This is the ongoing story of how a few bloggers with a new idea got together and began working to change the way that politics interacts with people.
The Blog Workers Industrial Union came together four months ago in the Sunday Pittsburg sunshine after Netroots Nation. Ben Masel suggested the organization's historic sounding name. Chacounne made the mistake of falling asleep in the back seat while we were coming back from Fallingwater and got herself elected secretary. Our initial prank, a noisy labor dispute between liberal bloggers and George Soros, never really got the traction we initially envisioned.
The apparent lack of traction wasn't due to lack of forward motion. Once the initial laughter faded away, we realized we were onto something – we have tremendous talent, passion, and energy behind the Netroots. All that was needed was a little bit of infrastructure, some folks to manage it, and we could help Progressive candidates in many ways. Navigating the rapidly evolving environment of social media is the most obvious of these, and the importance of the role of social media in political success is still being discovered. This is the final frontier to be conquered by progressive candidates in order to ensure their success.
Progressive PST provides the services and support necessary to do just that.
Progressive PST, which is short for Progressive (P)olitically (S)trategic campaigns for (T)witter, started life as ProgressivePSA, a Twitter user id that we used for public service announcements. Beth Becker (Kossack: Spedwybabs) did the message creation work and Neal Rauhauser (Kossack: Stranded Wind) wrote the software for the system. We did some work for the Pennsylvania health care rally that took place this fall, did some work for the No On 1 effort in Maine, and we realized we had the beginnings of a product that was both unique and useful. Over the course of the last weeks and months, we have developed the tools candidates need to campaign on Twitter, and we have recruited the talent to make those tools work.
Today, we are happy to announce that Progressive PST, a company born as the brainchild of Kossacks, is open for business.
Starting today, PPST will be working with progressive candidates to design and implement targeted Twitter campaigns, inserting easily retweetable messages into hashtag streams, or conversations, relevant to the candidate in terms of geography and issues. We will provide assistance in writing those Tweets, if desired. We will research the hashtag streams into which those Tweets are most effectively inserted. We will work with campaign staff to determine the optimum schedule for those Tweets to appear. And we’ll do it using software that allows for automatic adaptivity, ensuring that even in the fluid environment of microblogging, client messages are neither overly saturated nor lost in the shuffle. Through the use of a specific link-shortening tool, we are able to track the traffic that we generate to a candidate’s targeted webpages, allowing us to monitor our effectiveness and change our tactics as needed. We are excited to work on a variety of types of campaigns on the federal and state level, and we have a variety of services available for the varied budgets that exist at different levels, during both Primary and General Election season.
The years of experience possessed by our staff, coupled with the months of research we have completed regarding the way that Twitter works and can work best for Progressive political candidates, will make a new kind of campaign possible—campaigns that will reach new audiences and be present to voters in a completely new way.
With that, we are pleased to announce our first client: Kossack Lois Herr of PA-16, running against Joe Pitts of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment.
A solid Progressive with more than twenty years in the telecom industry and a Lancaster County native, Lois Herr chose politics as her second career because she understands the issues faced by the people of Pennsylvania’s 16th district. Having written two books and spent time as a scholar in residence at Elizabethtown College, Herr bridges the gap between the business and intellectual worlds; she has the intelligence to comprehend the issues, the perseverance and professionalism to do something about them, and the determination of a woman fighting for her home to make Washington listen. Progressive PST is proud to work for Lois Herr, and we are Tweeting on her behalf as you read this diary. You can visit her at www.herr2010.com, donate to her ActBlue page and follow her on Twitter.
And now for something completely different... Progressive PST doesn’t work only for candidates. We can Tweet your message on behalf of your organization—and we are pleased to be doing just that on behalf of the first ever Netroots Nation Holiday Bazaar.
From December 4 through December 8, Netroots Nation will be taking bids on one-of-a-kind handcrafted items offered at the Netroots Nation Holiday Bazaar. Textiles, jewelry, woodcraft, a personalized book of soup recipes courtesy of our very own Spedwybabs... the list goes on. Check it out frequently, as items are still being added, and get ready to bid on your favorites starting on December 4.
So, you are a candidate or work for one or know of one who might be interested in our services? Or you are working on a ballot initiative for next year? Or you know of an Advocacy Group that could make use of our services? How do you contact us to find out more? Easy...just to to our website at:
This is the ongoing story of how a few bloggers with a new idea got together and began working to change the way that politics interacts with people. We believe that we can bring candidates and people, issues and voters, and social media and politics together. That is what we have begun, and we’ve only begun a journey we think can impact our leaders and therefore the lives of their constituents. But, as you surely understand, faith without works is dead. Keep an eye out for Progressive PST and the BWIUBS Daily Kos user ids this week for more exciting announcements.