Subject: Re: [NYCGA Internet] Why I'm coming to the IWG meeting tonight
From: Sam Boyer
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 12:35:06 -0700

fantastic list of highly pertinent questions, charles.

i'm an nyc resident, but i'm in portland this weekend and san francisco
the next - is there any way to participate virtually in the meeting?

On 10/16/11 12:16 PM, Charles Lenchner wrote:
Hey all,


I’ve met some of you and look forward to meeting some more. It felt
right to show up after giving the meeting organizers and WG veterans a
chance to process why I’m attending and how I might help.


Please do forgive the telegraphic style, but folks are busy.


1.       Soon, #OWS is going to have a functional website that is
‘official’ and a working database that can build lists, manage email
groups and send thousands of emails to existing lists. We know that
there are thousands of email addresses (from Kickstarter,
OccupytheBoardroom and WG lists) to start with.

2.       What we do not have is a designated WG or committee that makes
decisions around this. Decisions like:

a.       Who gets to message the entire list? How often? With what content?

b.      What is the goal of our online messaging? Political statements?
List growth? Fundraising? Event turnout? Who decides between competing

c.       Which social media platforms will be connected on the back end,
which ones will not? What is the goal of our official social media
properties? (Education? Solicitation of support? Decision making and

d.      What major segments of data do we anticipate having in the
database? Do we assume that a web commenter wants to get emails? Or that
an email list member wants commenting access?

e.      Should messages be short and sweet, to drive action, or
newsletter style, to get ‘everyone’s’ announcement in front of people?

f.        Under what conditions is it okay to message about an
unofficial, but supportive effort – like the OccupytheBoardroom effort?
What if there are multiple, excellent initiatives all demanding the same
level of attention?

3.       Is GA approval necessary for online initiatives, or is GA
approval assumed if a working group does something on their own initiative?

4.       Should messages be signed as a corporate entity (we, #OWS NYS)
or individually (Jane Doe, non-leader designated email signer for the
third week of October)?

5.       Under what circumstances is it ‘fine’ to work with an under a
corporate partner (cf, OccupyTogether + or OccupytheBoardRoom
+ Tumblr) and when should this merit resistance? Is this the kind of
decision to be made inside a specific committee, or by the GA? If the
initiative is ‘owned’ by allies and merely endorsed, does that make a
difference? Should we refuse to work with Paypal?


Broadly speaking, these questions fall under ‘digital strategy.’ This is
a function often carried out by communication directors, online
organizers, or consulting firms – though none of these things apply to
the #OWS situation. The question is…. Where do they fall? Would anyone
care/object if someone started a ‘digital strategy working group?’ Why
or why not? (Note that such a committee would do NO programming, coding
or web development….)


The underlying set of values at play here is accessibility. An area of
concern with #OWS is the construction of a coherent, transparent ladder
of engagement that makes it possible for ‘newbies’ to become ‘insiders’
according to a set path. What do we offer people who want to be
informed? Who desire participation, but only for five minutes a day, or
one hour once a week? What mechanisms exist to solicit particular forms
of participation and support, reach segmented audiences, or take into
account particular perspectives? All of these questions together
represent ‘organizing.’ I think we should do it, but it remains unclear
where it should happen.


Tonight, I’d like to find out.




Charles Lenchner