So IT Leader Krohn departs the GOP. Too bad, but perhaps it's for the best. He just wasn't getting it.
Time for jaw, jaw, jaw is over. TIme for war, war, war.
I actually wrote to Steele in his first 3 days asking him to keep Krohn on board while I pestered Krohn with a few important essential ideas.
Krohn made at least 3 serious mistakes that did not serve the GOP well at all. In fact these mistakes are killing the GOP in reaching out to moderate grassroots.
1. Buggy software written off-shore: you can't log in to elronaldo.gop.com and you can't recover your password after you have joined (tried 4 browsers; all fail). Error messages (and many dynamic public messages) were obviously written by folks who had English as a second language. Now I am a big advocate of getting software written offshore (even for the small guy using tools like www.odesk.com) but I am also a big advocate of proof-reading to make sure that every error message makes sense in standard English. Non-standard English at GOP.com is a big, BIG boo-boo. It's a raw beginner's mistake to proof content, but not error messages.
2. Wrong function choices, wrong metrics: it looks like the metrics that Krohn was reporting to his superiors was probably things like rising page authority, rising page rank, number of people joined, number of tweets, number of friends, number of new blogs, number of backlinks, etc. when he should have been measuring for the number of new voter registrations and the number of outreach phone calls, number of local GOP events organized by the base. At least on Obama's campaign web site, you could earn a certain number of points, then indicate a willingness to make phone calls and you would get phone numbers to call on the spot, right then, right on your screen, with talking points right next to the phone numbers (and you could record the results of the calls). Top minds at the GOP have not yet grasped that the real power of a network in in the data you share, not how tightly you control access to data.
The GOP never did offer a function to allow grassroots to reach out to, meet, and organize with other grassroots in their area - either by phone, calendar or event planning or other essential functions. This, along with the following point, was the biggest lapse of the post-election period. Heck, it was also the biggest lapse of the pre-election period. We might have won with tools like this, I know I looked for them online for many hours, and never found them. Car GOP, where are you?
3. Diffusion of effort instead of concentration of effort: In the dying days of his reign, we saw Krohn take the perfect mis-step that perfectly illustrates the diffusion of effort as opposed to concentration of effort. A new GOP web site appeared at: goptechsummit.ning.com to discuss the shortcomings of the GOP.com web site. So public discussion started all over with YET ANOTHER site where you could set up your own blog etc., etc. and never engage in any directed, election-winning activity.
Now ning.com is pretty cool and has some nice discussion-supporting functions that could work well at GOP.com - but that's my point: attractive functions that do cool things are nice, but does anything actually ever get done? It's nice to have an amusement part where you can do all sorts of cool things, but what about support for calling voters in my neighborhood? What about support for organizing local events and publicizing them online where my local brothers and sisters at GOP.com can learn about them?
From my local GOP perspective here in Alhambra, CA I can set up my own blog at the national level at GOP.com and at goptechsummit.ning.com and my own blog at the county web site for GOP LA county.
WOWSIE! I can do all this cool stuff on all these different web sites all day long! AND GET NOTHING DONE!
NONE of these online resources gives me access to folks in my neighborhood who want a phone call, NONE of these resources give me access to a calendar of grassroots-organized GOP events in my neighborhood, nor to place events I might want to organize on such a GOP calendar.
I could do with just ONE blog and ONE login (instead of 3 or 4) if I could just get some local voters to call. If I could just put an outreach event on a calendar that others in my area could see. We've seen several great new web sites go up with Tea Party calendars for events across the nation.
Why didn't GOP.com lead the way on this? Sorry, out to lunch!
How can a 'grassroots' web site, or even 2 of them or 50 of them ever work to help organize the grassroots if essential grassroots tools and data are never provided?
In other words, from a cyber-standpoint, the GOP has constructed a wonderful online amusement park of useless, undirected activity that supports lots of 'discussion' but no constructive action ever takes place. Ever.
It's like sending unarmed children into the street to do battle with highly trained combat veterans. They are dead before they reach the sidewalk.
Obama's web site facilitated outreach and local organization by providing phone numbers to call to reach local voters individually, access to local calendars and event planning and so forth. The GOP has never provided such tools.
How long are we going to be content to be murdered in every election because top minds at the GOP cannot release their death-grip on essential data and tools to organize locally as Obama did so well?
Everybody except the GOP has already learned it: the power of a network is in the data you share widely. Not in the data you keep centralized and secret.