Sunday, July 30, 2006

DOPA - a six-pack strategy for change

I've been very much a part of the wild arm waving, hand wringing reaction to the passage of DOPA. Fine. Lots of energy expended by thousands like me, and, if you look at net results, who has heard? Well, nobody who will make a difference. Nobody who will directly influence a US Senator to vote nay on DOPA. Here's the question, in my mind, at least today: who will they listen to? I've come up with a six-pack:

1. lobbyists and unions

2. colleagues (of the senators)

3. state departments of education

4. Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Education

5. large city school districts and school boards

6. library organizations

This of course runs counter to all the energy currently being expended at the grassroots level, to "tell everybody you know". This is real swell, but we are absolutely deluding ourselves if we think blogging about how bad it's going to be will change the mind of a US senator before a vote on DOPA - which could in theory happen within a week. The flat world is indeed here, but just because we can speak to everybody does not mean anyone will hear us, never mind listen to what we are saying. We are just an army of fleas trying to change the direction of a rampaging herd of elephants.

I think we ought to take another tack, encourage and support 1-6 above. This is not even web 1.0, it's more like 0.0,
as Will Richardson pointed out. At least one library organization is already all over DOPA. I have not heard a single peep from any of the first five. They have the power and influence to change a US senator's mind. If senators start hearing from any/all of the above, they WILL notice. I'm putting my energy there, starting with my local school district and school board.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have provided an excellent listing of other entities and people that need to hear our voices concerning DOPA...thank you.

I invite you to place a copy of the Flash applet I created into the sidebar of your blog. This applet allows users to enter their name, city, and state and send a preformatted email to their state Senators. If users would like to edit the body text of the email that capability is there as well. We need to make every effort to have Senators, as well as those on your list, hear our voices and concerns about DOPA before it is too late. Information on how you can include the applet can be found at If you would like to see the button in action, simply visit the home page of my blog, it is in my sidebar.

Brian Grenier