At FDL, I roughly sketched out how progressive readers of FireDogLake, DailyKos, and Democratic Underground, could combine the forces of both their readership, as well as their bloggers, to create a "ground game". By "ground game", I mean a street-based activism that propagates progressive memes well beyond the currently limited blogosphere. In a nutshell, activists would organize to print a "Readers' Digest" extract of the participating blogs on dead trees (pamphlets), and creative means would be found to distribute the pamphlets in public venues, throughout the country. Just "blogging to the choir" would come to be looked on as the embarassing, self-limiting relic that I hope it becomes.
Such a pamphlet-heavy ground game would not only help progressives grow their political muscle, but would also be a boon to the participating blogs as businesses, as their online readership would skyrocket. But the virtuous circle would only be complete when some of the unblogged masses who are reached by the ground game, get religion, and become activists, themselves. Doubtless, they would express some of that activism through the websites that first reached them. And some will even end up contributing to this cross the beams, ground game plan I'm suggesting, itself.
As a plus, I have suggested that the army of pamphlet distributors be hired from the ranks of the unemployed, thus helping them keep body and soul together.
Sorry, I don't want to write a polished diary, so I'll just quote myself from my diary FDL vs. Rush Limbaugh vs. Michelle Malkin vs. Ann Coulter Websites compared wrt spreading their messages beyond their readership
My current situation doesn’t lend itself to being generous with time or money, sorry. When I get my next gig, I should be able to pay $$ to facilitate some activist activity.
I will throw this out, though: With so many people out of work, it’s sort of a no-brainer that progressives should be hiring at least some of them to propagate progressive political messages in public areas. That would kill 2 birds with one stone: fighting the information war, and also giving somebody a chance to feed their family.
Let’s look at this mathematically, and develop some estimates. Let’s say that, between the readership of FDL, dailykos, and Democratic Underground, you have 2 million progressives that have jobs. You get, say, 1/3 of them to contribute $10/week. That’s over $6 million dollars per week.
A Reader’s Digest pamphlet version is created with condensed versions of “the best” of FDL, dailykos, and DU diaries. Local volunteers who have jobs also print out the blog diary/pamphlets on their own nickel. That saves all of the $6.7 million dollars for salaries. At $15/hour for wages plus withholding and insurance, you’d be able to hire 11,166 ‘pamphleteers’ for a 40 hour work week.
THAT, my friend, is a small freaking ARMY, that will easily inject progressive memes into every major city in the US, and beyond.
In one hour, a pamphleteer could probably average passing out 15 pamphlets, easily. (That would leave them time to chat, squeegee, do their best George Carlin routine, etc.) Let’s say that they’re 4 page pamphlets. Run off a copier, each one will still cost less than 1 cent, each, to print. Apparently, copy paper is about 1 cent per page, so the whole 4 page pamphlet will cost 5 cents.
15 pamphlets per hour * 40 hours per week * 5 cents per pamphlet means an additional investment of $30 dollars per week. So, to supply your pamphleteer army with pamphlets, you would need 11,166 / 6,700,000 progressive supporters with jobs to contribute an extra $30 per week. That’s only 0.16% of them – clearly an attainable goal for more, ahem, affluent progressives who will also donate the time it takes to print out the pamphlets.
What you’d want to avoid is having individual supporters preparing their own pamphlet .pdf files, hunting down copyright permissions, etc., on their own. They should be able to just download a file every morning after their morning jog, print it out, take it to the copier, print out their share of pamphlets (15 x 8 = 120), drop them off with their assigned pamphleteer, and then get back to their regular routine. You also don’t want the local supporters, with jobs, to be fiddling with employment stuff. Not sure how you’d tackle the logistics of a centralized hiring facility, but I think you’d start by talking to existing progressive organizations, that have a ground game, but that aren’t members of the Veal Pen. The PDA comes to mind, however they may only be useful for kicking this thing off. I know that they don’t even have local chapters in many counties of densely populated NJ. Since unions know all about employment stuff, maybe hook up with non-Demobot unions. E.g., firemen’s unions – they’re certainly everywhere! See Nation’s Main Firefighters’ Union Shows Spine, defunds national Democrats