[Lnc-votes] [Lnc-business] Memo to LP State Chairs: Send us your Affiliate News

While I agree with Brett and Scott that the calendar (http://www.lp.org/event) is embarrassing as it is due to the paucity of content, there's a better solution than deleting it or limiting what's listed there to LNC meetings and conventions. It would be more embarrassing not to have a calendar on-site at all, or to have one that's even more limited.

  Activists won't only be interested in stuff happening in their own states. People have friends, family, relatives, colleagues living in other places. People travel -- I've attended Libertarian happenings in other places while traveling, and we've had out of town people show up at our local events. We meet people at outreach events who live elsewhere. Of course we could simply refer these people to their state party's website or something, but if you want to maximize the likelihood of someone getting involved, it's better to make it easy for them. That way you can say, "I see here that the LP in your town meets on (day/time/place)," or "Hey, did you know the Libertarian Party in your state will be having a _____________ happening at (day/time/place)?"

  As with a number of other things the LNC does (raising money, blog posts on LP.org, press releases, social media posts, etc.), rather than expecting a small number of staffers or committee members with access to do everything, we can get much more bang for the buck with *crowdsourcing*.

  In the case of the calendar, list a few basic guidelines for posting and give anyone access to post events, and staff won't need to post any more than they do now, maybe less. All that would really be needed is an authorized person or persons to glance at it from time to time and delete any spam or inappropriate listings.

  Giving more people access to post gives more people reason to visit LP.org more frequently. That means more website hits, more online donations, more people reading our other content, etc. Same goes for adding other features to the site that give people reason to visit. We *want* lots of "stuff" on the site! If the calendar is really busy, that's a *good* thing. An active calendar with lots of listings will give site visitors the message that the Libertarian community is a vibrant one with lots of stuff happening.

  The problem with just saying "Let the affiliates keep their own calendars" is that calendars on state party websites tend to suffer from the same problem -- too few people have access to post events, and consequently little gets posted, because it's just too much trouble in most cases to contact the state party with an event, get the info to the right person who can post it to the website, then wait for them to get the listing up and hope they get it right. Activists *might* be willing to deal with this red tape to send in their own events, if they know who to contact and can rely on the info getting posted promptly, but if they have to go through this process every time they want to see a libertarian event they come across that's of interest to LP members posted, they're just not going to be as likely to do it as if they know they can quickly go and post it themselves and see it listed right away.

  One conversation that comes up repeatedly on the LNC is what can be done to help affiliates. This is something that can be done easily. Having a comprehensive calendar on the national website where state-level activists can post stuff without having to jump through hoops to obtain access first will be providing an affiliate service.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))