and be glad you weren’t in their shoes. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Bronaugh provides “several key dos and don’ts for successfully selecting and implementing an association management system” that will help you make the most of your investment, stay on schedule and keep your sanity.

Keep Your Promise to Email Subscribers (Nancy Schwartz, Getting Attention)

Schwartz introduces us to the engagement pyramid – a smart concept developed by the folks at ClickZ. She says, “This fresh approach to creating the most effective email campaigns possible is a priceless reminder built on famed psychologist Abe Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.” Print it and post it as a reminder of the journey your eligible voters must travel before they become regular voters.

The Art and Science of Follow-Up Calls (Carla Schrinner, Credit Union Magazine)

Schrinner tells a story about her dad who managed a car dealership’s service department. “He suggested (his staff) call their recent customers to find out if they were satisfied with the work done on their car and how they were treated during the process. The service advisors thought he was crazy.” That’s probably what will happen to you too if you propose this idea at work. But, Schrinner says, follow-up calls will help you stay connected to members, proactively solve issues and build loyalty.

Crowd Vote of the Week

This will make your stomach growl. Check out the recipes selected by judges as semi-finalists for the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest. You can decide which ones make it to the finals and contend for the $1 million grand prize. Voting ends September 26.

This Week on Voting 2.0

Here are a few of our recent posts on Voting 2.0:

Enjoy your weekend!

Photo by Melissa Baldwin (Flickr CC license)