The times a-change for the union with democratic dynamite; stick to it now with social media

Yep. Don’t go down to the union hall. Go online to Facebook. Because the old school centralized 2.0 apps like AFT‘s stateweb (b. 2001) that have allowed local councils to post information on a central webpage have been passed already perhaps by social media.  They’re using it at the federal level of our American Federation of Teachers union. Will locals follow suit?

Check out the presence maintained and “friended” on Facebook by our national union in the attached image. It provides action updates, suggestions for activism, and opportunities to dialog and feedback–instant polling, etc.   The options for a union to organize its members local are being revolutionized–again–as I maintain in this message I sent to my Communications Committee members just today:

…here is highest interest in our instructing [local union reps] on securing their own local page. Now the question becomes, what is the best source for such a page? The most available and safest choice, with all its limitations, is probably aftstateweb, right? Both Mike and I can give a brief tutorial before and after a HoRep meeting showing the steps. We can post all the resources online, too, and encourage members to use those.

If I sound hesitant in recommending stateweb, it is because coming into prominence and availability now are social networking sites (“nings” like the one our school is going to let us use this summer, Edmodo, etc.) that may revolutionize–again–the best way to organize/work with members.  The possibility of having “union hall” type debates on these sites via threaded discussions (which these sites are built to foster, and which include instant polling data to intensify their democratic dynamite), added to the AFT-IFT’s action networks, and coupled with their utility as storage sites of docs, regularly updated links to useful resources on the Internet as is ours… It makes the next step look more social. But we’ll see.  We needn’t reinvent the wheel.

We can also easily provide folks with a tutorial/workshop on how to access Leadernet’s Survey Tool. (However, for quick and easy surveying, a google form–as you may see–has the same instantaneous feedback you want. I’m just saying.)

“Democratic dynamite” I call the potential of social media + unions.  As yet it is potential energy un-tapped by official organizations of labor in the USA. Will it deployed by the officers or lie on the shelf like TNT in a mine storehouse?  As with so much else, we’ll see.

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