Project Wonderful

Saturday, December 28, 2013

CampaignSick AMA

Better late than pregnant? Sorry, guys. These are the FAQ's from Rootscamp weekend that I promised I'd answer on my blog.

1) You work on CampaignSick? What do you do for them?
Everything. Well, basically everything. CampaignSick is just me, Nancy, army of one. I write the articles, curate the GIFs and answer the questions submitted to the blog. I also accept submissions from the fabulous campaign community, without which CampaignSick would just be me laughing at myself, which I do enough of anyway.

2) How do you make money from the blog?
I don't really, but I am hoping to change that. Last year I made $73 dollars from Passionfruit ads which you see at the top of the blog and Tumblr. I am hoping to create a sponsorship program and add a PayPal button over the next couple of weeks, but don't worry. CampaignSick will always be 100% free for the poorganizing community.

3)What campaign do you work on?
It's usually not hard to figure out where I work by doing some very light social media stalking, but in most cases I don't like to write about specific campaigns I'm working on. Even though I try to make it very clear that I am not writing or tumbling about my current projects (and unless otherwise specified, I'm really not) I don't want there to be any cause for confusion or for something I say to reflect negatively on my campaigns. The first rule of field organizing, after all, is don't talk to the press. I have worked on campaigns for seven years on everything from Presidential (John Edwards=oops4lyf) to City Council. I currently work at a DC based organization that advises candidates across the country at every level of elected government, so I get to have my hand in a lot of pots.

4) Have you ever worked for OFA?/What do you think of OFA?/ What do you think of Organizing for Action?/It seems like you love OFA./It seems like you hate OFA./It seems like you get a lot of your stuff from OFA.
Your OFA questions revealed!

I did work for OFA briefly during the 2010 election cycle when it was Organizing for America. I also worked with OFA in 2008 when I worked for a State Democratic Party electing a US Senator and we coordinated with OFA for the last couple months. And of course, I volunteered in 2012 and got to advise, talk to and be on conference calls with a lot of OFA field staff in various non-official capacities.

The reason it seems like I get a lot of my stuff from OFA even though I spent relatively little time working for them is that OFA was born out of a long and prestigious organizing tradition of which I am a part. Mitch Stewart, for example, who was part of the birth of the OFA field program, was my Coordinated Director in 2006. (I don't know why the Wikipedia article doesn't mention that...or why Mitch Stewart has a Wikipedia Article.)

When it seems like I "hate" OFA it is usually because I'm reacting to the misconception that the OFA created field or that it was the best/only thing that's ever happened in campaigns. Obviously neither of those are true. OFA was the best campaign possible...for electing Barack Obama. I think sometimes people who have only ever worked for OFA don't have an appreciation for the fact that smaller or less glamorous campaigns face different obstacles. No one wants to hear your personal story on a State Leg. race. You cannot send an email about an event featuring a City Council candidate and expect people to attend.

I love, love, love a lot of OFA-ers and am eternally grateful for the people OFA has brought into my life and to the general organizing community. In my mind OFA's biggest and most applicable contribution to the campaign community is creating a culture that invests in and values its low-level staff and volunteers. That isn't to say no one had done this before, but especially in 2008 (Respect, Empower, Include) OFA articulated and emphasized it in a way that felt pretty revolutionary and jived with my organizing ethos. I myself was an organizing newbie at the time. OFA's social media/web team is also incredibly innovative and has really redefined the limits and created a new standard for integrating media, web and field.

I really don't know a lot about Organizing for Action, and I'm hoping someone will agree to write about it for me soon!

5) How/why did you start your blog?
When I left campaigns to go to grad school I wanted a way to stay connected to what was going on in the organizing/elections community. I also wanted to put it on my grad school applications. In December of 2011 when Feminist Ryan Gosling was sweeping the Internet, I made a corresponding Tumblr as a joke for myself/my friends. It took off and the rest is history.

6) Why is your blog called CampaignSick?
My intention was for CampaignSick to be like homesick for campaigns, but it is definitely also a sickness.

7) How come my GIF didn't get posted on the tumblr?
I post everything unless it is offensive or the GIF is broken so...if you keep submitting and not getting published, you might want to get someone to help you with the formatting. (It's hard! Tumblr changes the rules like every day!)

I think that's it! Feel free to keep 'em coming.

Campaign Love and Mine,


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