After the Election – Solving the next problem

Obama for America created a large grassroots network of volunteers and now its become a football, with a struggle for who should control it. The LA Times article points at the problem of converting this insurgency to a standing army. But that’s Web 1.0 thinking. I got the email mentioned in the article from campaign manager David Plouffe asking for donations to help the DNC retire its debt. It had the caché of the Obama brand. I deleted it. Web 1.0

It sounds like the Obama organization was more Web 2.0, more like a group of cells. Communities, organized, but loosely joined. They were working on local instances of a common problem (get the Obama word out, get voters to the polls)., but they were solving that problem in ways that recognized the local context.

Rather than turn the organization over to the DNC, I’d point the organization toward working on real problems. Turn that energy to making change. Camp Obama would become Problem Identification Coach Obama. It would coach the membership in the organization in problem identification. Is the local problem hunger? Unpack that. Is it supply of food or inability to cook from staples? Unpack that. Does the supply chain fail, or isn’t there enough in the chain?

Create mechanisms for the members in the organization to organize into new cells, this time organized around problems they have found in common. Begin sharing solutions and strategies. The eCitizenFoundation.org is working on BigDialog as a way to ask a question (or pose a problem) to Obama. There is a voting up/down mechanism, but it seems that a tagging system (where the tags are various problems) might add greater value than for organizing communities than just voting a question off the island. Change.org (not .gov) is another approach. It has some causes, and actions, and ways for people to join the causes or actions (and one assumes network into cells for action). Based on work at CTLT, I’ve suggest how to bring in formal education into the mix in ways that will make learning powerful and transform education itself.

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