0247: /sanders.for.president


Where social media turns                   into local action

Bernie Sanders is running a grass roots campaign and trying to leverage the tools of the internet to reach out to voters.  At the forefront is the subreddit /r/Sandersforpresident which has 203,000 subscribers and its activity constantly pushes Bernie’s message to /r/all and the Reddit community at large.

Reddit gets over 1 million visits a day so this has a real impact and a really broad impact. But Sanders needs to win Michigan and needs to win certain pockets of Michigan specifically.  This is no time to go broad.  The Sanders subreddit does a good job at focusing on the needs at hand and telling Michiganders to get out and vote, but the subset of those on reddit and in Michigan is small.

That’s where the local web comes into play.  There is also organizing and discussion going on at localweb.is/sanders.for.president.  This is a URL that speaks about the national agenda, but is only visible for 2 miles around you.  So the people talking about getting out the vote in Flint on /sanders.for.president are actually in Flint and can do something about it.  Closely correlated with the subreddit, the local web is where national goals are implemented locally.

All the activity on /sanders.for.president causes that slash to rise to the top of the local web front page.  This means that those who are not paying attention to Sanders specifically get exposed to his message.  It should be noted that /clinton.for.president is also an active slash and there is a great deal of debate that goes on among residents in both of these slashes.  What is important is that these are local debates about local issues.  These are not trolling comments on a Sanders news article on MSNBC, or snarky upvoted comments on reddit.  The conversation in /sanders.for.president looks very different in Flint, Michigan than it does in Bangor, Maine.  As it should.  These groups have different values and priorities.  The web has done wonders to unify movements, but these movements are often made up of thousands of similar but distinct motivations.  The local web is where these distinctions play out and where words become actions for cities, counties and states.

Note: Bernie Sanders is not officially affiliated with the local web. The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches in April.  Use your imagination.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Image via Phil Roeder on Flicker