Study: the net enhances individuals' networks
No surprise here to readers of P&T, but the Pew Internet & American Life Project just released a new study that finds that the advent of widespread email and net access has made human relationships more networked and more persistent across time and space.
And that has tremendous implications for how campaigns and organizations can find and motivate new supporters.
Disputing concerns that heavy use of the internet might diminish people’s social relations, the report finds that the internet fits seamlessly with Americans’ in-person and phone encounters. With the help of the internet, people are able to maintain active contact with sizable social networks, even though many of the people in those networks do not live close to them.
No one would ever think to take a letter they've received, make 30 copies, and snail-mail them to 30 friends. But we do it with email all the time.
As we often advise folks, successful campaigns and advocacy organizations will be the ones that find ways to motivate, encourage, nurture, and activate these social networks.
There's tremendous power out there in those networks. Remember - the most likely supporters that you haven't yet found are the friends, family, and neighbors of your existing supporters. Find ways to mobilize those networks, and you'll grow a movement that can't be stopped.
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