Excellent analysis of Clinton fundraising email

Some great "do's & don'ts" from Michael Moschella at the organizing.center. 

Here's the GOOD:

1) Catchy subject line - it got me to open it by creating what is called a "knowledge gap." 

2) Right off the bat it assumes I'm in the "us" group and contrasts that with the "they" of Bernie Sanders. This us vs. them messaging is called ingroup/outgroup and it is very powerful. 

3) When asking me for $17, the email justifies the ask with the claim, "what most supporters donate the first time." This is brilliant and it is referred to as "social proof." It sets a norm the reader subconsciously needs/wants to follow. 

4) The email is personalized, even in the red donate button image.

But, here's where the email FAILS BIG TIME:

1) It frames Bernie as the campaign with the momentum, and Hillary as the one losing out. People like to join up with winners, and "we're losing!!!" rarely changes behavior unless it's a life-or-death situation. This might have worked if it were the general election and Hillary were losing out to racist Donald Trump.

There's more and the whole thing is worth reading. Go read the rest.


Does it make sense to buy multiple domain names?

Does it make sense to buy multiple similarly-sounding domain names to redirect to your site?


There is scant data to support the business case for buying or leasing additional, similarly-sounding URLs and redirecting them to your existing site. This activity does not improve your search ranking on Google. The only possible benefit is if someone were to actually type the URL into the address bar. And, people don't really do that, anymore. They click on links: links in Google, links on Facebook, links in an email, etc. If the link is broken, they immediately lose interest and move onto the next Facebook post (or whatever).

I believe your money would better be spent on web ads: Google Adwords, banner ads in the local paper, and Facebook.

The only two exceptions I can think of:

1. if you are running a behemoth of a campaign - like a presidential campaign. In that case, you definitely want to get the .org and .net, and also get permutations of the candidates name (hilaryclinton.com and hillaryclinton.com - with one and with two Ls). 

2. If you are running a business, pick up anything related that might someday become the URL of a competitor. 

Best practices for posting content online


When I see one of my clients post original content on their Facebook Fan page instead of on their Nation, you could fry an egg on the top of my head.

You have a wonderful NationBuilder site that you paid good money for. So why are posting your original content on Facebook? When you do that, your stealing people away from your Nation and sending them to Facebook! WHY? AAARRGGHHH!

This insanity needs to come to an immediate end!

You should never*  post original content on a third party, social-media website. The original content should be posted on YOUR website, and then SHARED on the social media, which drives traffic back to your site.

The only exceptions to this rule are 140-character tweets, which should be posted on twitter, video files (youtube/vimeo) and audio files (SoundCloud, BandCamp).  Anything else; stuff you write, images you create, stuff you receive and want to share: it belongs on your Nation FIRST and on Facebook, etc. VIA a link to your Nation. 

(also, oppo research should go in its own space, well away from yours, but you knew that already) 

Here is the procedure you should follow EVERY time you want to post content:

  1. Go to your Admin dashboard. Then, go here:
    Admin dashboard > Website > [your blog] > Posts & subpages > New post.
  2. Give it a neat Headline. Hit TAB and the slug will autofill (handy!). Change status to Published. Hit the yellow button.
  3. Post your neat thing in the top window ("before the flip"). If it's long, put the first paragraph in the top window, and the rest in the bottom window ("after the flip"). Hit the yellow save button. 
  4. click on the link next to your logo - it should say, http://www.your-site.com/blog-post-title (blog-post-title is whatever the title is of your new blog post).
  5. Take a look at your new blog post. Revel in it's awesomeness.
  6. SHARE it with the Facebook button. Tweet it with the twitter button. Put it on the GooglePlus with the G+1 button. 
  7. People will see the link and follow it back to your site! YAY!

If you have social media other than the big three (Facebook, Twitter, G+), then here are some extra steps:

  1. Copy the link to the new content on your Nation. 
  2. Go to the Social Media in question. 
  3. Post the link. Share it. 

That's it. Done. See how easy that is? 



Tips for maintaining an active blog

  • Blogs are hugely important for improving the frequency your web site will turn up on search engines like Google. The more posts you have, the more keywords you are feeding search engines which increases the likelihood your post will be offered as a result.
  • The quality of your posts is important. The better your post, the more likely another web site will link to it. The more incoming links that exist for a blog post, the higher your post will rank on search results.
  • Include a prominent link to the RSS feed near the top of your blog. Some people don't actually visit the blog page to check for new updates. Instead, they subscribe to RSS feeds to alert them when a new post is made.
  • Be sure to promote your posts via social media, especially on your organization's Twitter account. You can automatically feed your posts to Twitter using services like Twitter Feed. Some people use Twitter instead of RSS to be updated on new posts.
  • Embed pictures and videos in your blog posts whenever a possible. You want to avoid your blog turning into a wall of text, and embedding relevant pictures and videos will greatly help in spicing it up.
  • Use links to other sites liberally in your posts. Other websites and blogs may return the favor in the future. Linking to sources of information contained in your blog post also increases your credibility.

Check out this recent episode of NationBuilder Live for more information on starting a blog.

Don't let a campaign volunteer design your logo



Don't let a campaign volunteer design your logo. Don't let one design your website, either. Their hearts are in the right place, but you really do get what you pay for. 

Using Nationbuilder for Membership Database Administration

crowd-fleeing-a-burning-convio.jpgConvio is massively sophisticated PaaS (Platform as a Service) and offers hundreds of features for organizations to administer their membership. Just about every big organization with a big membership uses Convio.

During my stint as Webmaster for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we used Convio to email newsletters and "asks" (solicitations for donations), membership services (petition drives, mostly) and selling tickets to events, among other things. We used Convio but we didn't like it. The mere mention of "Convio" would produce scowls or cringes among those who had to use it, none bigger than on the face of the Executive Director who didn't like writing massive yearly checks to Convio.

Read more

Tim Wayne - NationBuilder Consulting - Interaction Design

Here's what my clients say:

"Tim has been a great asset to the Educate Our State team not only developing a beautiful, easy to manage and highly functional website but also offering guidance on social media best practices and strategic planning for our future on-line presence. Tim's ability to quickly navigate issues, consider various solutions and support our team through a number of phases of growth has been remarkable. His get-it-down attitude and quick responses have made this piece of our communications platform easy to build and launch. We can't recommend Tim highly enough!"
Crystal Brown, President, Educate Our State

"Tim has the most amazing talent, he can nearly read your mind and then improve on your idea... He should be on the TV show Heroes, because if you give him copy and some direction he comes back with what you had in mind but even better."
Jim Ross, Jim Ross Consulting

"Tim built our website quickly and beautifully. It represented our business and our service to clients well. The professional image he created for us was an important part of our success."
David Schachter, Lead Analytics Engineer at Playdom

"Tim was a pleasure to work with; he provided valuable expertise in a timely manner for a fair price. What more can you ask for? I hope to have the occasion to work with him again soon."
Mir Haynes, CEO, Anabo Studios

"I love working with Tim Wayne!
Tim is creative yet practical, balancing his keen design sense with an appreciation for real-world business considerations. Tim takes instruction well, though he requires little.
Bottom line: Tim always produces first-rate designs that are appropriate to a website's message and market--and he's fun to work with, too!"

Lang Zerner, President, Studio32

"Tim is a great web designer who, when given the chance, can come up with some pretty amazing stuff. His eye for design and all things aesthetic never ceases to amaze me."
Tony Chang, Senior Engineer, ServePath

"Tim is a very thorough and detail-oriented designer. He is an asset to the integrity of our three brand's commercial websites."
Liz Dizon

"When I worked with Tim, I immediately recognized what an awesome person he was. He helped our group design all of ServePath's customer sites. What made Tim invaluable was that he understood the mission and business objectives clearly. Based on the these, he architected sites that were able to draw in a substantial amount of customers, with compelling content, easy navigation, rapid product fulfillment, and order processing. This allowed customers to quickly and efficiently complete the transaction of their service and begin operating immediately.

As a sales person, I worked closely with my customers and they always spoke highly of our web site and the customer extranet. Tim's knowledge of rich media technologies is unrivaled."

Alex Barajas, Sales Engineer at Neustar


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