Thu 3 Nov 2016 5:36AM

Communications, the petition, and clarifying our intention to #BuyTwitter

DS Danny Spitzberg Public Seen by 105

Hi, all! I think it’d be useful for us to discuss strategic communications. This affects few decisions around how we represent ourselves, what we can do to rally participants with a call-to-action, the petition, and, hashtags!

So far, #WeAreTwitter and #BuyTwitter have been getting similar engagement. But while #WeAreTwitter is working more to call people together (it’s our collective identity on the petition, and is coming up elsewhere), #BuyTwitter is working more as a call-to-action.

The clearest signal for that comes from how other people are communicating about the campaign. Check out these tweets:
- Doug Rushkoff said, “Users trying to buy back Twitter from Wall Street. Long shot, but nice thought experiment.” (https://twitter.com/rushkoff/status/793548568963473408)
- Change dot org said, “A collective of Twitter users want to make sure Twitter isn't sold to Wall Street #WeAreTwitter http://bit.ly/2fdsDa5 ” (https://twitter.com/Change/status/793890461610041345)
- Thessy Mehrain (?) said, “Buy back what we created https://www.change.org/p/twitter-inc-free-twitter-from-wall-street #WeAreTwitter” (https://twitter.com/ThessyMehrain/status/793687495401766912).

I believe we have a lot to gain by clearly stating our intention is to #BuyTwitter, while still identifying as #WeAreTwitter.

That all said, I'm considering proposing we change (or request Change.org to manually edit) the petition title to reflect #BuyTwitter. The title structure on Change is, “Target: do X” and we currently have “Twitter, Inc.: Free Twitter from Wall Street,” which is redundant and somewhat passive.

A few more mobilizing alternatives include,
- “Twitter, Inc.: Don't Sell Out Your Users"
- “Twitter, Inc.: Leave Wall St to Make a Co-op!"
- “Twitter, Inc.: Become a Co-op and We'll Buy Shares"

And beyond tweaking a title, I think we also have much to gain from discussing what can be done to activate shareholders, those who have already “bought” Twitter. With 323 of them who signed the petition, they outnumber the organizers on Loomio almost 2-to-1. Think of the possibilities!


john gieryn Fri 18 Nov 2016 1:42AM

Thanks for this @dannyspitzberg, I wonder if you won't mind me re-directing based on your initial paragraph in the context; I've got a decent media hit redirected my way from @mairasutton and I feel like, if we're committed to using Loomio, I might as well make a proposal to support it for transparent decision-making purposes. @matthewcropp may be interested here as I think any media hit should keep in mind the livestreams we're trying to organize.


Poll Created Fri 18 Nov 2016 1:48AM

Confirm Interview with Mobilisation Lab + Choosing Interviewees Closed Mon 21 Nov 2016 1:01AM

Here's the media hit we had with Mobilisation Lab, which is associated with Green Peace primarily, and also has done some work with Aspiration Tech*. Here's the text from the email

They want to talk to us primarily about the organizing process that's been used thus far, rather than the campaign. Maira Sutton conferred the contact to me, and I think it's a good idea. If you don't, please "disagree" to this post, with "blocks" withheld only for disagreement so intense that you'd likely leave the group over it.

I'm additionally raising my hand for this interview, and at the risk of a compound decision complicating things, suggest that if you want to do the interview as well, please indicate so in your __ ___"agree"_ vote. If there's disagreements with my speaking, or others who raise their hand (thumb), then we can just initiate a new proposal.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 88.9% 8 MC DS JG C SJK ES MS DB
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 11.1% 1 P
Block 0.0% 0  

9 of 248 people have voted (3%)


john gieryn
Fri 18 Nov 2016 1:50AM

I think the interview will move us forward, and I'd also like to be an interviewee as I joined fairly early on and feel I can authentically represent the organizing so far in positive light.


Danny Spitzberg
Fri 18 Nov 2016 8:07PM

This is small but good nice step forward. I requested that Ted from MobLab include #BuyTwitter in their email the other week. He introduced me to Nithin on Tuesday, and we're having coffee in Oakland on Monday : )


Danny Spitzberg
Fri 18 Nov 2016 8:13PM

This is small but good nice step forward. I requested that Ted from MobLab include #BuyTwitter in their email the other week. He introduced me to Nithin on Tuesday, and we're having coffee in Oakland on Monday : ) - I put our email text in the doc


Matthew Cropp
Sat 19 Nov 2016 1:53AM

I'd be potentially willing to participate. Is it a recorded interview, or a writer interviewing people by email?


Michael Siepmann
Sat 19 Nov 2016 4:27PM

Seems like a good idea.


Stephanie Jo Kent
Mon 21 Nov 2016 12:42AM

I'm just peeking in every once in awhile, am very curious about the organizing process: hoping the interviews are recorded & made available in some way: either in their entirety or in summary. It's important history: for archiving & more growth.


john gieryn Fri 18 Nov 2016 1:11PM

@poliundelivered can you please share your reasoning?


john gieryn Fri 18 Nov 2016 1:13PM

@ntnsndr @samtoland @johnnyhaeusler you three are the others that come to mind who might like to participate in this interview, especially Nathan.


Danny Spitzberg Mon 21 Nov 2016 2:51AM

My initial point on this thread was, essentially, "Let's sharpen our goal to #BuyTwitter and improve communications to match."

Now after a couple of months of public exposure, I believe this campaign is largely past the "story" stage and could use a boost by presenting more of a plan.

Rallying around another article might be a lost opportunity, @coopchange. By default, this article in MobLab would likely work to gather maybe another 1,000 petition signatures.

However, if this article explores the intersection of co-op organizing and finances from people with real experience in this area, like @matthewcropp, this could be a real step forward towards dialogue with Twitter Inc. and its shareholders about a possible purchase.

I would amend the proposal to include focus in interviews on the concrete steps towards purchase.


john gieryn Mon 21 Nov 2016 3:38PM

I'm not able to re-direct the article MobLab has proposed except by 1) inviting @matthewcropp , @samtoland , and/or others (Chris Cook?) to participate and share the economic plans; this could be a great idea, but I do need to get back to Nithin today, and 2) by focusing on that in the interview. He laid out pretty clearly what they were interested in discussing there.

I don't think anyone needs to "rally around" this article. 1,000 petition signatures seems beneficial no matter which direction we're going; get some e-mails, move it forward :) I can't tell if you meant that as a Concern towards the proposal (which I think we can say passed, for lack of any word from @poliundelivered as to why they disagreed ← for all I know could've been a mis-vote on their part?)


PoliUndelivered Mon 21 Nov 2016 4:00PM

Hi, sorry. It wasn't a misvote on my part- just didn't have time to write an explanation. My 'disagree' is an exasperation at the feeling that we're making progress without anything having been done. We've raised $0 to buy Twitter, but are taking the time to discuss interviews about our organizational skills? We have some petition signatures?

I don't want to be overly negative or critical. I just believe this needs to be thought of as a capitalist enterprise with a social media component, rather than a social media exercise that might have to deal with capitalism. People should be hearing about this effort and seeing dollar signs- getting excited about the opportunity to buy in at a low price and be a part of something new. Instead we're dealing in petitions and hot air.

I think we've got to make some moves. Money is power; every day we use a hashtag or pass around a link and people aren't able to give money is a wasted opportunity- one we can't afford, because Twitter could make a deal any minute now.


john gieryn Mon 21 Nov 2016 4:33PM

Thanks for the reply; quick quesiton, though: are you uncomfortable with myself, and/or others who I tagged above, doing this interview?

I think it's a AND, BOTH kinda thing, and I'm excited to connect with people who are knowledgeable about coordination and organizing strategies for mobilizations, because I think we're in need of that kind of facilitation energy here in order to do anything, let alone raise capital. With @ntnsndr and others expressing a feeling that this movement is already growing too diffuse/ lacks a solid direction, I'm really advocating for doubling down on prioritizing organizational capacity growth and culture building, and frankly I don't think that means raising money in this exact moment. Could it mean raising money next week? Maybe, but probably not IMO.

I like Nathan's idea towards building Internet of Ownership towards an Asset Acquisition Co-op, and that's where most of my energy will be going if we manage to keep some critical momentum by at least a small team of folks here... and that's also to say, I think that even a group of 4 or 5 consistently involved folks here, especially with the high caliber of folks, could really do some amazing work together.