The DemCast Model
THE BASIC IDEA
- Content Creation: Activists, candidates, elected officials and grassroots/party-affiliated groups will develop articles, op-eds, graphics, podcasts, video blogs and other creative media to support blue electoral gains (this is already happening).
- Centralized Hub: In addition to posting their content via existing channels (Daily Kos, Medium, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, personal blog sites, etc.) they will also contribute their works to DemCastUSA.com – a centralized hub for blue content, designed by and for activists. DemCast will also welcome original content that is not posted elsewhere.
- Social Media Amplification: A volunteer army of grassroots social media amplifiers will take posted content from DemCast and spread it strategically on social media, using geographically targeted hashtags and partnerships with local, state and national groups.
- Training in Digital Activism: DemCast staff and partners will take the time to train those developing content and those distributing it, to ensure that the model stays true to the mission of widespread blue victory.
KEY FACETS OF DEMCAST
Curation: Fantastic content is being produced by grassroots activists in every state. DemCast.com will act as a magnet, drawing in the best of that content, to collect it in a single location. The site will host articles and op-eds, as well as podcasts and video blogs. A smart, searchable meme and graphics library will host blue wave and resistance art that can be used in social media posts. Content posted on DemCast will not be exclusive – contributors can share their work elsewhere. In fact – we will encourage people to do so. The more eyes the better.
Amplification: When activists post articles on Daily Kos or Medium, they are largely on their own. People who already use those sites may find the content, but there is no built-in amplification strategy. DemCast will draft and train an army of social media accounts to share DemCast site content, and also flag/share other pro-blue stories and posts floating around social media using a unique set of DemCast hashtags.
Not-For-Profit: DemCast is mission-driven, aiming to help Democrats pick up seats across the country at every level of government. There is no intent to make this endeavor profitable. No ads. No fees. In fact – profit motive would likely ruin the project. To the extent that DemCast requires funds for operating costs, the goal would be to keep those costs as low as possible, and only take in money from people/sources who don’t expect editorial control.
A Volunteer Framework: DemCast is not for professional journalists or social media operatives. Contributors and social media amplifiers will be treated as volunteers – just like in other grassroots groups. Volunteers will opt in to specific roles at a commitment level that is right for them (roles are described here), and will receive training/support through peer feedback, from a lean editorial team, and via a dedicated “Bootcamp” that will offer ongoing training about how to be more effective digital and in-person activists. If this works as intended, DemCast will help to cultivate the next generation of Democratic commentators, social media managers and campaign communications staff through intentional structure, training and mentorship.
By and For Grassroots Activists: This project will be by and for the millions of Americans who are desperate to see our democracy advance in 2020 and beyond, and who are writing, tweeting, posting and creating (not to mention door knocking, phone-banking and postcard-writing) on behalf of that vision. Indivisible, Swing Left, MoveOn and local Democratic groups are doing great work in parallel and are coordinating locally, but there is no single forum or resource to aggregate & curate their efforts at a national level. DemCast will fill that void, in recognition of our common desire to elect as many Democrats as possible in the coming years – to make it clear to the GOP that their corrupt agenda is not what America wants or needs.
Uniting Local, State & National Under One Umbrella: DemCast.com content contributors and the #DemCast social media amplification team will be trained to tag all assets by their geography, using content labels on the site and hashtags on social media. This way, users can quickly find the information most relevant to their lives. Volunteer roles will include State Content Captains and State Social Media Captains, to help build and train teams in each state. Each state will have a dedicated page on DemCast.com that will share all state-tagged content. Within each state page, embedded links will direct people to local Indivisible groups, candidate sites and Democratic party groups.
Engaging Candidates & Elected Officials: Op-Eds and articles written by elected Democrats and candidates for office will be welcomed on the site. DemCast will encourage engagement between grassroots activists and those who currently represent them (or desire to). Elected Democrats and progressives are doing good work across the country at all levels of government, but report that it is difficult to get their message out because of the 24/7 news cycle. DemCast will give politicians a direct line to the grassroots activists who can reinforce their efforts.
Positive Grassroots Messaging: DemCast will be a forum for positive discourse, where individuals will be welcome to share their vision for progress – so long as they make their case on the policy merits, without trashing Democrats or the party. Infighting on the left is the goal of Kremlin-backed disinformation campaigns, and DemCast will not participate in or amplify this type of discourse.