A scene from #nn13! Photo credit: Steve Stearns

Hello mobilisers! I just started with the Mobilisation Lab — my most recent previous experiences have been with Mozilla and the Obama campaign organization — and I’m very excited to bring that experience to Greenpeace and the environmental movement more broadly. If you’re interested, please feel free to read my bio or the blog — Engaging Openly — that documents some of my work at Mozilla.

I consider myself part of the community of technologists and organizers in the US who come from politics but now work in all forms of social change, and for that reason I was very excited to go to Netroots Nation 2013 last week — the largest gathering of folks from the progressive, online community in the US.

Greenpeace was well represented at Netroots, I wanted to report back on two key aspects of what I saw: a plethora of promising new mobilisation tools, and a whole lot of folks ready and willing to fight for the climate before it’s too late.

New tools

Saturday morning at Netroots featured a “new tools shootout” where people with new — or in progress — tools could present. Here are a few of the highlights from a mobilisation perspective:

  • Share Progress. This great new tool from Jim Pugh provides easy ways for organizations to maximize the virality of their actions. In testing with Credo action, they increased total shares by ~50%! In addition to an optimized share page, Share Progress also makes it easy to a/b test different versions of promotional copy and selects a winner for you, so you don’t need to monitor results too closely. Some Greenpeace offices have already started using ShareProgress. If you’re not yet but would like to, please get in touch. [This tool is global.]
  • Crowdtangle. This tool from Brandon Silverman makes it easier than ever before to see what’s getting shared and liked on Facebook across any set of pages or issues you wish to define. It can also alert you to relevant content that’s taking off (almost like a Google News Alert for Facebook). The Climate Digest already takes advantage of Crowd Tangle, and we’re looking forward to making greater use of it in the future. [This tool is global.]
  • ControlShift. From Nathan Woodhull, and already being put to work by Greenpeace India, ControlShift enables organizations to empower their users to create and run campaigns. One of its most exciting new features is the ability to distribute out a bunch of specific local campaigns that all feed into a single, broader effort (like 350.org’s Go Fossil Free campaign.[This tool is global.]
  • ActionSprout. Action Sprout makes it super-easy to create campaigns of all sorts directly within Facebook — you can reach more people, get them going beyond liking and sharing, get their info into whatever broader system you’re using, and track it all much more robustly than with Facebook’s native reporting. [This tool is global.]
  • Seeds. From the creators of National Field, Seeds (set for public release later in 2013), will make it incredibly easy to create an action center hub for supporters with dynamic content and actions that will update from elsewhere, without needing lots of active meddling from an administrator. [This tool can be global, though National Field is largely focused on US electoral campaigns.]
  • Amicus. We did a case study of Amicus’ work last year with one of the biggest US labor unions, but founder Seth Bannon was at Netroots to get into one of the tool’s newest features: the ability to use Facebook integration to generate personalized, physical, friend-to-friend postcards about any issue you could care about. This builds on top of the within-Facebook and phone-based sharing that Amicus has already built out and deployed. [This tool is largely US-focused at the moment; much of its additional value comes from integration with the US voter file.]

The climate fight

There were a number of inspiring panels related to the climate fight, a couple of which are now online:

    • Climate Change: Congressional Leaders, Allies on the Path Ahead: VIDEO
    • Greenpeace USA Executive Director Phil Radford was on a panel about how to reclaim our democracy: VIDEO

There were others, too, on coal and fracking, and generally there was clearly an appetite for greater collaboration across the progressive movement to combat climate change.

Can’t wait to see what we do in the year between now and Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit!

Top photo: A scene from #nn13! credit: Steve Stearns

Ben Simon

Ben Simon has been leading and advising on modern campaigns for more than a decade, with a focus on building power with people and helping organisations evolve.