The TNDP launched a new site today. This is the second “refresh” of the party’s site since the election of Chip Forrester to the Chairmanship.
The new site is built on a social networking platform that allows users to not only friend each other, but also other party organizations and groups throughout the state.
Other improvements over the previous site is the ability to access just about anything and everything a user might want in relation to the state, or their county’s party organization.
This represents a quantum leap over previous efforts, and puts in place one of the campaign promises of the new Chair.
While a new site may or may not be “the” thing to turn the state blue, it represents a new tool for candidates and county parties to use in their efforts to better organize and inform their constituents, and that’s what grassroots organizing is about, making as many tools as possible available to as many people as possible.
When you have more tools, you can get more things done more effectively. By furthering the reach and communicating with people using their preferred method, more people get involved, donate time and money, stay engaged, and eventually vote for candidate that is being represented by the effort.
Honest observers of political trends will acknowledge that the new organizing tools being made available on the Internet aren’t meant to replace the old ways of doing things, but to enhance and expand them.
Nothing will replace door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, house parties, or other tried and true methods of campaigning. It would be a mistake to dismiss these activities. But adding a screwdriver to the toolbox doesn’t make the hammer obsolete. If anything, it allows the hammer to stop trying to drive screws and focus on driving nails, the job it is best suited for. By building a more comprehensive set of tools for Tennessee Democrats to utilize, the TNDP is allowing Democrats throughout the state to focus more on their individual strengths, instead of trying to make the hammer drive a screw.
Further, these new tools speed up the delivery of necessary “old school” organizing needs, distributing the information throughout the system and better focusing the efforts of volunteers and candidates in their effort to win their election.
I’m looking forward to see how the site further evolves and is utilized as we work to regain the State House and Senate in 2010. This is a step in the right direction, and an opportunity for the state party, and by extension the county parties, to expand their reach and inform their constituents in ways that were unimaginable in years past.
Congratulations TNDP, and keep up the good work.