Last week, progressive activists Tracy Viselli, Jim Gilliam, Gina Cooper, and Jon Pincus launched TweetProgress.us, a directory of progressives on Twitter with the goal of helping progressives better organize online.
Also last week, Republicans launched a new Republicans-only social networking site, Republicanville, with the goal of helping Republicans better connect and organize online.
Which tool will achieve its stated goals of helping its community better organize themselves online, connect with each other, and use Twitter for activism and organizing? Obviously I’m biased in which one I want to see succeed.
TweetProgress already has had 3,000 Twitter users sign up, including Al Gore, Rachel Maddow, and Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, among others. Conservatives on Twitter have long been organizing through use of the #tcot hashtag, which even progressives admit has given conservatives the upper hand when it comes to organizing via Twitter.
Republicanville, on the other hand, claims to be a social network “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Founded by Republicans Stryker Lampe and Charles A. Jense, the website states that their “fundamentals are based on fiscal conservatism with the ideals of smaller government, low taxes, stronger defense and capitalism. We welcome all types of Republicans + Independents & Libertarians.” It seems similar to Facebook — albums, profiles, groups, blogs, and in addition: a Republican job board. I haven’t seen enough coverage of it yet to find out more about what their goals are, or how many people have joined since their launch. It also begs the question: does the internet really need another social networking site?
I will definitely be paying attention to see how these two new tools fare over the next few weeks and how they will affect both sides’ ability to organize online.