Communications and Online Proposals

Communications and Online Proposals

Improve the Socialist Alliance Website

Before making any suggestions about the Socialist Alliance website I want to help put into perspective what this proposal is trying to achieve.

Look at these 3 images. Take a second and think about what you like about them, what you think other people might like about them, and also what you don’t like.

Description: Labor

Greens

Description: SocialistAlliance

 

Problems of the current website:

  1. Confusing and difficult to navigate.
  2. Aesthetically ugly and outdated.
  3. Inconsistent sizing of logos etc.

What is the SA website for?

  1. To give people a clear idea about:
    1. Who we are.
    2. What we want.
    3. Why to get involved.
    4. NOTE: This needs to be concise (it takes 10 seconds for someone to determine whether they will stay on a website).
  2. To provide broad outline of policies and position
    1. With additional links to more detailed information around policy, constitution, socialism and party building etc.

What is the SA website not for?

  1. Every piece of information or event.
  2. Word-for-word replication of all our resources.
  3. A blog for GLW or the National Newsletter.

Who goes to our website? People who already know Socialist Alliance will spend time on the website to find content, Alliance Voices and the Constitution for example.

New people however want to spend as little time on the website. New people want to be guided through the website not left to navigate it themselves. We must help them find that information quickly and easily. This means less choice and more order on the home page.

Motion 1: One comrade be tasked with co-ordinating the fixing of the Socialist Alliance website.

  1. The comrade tasked with this item should submit a proposal to the NE that outlines an analysis of the website and a list of changes. This can be done very quickly and easily to get the ball rolling. Once adopted by the NE, the comrade assigned the task must ensure the changes are implemented in an appropriate time frame.

Improve national social media

Same deal. Look at these 3 social media pages and think about what you like and/or don’t like.

Description: Labor

Description: LeftUnity

Socialist Alliance

Problems in social media:

  1. Lack of consistency in FB presence: some branches have pages, some closed groups, some open groups, some have a mix or double ups.
  2. Confusion over what to use FB for: outreach/promotion or organisation of our own members.
  3. Trying to make open or closed groups fulfil both these roles.
  4. No consistency in graphics.
  5. Graphics need skilled comrades with an eye for them to make them.  They are often too wordy and aesthetically ugly, containing out dated fonts and colour schemes.
  6. Lack of cohesion between branch and national FB pages.

The first step to improve our social media is to understand what we’re using FB for. At our disposal are internal organising “groups” and public facing “pages”.

Groups should always remain secret and used for “branch” and “BCC” organising. They allow discussion between branch meetings and for the BCC to make announcements to the branch more easily.

Most people find FB groups easier to navigate and have a discussion in than email – especially young people. For a political party, internal FB groups should remain closed and “secret” (setting in FB) to prevent everyone observing branch discussions.

For public discussion and staying in connection with left-leaning activists (be Green, anarchist or independent) can be achieved through the use of a public “page”.

There are already many forums designed specifically for this, however SA can still make an impact by highlight our socialist/anti-capitalist stance and our position on environment and women’s rights by sharing interesting and related articles will bring the audience to our page.  Furthermore people can post to pages, or have discussions in comment threads.

Brisbane RYSA has recently done this in shutting down a closed RYSA “group”, switching to a public UQ resistance “page” and a secret UQ RYSA club “group”. This process lost zero contacts, and discussion with non-members and periphery members has not suffered at all.

These ideas are about consolidating our forces with the limited resources so as to generate the most efficient impact online. Having a ramshackle collection of groups and pages, makes us look unprofessional and incompetent. It makes us look unserious if we can’t organise our social media presence.

We can’t say “some branches are fine with how their FB presence is at the moment”, or “we can’t tell branches what to do.” This is a united national political party that places trust in the elected National Executive to carry out this sort of work. These are minor changes, but can make a major difference in our presence and image.

I think the problem is a lack of direction and branches with bad social media are not fussed about it or it seems overwhelming. If our social media presence is co-ordinated, with comrades shown the steps, given help with graphics etc, it isn’t very daunting at all.

The lack of cohesion in FB pages could be easily solved by the NO and whoever co-ordinates social media knowing who the admins are and contacting them with pointers i.e. share articles from the GLW page rather than putting them straight into a new post.

Motion 2:  Our social media presence be consolidated with public Socialist Alliance “pages” and internal organising be consolidated with secret “groups”.

Motion 3:  One comrade be tasked with co-ordinating this changeover and continue to co-ordinate social media work more generally.

Examples would include:

  1. Encourage live blog during rallies and events.
  2. Create some basic social media guidelines.
  3. Ensure of social media presence is coherent and effective generally.
  4. Work on increasing the reach of Socialist Alliance statements around current issues.

Improve Socialist Alliance Graphics and Memes:

What is the purpose of memes:

  1. Increase awareness of the party
  2. Gauge public reaction to topics
  3. Increase reputation of the party
  4. Highlight political alternatives (taxation, transport, agriculture)
  5. Snapshot party policy or position (feminism, racism, capitalism)
  6. Recruiting tool

What is not the purpose of memes:

  1. Substitute for action
  2. Substitute for in-depth political analysis

On event graphics, this ties into sharing skills and resources more generally as they’re usually based off a leaflet and/or poster. This is something the graphics team and/or co-ordinator could look after. For example we could have probably shared leaflets and FB banners for the Dick Nichols SYRIZA forums easily between branches.

Motion 4: The NE to task a small “Art Team”:

  1. The NE to task a small (5 or so) “SA - Art Team” willing and capable of seeing this through.
  2. Build team around artists (e.g. Mia and Leela) with people who understand social media and people who can ensure the politics expressed are sound.
  3. Create memes for policy and position on issues (feminism, refugees, racism, socialism ect). The benefit being these are general and won’t change.
  4. Create memes for current affairs
  5. This isn’t to say produce everything, just veto graphics and clean up issues if needed.

Conclusion:

I am also aware that we cannot expect online stuff to be a silver bullet. This is why I don’t believe some huge GetUp style media blitz is useful. The point of these proposals is to make us look more competent and relevant, not just for to the randoms out there, but to boost our own members’ morale as well.

We are quite behind the times in relation to online stuff but getting it together is easy if we want to, and is easier done while we’re still small. An improved social media presence will result in more people reading GLW articles, hearing about forums and rallies, even hearing about us and our viewpoints. It doesn’t replace campaigning and movement work, but it is not counter posed to them either, it actually complements them.

Comrades are encouraged to take these proposals on the merit of improving our online presence in simple but realistic and achievable steps.