In our recent reader survey, the number-one improvement you wanted was …. (drumroll please)
A NEW PRESIDENT …
And that’s something we plan to fix for you over the next 15 months! You betcha!
Okay, actually there were lots of suggestions for improvements on C4P, and surprisingly only a few of you specifically requested a new president (Amazing huh? Did you think it was beyond our capacity?)
But focusing on this end goal helps keep everything in perspective.
Our mission at C4P has been and always will be to support Governor Palin — regardless of her presidential intentions. (That’s the Palin part of C4P) But we are now eagerly anticipating an exciting tweak of the mission once she announces. Nobody knows for sure her plans, but we have clues to believe she is running. As one reader suggested, we’re morphing from Conservatives4Palin to Conservatives4PresidentPalin. We’re sitting on the edges of our seats, naturally. We’re gearing up to not only cover the news emanting from this campaign, but to win it!
So, with that in mind … how could we improve C4P to best achieve that presidential goal?
Here’s what you told us (and I’ve organized your comments into several broad categories):
You want …
1. LESS NEGATIVITY?!strong>
Out of 1,400 participants, we received roughy 490 constructive suggestions and 23% (112) of them related in some way to wanting a better tone on C4P. (This was shocking because you’re all supposedly terrorists, right? What do hostage takers care about tone?) But indeed, whether it was civilizing our discussion of other Republican candidates, to toning down defensive-sounding headlines, or even your desire for us to better corral unruly regular commenters and obnoxious trolls, we got your message loud and clear. Tone was the single largest issue (although Open Thread complaints were running a close second.)
Here are some samples of what readers told us about tone (this was after the troll-purge, incidentally):
I do not like the spiteful bashing of the Republican candidates for president. I like how C4P points out the differences in peoples records, but I would like to see more tolerance of other conservative candidates.
I would like to see less of the siege mentality vis a vis other conservative figures. For instance, Sarah enthusiastically supported Perry and Bachman. They are our allies. We need their support when Sarah is nominated.
I think some of the regular (commenters) need to work on their civility. Not everyone with concerns/worries is a troll, not everyone who likes other politicians (just not for prez) is out to start a war. I know it has very much limited my actual jumping into doing more/posting.
[I wish commenters were] more welcoming of new people. [I referred an older gentleman] to C4P … The next day he said they sure are not friendly there … he got called a troll.. He was a Palin supporter.
C4P moderators need to police the site more carefully. Trolls have learned to hijack threads with misleading, provocative posts. Palin’s own Facebook wall is moderated much more effectively than C4P is.
Please stop saying “even ___ concedes ___” and taking a generally combative tone. I loved C4P when it first started and gave me my Palin news and commentary and even more in-depth research pieces. But now it is just generally vindictive to anyone who might have a different opinion or be slightly more moderate on some issues (I like some other candidates, too, and I would like it if you stop attacking them, especially when they have never attacked Gov. Palin themselves). Give me my news and tell me about her record. Just leave everyone else alone. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
Thank you for telling us how you really feel! And frankly, it’s a great time for us to transition to a more “presidential” tone. Obviously, we hope to retain the humor and attack-dog reputation that has come to define C4P. But what I think you’re saying is that you want more of a positive focus than a negative one. You’re okay with refuting the lies of the media, and contrasting candidates’ records and ideas … as long as the refuting and contrasting is done without getting too personal. And you want us to police the comment section a bit better.
We have already had a discussion among the editors and writers on the subject of tone, and I can assure you that we will make more improvements and adjustments. We plan to address comment section civility in a future post. Isn’t it interesting that some of you are complaining about being falsely accused of being a ”troll” and others are urging us to zap trolls instantaneously? What does it mean? We WILL get to the bottom of this, assigning our new contributor, Rose Lawrence, to elaborate on what constitutes trollish behavior.
What else do you want from C4P?
2. MORE GRASSROOTS COMMUNICATION
You want updates from the various Organize4Palin groups around the country. You want a comprehensive list of links to all the helpful pro-Palin blogs. You want better ways to communicate with other Palin-supporting commenters at C4P, including possibly through chat rooms, direct messages, or message boards.
And these are all great ideas for the campaign that lies ahead. We are going to take each of these under serious consideration. For now, if you’ve got a rockin’ pro-Palin blog, send us tip and we can add it to our links list. Remember, when you register for Organize4Palin you will receive email updates from O4P. The O4P blog is also a handy place to see what’s going on.
Keep in mind is that at C4P we won’t always be reporting IN ADVANCE about what’s going on at the grassroots level. So many of the successful O4P efforts are conducted under the radar at the local level, and that’s primarily where the communication needs to take place.
We do welcome first-hand reports of successful events and organizing activities. Send them to Reader Submissions. We also want to promote calls-to-action that can actually make a difference. We will be looking to Karen Allen, the founder of O4P, and to the state O4P coordinators to tell us what they need. If you need C4P to push a particular O4P initiative … send your requests to our Tips email or put them in a reader submission email.
At C4P, our goal is to inform and inspire the grassroots, while introducing the public at large to Governor Palin’s record. I will repeat what I’ve said before: If you aren’t getting the answers you need to organize in your state, keep emailing and phoning until you find out. Step up and take a leadership role. Don’t sit back. Don’t complain. Don’t find fault with others. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes … as long as you respond well to constructive criticism. Just gird your thick skin, roll up your sleeves and get to work. I seem to recall someone saying you don’t need a title to make a difference. We’ll try to make it easier for you.
Here’s a good idea from a reader:
I live in Texas but I want to make a difference in the states up north a lot of us have free long distance on our cells cant we make calls from here to people up north where were gonna have to win some blue states.
Please send an email to victory2012@conservatives4palin with the SUBJECT: Phone Bank List. (Oh, and to those of you who have already emailed the victory address with your planned contribution amount, please be patient. We will reply. And we will be asking you even more questions about your desire to help Gov. Palin’s campaign.)
3. MORE DIRECT COMMUNICATION FROM GOV. PALIN OR HER TEAM
Lots of folks want insider news of her whereabouts and plans. And they’d love a special C4P shout-out or post from the Guv. Personally, I think it would be fun to have an exclusive C4P email Q & A with her (but we’re certain she’s a little pre-occupied with more important things right now).
More postings from the Governor. Maybe a post from Todd as well. I would be fascinated to see what he thinks about the media and their treatment of his wife.
It would be energizing if you could get Mrs. Palin to write some articles herself, like she does on Twitter (which I don’t read)
Updates on what Sarah Palin is doing right now, like the jury duty, whether her “One Nation” bus tour will continue … is she going to Israel for Glenn Beck’s program in support of Isreal, anything that gives us C4Pers an inside window into her current actions or future ones even more so…!!!
We do know that the Guv is aware of us. She filmed a video for C4P in 2009, and phoned in twice to the C4P Meet-Ups in 2010. We also know close members of her staff are always tuned in to C4P. So, maybe they’ll pass along your pleas for more contact!
4. RELIEF FROM YOUR DISQUS ISSUES
5. RELIEF FROM YOUR MOBILE-DEVICE ISSUES
If you’re having trouble accessing certain features on your mobile device, you’re not alone. Please contact email@example.com with specific questions and be patient for a reply.
6. ONE-STOP SHOPPING FOR DEFENDING PALIN
A large number of you want a comprehensive place on the site to fight the smears and research Governor Palin’s record. Here’s what you said:
With new people coming here more often when Sarah announces, I think would be good idea to highlight each day a story or fact from the past about Sarah to be discussed in comments by contributors. I say this because I myself learned so much by reading the comments that didn’t know before. The researchers here do an assume job of finding facts that the average person can not find. The people who know the facts may not be willing to rehash old news again, but I think it would help those new people.
One place where all of Sarah’s positions on the issues are located in bullet form for easy distribution to voters and to carry when talking about her. People don’t have time to read anything lengthy. Every item needs to be in bullet form. There are too many issues to expect the electorate to read them all.
Great ideas. We will consider how we can reconfigure the site layout and the content offerings to give you more convenient ways to learn about and share Gov. Palin’s record and ideas. Meanwhile, here are some resources that are already available on our site and others:
- List of Gov. Palin’s Facebook Posts & Interviews.
- Comprehensive list of Gov. Palin’s Accomplishments (US4Palin)
- Printable list of Gov. Palin’s Accomplishments
- List of articles defending Gov. Palin’s Record and fighting the smears (Youth4Palin).
- Partial list of Gov. Palin’s emails (Barbaric Thoughts).
- Videos of Gov. Palin’s interviews and speeches (Palin TV).
- Gov. Palin’s policy positions (Connecticut For Sarah Palin).
- Organize4Palin’s issues page.
This is just a partial accounting of all the great suggestions you provided. Thanks again for providing your feedback. We take it seriously and we want to make C4P the best resource possible for mission ahead.