How Conservatives Can Maximize Their Power Through Social Networking
First the good news: we conservatives do not completely stink at social networking. In fact, in certain cases, we are actually pretty good at social networking. Take, for instance, the last mid-term elections, which took place in the November of 2010, in which our side pretty much swept the field.
True, much of our success can simply be attributed to a widespread rejection of the policies of Obama and his Hollywood overlords, but a lot of our success can also be attributed to our superior use of Twitter and other social media technology.
That’s right, Twitter. Some of us tend to think of new-fangled social networking as a kind of voodoo that liberals do so well, but a recent University of Michigan study showed that conservatives were the top Tweeters in the 2010 national elections.
"The conservative candidates - Republicans and Tea Party members - definitely used Twitter more visibly and showed a more coherent set of messages and topics," commented Eytan Adar, assistant professor in the School of Information and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. "They also followed each other much more closely. I think it's fair to say they were much more cohesive in a lot of ways and at the end of the day that makes for a stronger campaign."
The results of the 2010 elections, of course, speak for themselves. We did great. With Republicans and Tea Party members tweeting and retweeting at about twice the rate of their Democratic opponents, we propagated our message and generated the turnout that made the difference.
Now the Bad News: Liberals Are Brilliant Social(ist) Networkers
So why do I still feel uneasy, as though our nation’s currently manageable voter turnout percentages – in the mid-thirties during off year elections and mid-fifties in presidential years – could suddenly balloon to European levels despite our best efforts to make voter registration as difficult as possible?
Well, I’ll tell you why: liberals are brilliant at social networking. In fact, a cursory tour through Facebook and other social networking sites sometimes makes it seem as though the left is all that's left. It’s untrue, but it does mean that we conservatives can’t rest on our 2010 laurels. Friends, we must "out social network" the socialist networkers! See the next paragraphs for some exciting details on how to go about it.
How Conservatives Can Social Network Better: One Million Conservatives
Okay, it’s easy for liberals to lampoon a site like OneMillionConservatives.org. After all, the site currently only has some 15,600 members, a figure 98% short of its goal. So I say let’s show it some love - take a moment right now and register! When you do, you open the door to many unexpected connections that can benefit the conservative cause, which is the whole point of networking. Just remember, a rising conservative tide lifts all yachts.
How Conservatives Can Social Network Better: Inform Thyself!
One reason some conservative friends give me for not participating politically through social media is that they’re not sure where to begin. Here, let me help you. If you don’t have a Facebook account already, sign up for one here and then, once you’ve made your profile, simply search for words such as "conservative" in the top search field and follow any groups that are relevant to you. Also, consider getting a Google+ account. Google+ is fairly new in the social networking industry so it's almost a political "clean slate." Conservatives should try to match whatever networking levels that liberals reach on Google+.
Learn How to Use That Fancy Phone!
Okay, so this one doesn’t apply to everybody, but I do happen to know some conservatives who own gadget laden smart phones replete with high-speed Internet that only their kids know how to use. Here’s some advice: have your kids teach you all your phone’s functions. Honestly, it’s not as complicated as it appears and, once you know what all the buttons are for, you can tweet, retweet, and Facebook for the cause from anywhere, anytime.
Think of it as your political duty. We may not outnumber Democrats when it comes to official party registration, but we can spread our message and solutions just as often and just as quickly as them. Can I see some thumbs up? Now can I see some thumbs pressing down on those phones? Hope to network with you soon.