Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0’

How Your Liberal Branch/Club/Division Can Massivly Improve Efficiency

August 18, 2009

I want to talk about emails & the Liberal Party.

After all, emails are the backbone of everything we do. From getting people to attend events, to read articles, to give donations – emails are the main focal point of much of our campaigning. Emails are pretty important. Yet we completely neglect them from any strategic perspective.

As a body fail to realise that we are not sending out emails just for the sake of it. We are sending them out for a specific purpose. We actually want action to be taken. We want people to actually do something as a result of the email. Yet we pay no attention to this. We do nothing to see how successful our emails are. We do not know if something works, or doesn’t. We are effectively shooting blind.

Indeed, for the most part we do not approach email in any sort of strategic manner. All we do is send out an email, and that’s it. Cross our fingers and hope people read it and take action. Which would be all well and good if we were still living in the 1990’s. But we’re not. Technology has advanced considerably and we need to take advantage of it.

What we need – desperately – to invest in email software with tracking and the capability to do proper analytics. What do I mean by this. I mean rather than doing it through a free server, we need email software that can tell us 1)how many people actually opened the email 2)how many people clicked on  a link in the email 3)how many people forwarded the email and so on. These are very basic, very simple, measurements of success. And yet we do not do them. Yet how can we move forward if we do not know if our actions are working or not?

But this is just the beginning. What you can then do is experiment with sample messages. For example, you can send out two batches of ‘test’ emails. Both identical in content, but with a different subject line. And then see which one people actually open. And then THAT subject line to the rest of your email list.

This isn’t rocket science. It is simply an easy, quantitative measure to be able to increase the efficiency of your actions. Considerably. And the cost is rather minor. Companies like mailchimp provide top of the line analytics for a very, very reasonable price. If you’re a small group interested in this, I might even chip in a bit of money to get this off the ground if you ask.

I have various samples and studies I’m unfortunately not able to post here backing up my point, but let me know if you’re interested in discussing this further and I’ll send them to you. Because we really do need to enter the 21st century.

Blogs YOU Should Follow

June 21, 2009

Two days ago I posted a call for Australian Liberals to start engaging themselves in the wide world of the blogosphere, and to set up RSS feeds and the like. The obvious question, however, is where to start – who are the best conservative/libertarian writers to follow? Where to get the best electoral analysis?

So, as an introductory guide, here’s a list of blogs I follow and think others should. My suggestion? Add this to an RSS feed, and then skim through the updates daily for what you find interesting. Seriously, just try dedicating a bit of time to this every day. Please note though, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a beginners guide and some suggestions from Tim, divided up into a few categories with comments. I have also attempted to include every Liberal Party blogger I know in Australia (without any comments on quality :p):

Liberal Party Member Blogs

Danny Haynes – I think I can say categorically that the NSW Liberals has no finer economic mind than Danny. Whilst I disagree with him on some of the extremes of Austrian economic theory, his knowledge is far greater than anyone I know in the party. He posts very infrequently now, so encourage him to post more often!

Pimpin for Freedom – Jake Zanoni’s blog (ACT YL). Always good for a laugh, and for some hard-core libertarian material.

The Western Lines – Ralph is a western Sydney Liberal Party blogger, who has a good grasp of the issues at hand.

Will Church’s Weblog – It’s Will Church. What more do I need to say? 🙂

MothyPress – Tim Humphries from Queensland’s blog. Good, strongly ideological writings.

The L Party – Don’t know much about this blog, as only discovered it recently, but seems to be a Liberal Party blogger from Victoria. Quite a bit of good information on new media and the like in particular on it.

Other Australian Centre-Right Bloggers

Tim Blair – The father of Australia centre-right blogging, and has been around since its inception. Hilariously written, you won’t go here for serious analysis, but rather for links on what’s happening around the world, and the sharpest wit in politics outside of PJ O’Rourke.

Andrew Bolt – Probably the most prolific blogger who has a wide-ranging mainstream media following. Writes a lot, and whilst I don’t agree with him on everything, certainly there is a lot there that’s worth a read. Also provides a lot of good links to other sites.

Andrew Norton – Andrew works for the CIS, and is without question the best writer on education issues in Australia. You’ll get a more academic perspective than with some other blogs, but always with solid views and highly informative.

Thought on Freedom – The official blog of the Australian Libertarian Society, and includes posts from a wide variety of writers (including yours truly!) on all political issues.

Catholicism and Liberty – Written by an (anonymous) Australian Liberal, this blog combines traditional Catholic values with free-market economics and libertarian political theory. It is without doubt the best new blog I’ve seen.

Other Australian Blogs

Antony Green – The Grandaddy of Australian electoral analysis. Antony Green is unsurpassed in his analysis of Australian elections. Somewhat technical at times, and he blogs far less than he should, but Antony is king for a reason. You’ll get more out of reading one article of his than reading every newspaper in Australia without a doubt.

Poll Bludger – Australia’s most popular electoral analysis blog. Despite having being bought out by Crikey recently, it remains Australia’s premier blog covering electoral issues, and should be the first stop for everyone at election time for news. Defiantly a most follow.

The Tally Room –  Despite being written by Ben Raue, a socialist criminal and Greens apparatchik, The Tally Room has rapidly become one of Australia’s best blogs on elections analysis. Not only does it provide insight into Australian elections, but is also the only Australian blog that provides in-depth coverage of major elections from around the world in a manner that would be unheard of in the media.

Vexnews – An attempt to be Australia’s Drudge Report (which is also worth a follow), this is Andrew Landeryou’s new blog. ’nuff said.

Cattalaxy – Australia’s top free market economists, and has the advantage of generally been accessible to the layman.

Macquarie Street – New blog that started up last week on NSW politics. Still a bit to early for a full critique, but great writing so far.

International Blogs

Cato@Liberty – I love Cato. To be honest, I don’t read 3/4 of the stuff they post here, and only skim, as there is just so much output, but Cato really is brilliant.

K Street Cafe – Follow this without a doubt. Only has a few posts which are mainly links a week, but it links to the best new media articles in existance. This is a blog where ” where experts share new and novel ways technology, the Internet and social media are being used to shape public policies.” and is a must-follow.

Reason Magazine’s Hit&Run – Reason is in my opinion the US’s best magazine. Witty, insightful, well written, it is heads and shoulders above everything else in the US. Whilst I don’t have time to read everything posted here, this blog is the best first step the ‘everyman’ should take to the libertarian community.

The Agitator – Written by Radley Balko, Reason Magazine’s legal writter, this has recently become my favourite blog. Focusing primarily on legal issues and law & justice, it is an amalgam of all the legal news you’d be interested in from around the US, as well as touching on other topics. For anyone interested in law, this is a must read. For anyone else, still VERY highly recommended.

Postmodern Conservative – An alternative view at conservative issues. Very well written, and while many of the articles are far too sophisticated and intelligent for me to adequately appreciate, a blog  I certainly like checking out every once in a while (particularly recommend the words of Helen Rittelmeyer, from the Cigarette Smoking Blog; generally takes me a few reads to grasp the point, but she is without doubt the best young writer I have met in my time in the US)

The Next Right – Some of the brightest stars in the Republican Party writing about how to best chart a way forward. Covers new media, campaigning, policy, and pretty much everything else. This blog shows the future direction of the GOP – and a model for us to follow

So. Fire up that RSS feed I told you about earlier, and start following! You won’t regret it!