The advent of Twitter as a political organizational tool has gone hand in hand with various revolutions and movements around the globe (Egypt, Tunisia, Wisconsin) and proven the ultimate utility of what some still try to box in as nothing more than a source of mundane micro status updates. As any occasional to avid Twitter user will tell you, nothing could be further from the truth and blind dismissal of the revolutionary platform becomes even less reasonable once you dig in to the #hashtag realm, wherein every piece of information you could possibly desire is organized nimbly and placed at your fingertips whether you’ve signed up for Twitter or not.
Now, in the vein of successful hashtag launches such as #p2 (progressives 2.0) and our very own #1u (One Union), JobParty.us is rolling out regional progressive hashtags to try and reinject utility in to the grandfather of center-left tags. #p2 is oversaturated, with so many users that it is difficult to find what you need by searching the tag. By adding a state denomination, though — #p2NY, #p2TX, #p2CT, for example — Job Party hopes to aid in the re-compartmentalization of regional political and activist information to improve accessibility and share-ability for all. The tags will first see the light of day at next week’s Our Future-sponsored Take Back the American Dream conference. Below, their launch post on the matter…
Cross-posted from JobParty.us. Written by Harry Waisbren…
Twitter is a truly unique medium for organizing, yet as much as progressives have gained from it, there is still much further to go to leverage its full potential.
This latent power is especially evident in the way we use hashtags, where events from Egypt’s #Jan25 to Wisconsin’s #WIunion have given every tweeting participant the power to amplify their activism.
These tweets from activists and every day people on the ground are organized topically by the hashtag, but there remains a problem: How does one know what hashtag to look for in the first place?
In practice, people can be alerted beforehand, or find out from participants in their twitter feeds in real time. What we’re suggesting here is a way to further streamline this process.
Fortunately, we already have a strong progressive foundation on Twitter to centralize our information and organizing: #p2, the “progressive batchannel”.
#p2 was co-founded by Tracy Viselli and Jon Pincus in 2009 as a progressive umbrella-tag based on diversity and empowerment. It has been a massive success since — so much so that it has been a victim of it.
This is because there is so much diffuse traffic on #p2 that its capacity to shine a light on diverse voices who would otherwise not be heard is limited due to the depth of content.
This brings us to our suggestion.
Chris Keeley of New Deal for NY & Community Voices Heard and myself via the Job Party propose that progressive tweeters target their progressive tweets to a local hashtag in addition to the national umbrella of #p2.
Specifically, we’re suggesting that NY progressive tweeters employ the #p2NY tag for local content so that local organizers, bloggers, and every day tweeters will have easier access to it .
This is a model that could easily be applied to all 50 states, of course (#p2NJ, #p2CA, #p2TX, etc).
#p2 has always been a foundational work in progress, from the original precedent-defying #p2 launch tweetings to the TweetProgress directory and onwards.
Moreover, #p2 was first spawned by the foundational model of the feminism 2.0 tag #fem2, and has been the impetus for new offerings building off of it like the One Union #1u tag.
The proposal to use #p2NY is directly in this progression. We see it as extending the power of #p2 to be a “batchannel in the sky” in a much more hyper-local manner.
The rubric of a #p2 umbrella over a state-based framework is readily understandable, and will make it dramatically easier to direct progressives to the local information most important to them. Plus, only adding the state’s abbreviation keeps a character count exactly equal to conservatives’ #tcot.
Jon Pincus closed his latest post on lessons from #p2 with a call to arms to further develop progressive infrastructure on twitter, as the upside is huge. As he asks, “What are we waiting for?”
There certainly remains an untold amount that could be done, and it couldn’t be a more important time for progressives to, well, progress.