RootsCamp '13: Free Tools

RootsCamp '13: Free Tools

Roots Camp 13 is over. This buzzy unconference of field organizers, digital directors, data geeks, and political wonks continues to be an intriguing amalgam of progressive activists growing skills, sharing knowledge, and building networks.

Many fascinating conversations tackled proactive and reactive messaging, mobile advocacy, testing and analytics, data-driven politicking, among others. The tweet stream and archive can be found at #roots13, and here's an initial review by David Weigel on Slate.

Striking the fancy of our @nditech team were the plethora of free online organizing tools that were highlighted throughout the sessions. I’ve posted a round-up of the best-of-breed below. Send any of your own suggestionsand we'll update the list.

Maximizing Your Voice (Message Distribution)

donateyouraccount.comAs the name announces, your supporters can donate their Twitter and Facebook accounts to a campaign. “Donated” accounts are utilized by a campaign at most once per day, and allow the spread of a message by having it automatically retweeted or reshared through donated accounts. the same lines, Thunderclap is a “crowd-speaking” platform, which will blast out a timed Facebook Post or Tweet from all your supporters, if enough people indicate support for your cause.

CrowdRing! (GitHub): Already a favorite of ours, CrowdRing is an open-source mobile petition platform. The platform allows organizations to engage people in campaigns via free missed calls (“flashes”). For the citizen, it doesn’t require any app or phone credit to use, and can work on any mobile phone, including the most basic GSM model. 

Social and Web Analytics simple way to find how people are talking about your cause or organization online. A great tool for social search, analytics and trends. Users can quickly search hashtags/handles and monitor sentiment for top-line data points.‎Website analytics by Google is a standard and key tool for all organizations. New updates including real time functionality (pop-ups for active users), are sending activitists running to the newly-launched Analytics Academy.

Mobile and Social Data Collection open-source mobile canvassing application which allows activists to store contacts on their local device using a mobile form, and then upload their information to a server (or download to CSV) when they get back online.  The “Marriage hero” application allows users, who have access to a voter list, to put in the list and cross-reference it with their friends on Facebook.

Send us more tools that you liked!