Ken Larsen's web site - Why having a website is a huge asset to a political activist

      

As a political activist, I find that having my own website is a huge asset.  Some issues are enormously complicated, and a website can greatly simplify getting your message out.  You use your website to document the details of your ideas via a combination of text, pictures, memes, and video.  Then, you reach out to your audience via a post to social media.  Your post contains a link to a page on your website.

 

This table best illustrates:

 

Tool Positives Negatives
email
  • Everyone uses it.
  • People get inundated with emails.  Unless your message is extremely brief, it likely will get ignored.
  • Attachments are seldom welcome, because they clog one's email box.
  • Spelling errors and other typos can't be corrected once you press the send key.
Facebook
  • Almost everyone uses it.
  • If you post something and later discover that you made an error, you can edit your post or delete it.
  • If one of your Facebook friends starts posting objectionable things, you can delete that person from your friends list.
  • Facebook uses real people's names [... or at least they try to] as ids.
  • Your message gets lost easily.  After a day or so, it gets buried under an avalanche of cat videos and other drivel.
  • Facebook makes it difficult to share information on other media.  If you want to download a video and excerpt a piece of it, that can be done, but it's not easy.
Forums
  • Comprised of people interested in the same issues.
  • Drivel and time can drown out your message.
  • Not organized by subject.
  • Seldom are real names used as ids. 
Meetings
  • Talking to someone face-to-face is far more likely to win their approval than any technology.
  • You're talking with real people ... not some possible fake id on social media.
  • Very time consuming.
  • Limited audience.
Phone  
  • Very time consuming.  You can only reach one person at a time, and they may hang up on you or not answer.
Twitter

[I don't use Twitter, so my knowledge of it is limited.]

  • Large audience
  • "Tweets" are limited to 280 characters, so the content has little depth.
  • Possible fake ids.
website
  • A huge advantage is that you can organize your website any way you want.  You control what goes where.  I like to organize my website "pyramid style" ... where the most visible pages are short and accessible from my home page.  I place the details two, three, or four levels deep.
  • Easy to reference via email, Facebook post, etc.
  • No advertising [unless you want it]
  • You can correct your material after you've sent out a link.
  • People can't comment on your material unless you have a blog section.  To me, that's an asset, because it keeps your adversaries at bay.  I don't want to spend my time responding to posts by others.  Doing so would drain a lot of my time.
  • I paid $ 280 for 100 gB of website space and 3 years of hosting service.  My web space is only 9% full despite countless videos that I've stored on it.  $ 280 was a bargain.
  • Anyone in the world can read what you post.  People don't have to subscribe to it.
  • If you're not a tech geek, you may have to hire someone to build and maintain your website. I'm an MIT graduate who has spent my entire adult life programming computers.  This includes 20 years of web publishing.  Maintaining my own website is easy for me. 
  • You have no control over who reads your website unless you make it password protected ... which would be a hassle.
  • Unless you spend a lot time and money, your website likely will not draw a huge audience.
YouTube
  • Everyone uses it.
  • Easy to reference via email, Facebook post, etc.
  • Advertising

 

 

 

 

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