Tag Archives: social media

Manic Media Nightmares

New Orleans     Let me be honest.  We can hardly keep our primary Facebook account and website up to date.  We gave up on Twitter long ago and have sworn it off until Trump is gone.  Because there are multiple organizations in our family of operations from unions to community organizations to radio stations to publications to research and training outfits and more, we are almost always deficient.  We need someone to do this full-time, but finding the money to justify the wage and work has been a strain.  I’m not whining, just stating the facts, but it makes me wonder how so many make such mischief and mayhem on social media?  Who are these people?  Where do they find the time?

Today’s headlines included social media attacks and threats against state level public health officials by “open-uppers,” or whatever they call themselves.  They use Facebook to organize, and Facebook im-moderators allow anything to go, even if it breaks their rules of service until they hear complaints.  The other day there was another published piece on how conservatives and racists were trolling around the Black Lives Movement to such a degree in their outrage at the protests and the very principles being advocated on the streets that they came up seven times out of ten on the most trafficked Facebook sites with a BLM reference.  These folks have weaponized social media, particularly the passive-hostile Facebook and its lean-out overseers.

K-Pop fans and other groups counted coup on the Trump Tulsa rally claiming that they had signed hundreds of thousands of fake people up to register as participants to bust expectations for his rally.  Trump campaigners swear that is not the case.  Nonetheless, who are these people?  It turns out that fans of various pop groups in Korea and their US counterparts for K-Pop and other groups regularly engage in on-line contests to defend or advance their interests and in some cases have also used their social media skills to raise money for favored causes as well.

These seem mainly to be volunteer armies using these methods for various madness, and then there are state actors from Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, and, let’s be honest, undoubtedly the United States, that also have paid and professional teams running other unsettling social media attacks.  They target each other, all of us, elections, ethnic and racial groups, and whatever and whomever might divide us.  I’m not even talking about free lance hackers and hustlers yet, but they are everywhere as well.

I find this confounding.  How do we compete with all of this?  How do we control and contain these multiple attacks and advances everywhere?  Where is the line between free speech and the fact that we have to be able to get our word out and communicate and the way all of these tools are being manipulated and hijacked for either good or evil?

Today, I’m just raising my hands and crying help.  You know how to find me if you have a clue.  If there’s no solution, we need a volunteer army as well to fight for our side, contact me to enlist ASAP!

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Sorting Out Social and Other Media

New Orleans      On the last day of the ACORN family’s North American Year End / Year Begin meeting several of the workshops and group discussions centered on how to do a better job with social media in building the organization and utilizing our other media assets, especially our terrestrial and internet radio stations.  The workshop leaders asked the assembled organizers what social media platforms they used in their work and lives. The variety of utilization was wide from hardly posting on Facebook to the whole range including Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  The strategies used to engage members on these platforms ranged from virtually never to daily and more with Hamilton, Ontario at the highwater mark and most of the rest of us caught in the quicksand.

Only days before I had sat in a meeting at a coffeehouse in Dublin in the Mountjoy neighborhood where I listened to a discussion about a communication plan our new ACORN affiliate there that was going to be implemented by one of the officers.  There were various categories from “topics of interest” to reports of actions to questions to Facebook followers designed to promote engagement with a regimen that focused on posting every other day and across these topics in order to drive up the numbers on the algorithm or prevent them from being pushed down by Facebook for over usage.

I could hardly keep up and had little to contribute, since I was in water over my head, but this was fresh on my mind as the conversation developed at the YE/YB.  Were we right to post every day in Hamilton?  Were we asking questions?  Was Twitter a waste of time?  I was questioning what I thought I knew on one hand and recognizing our limits on the other.  With scarce resources our total investments were in organizing, yet we knew that our affiliate in the United Kingdom had made amazing use of social media and converted their techniques frequently into membership growth, which all of us had tried with various levels of success.  Where I might have secretly wondered if being a social media organizer was really a thing, perhaps there was no way around us borrowing from peter to pay more attention to this paul.

In the UK, ACORN’s membership is solidly in the 20 to 40 years demographic, but that is unmatched in other countries where we organize.  Internet access doesn’t compare in Honduras, Kenya, India, or even in New Orleans, Little Rock, and among our union membership.  Yet at the same time, the discussion made clear that as powerful as our affiliated radio stations were, we were also failing to maximize our utilization there in terms of either spreading the word or building our organizations.

These Year End / Year Begin meetings are invaluable in forcing us to step back and come to grip with areas where we need to make more progress.

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