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How to Serve Government A Shitstorm Online #SocialMedia #Auspol #LGBT


Ten Steps to Create a Shitstorm Online with Social Media. The Government allowed gay marriage. And then it didn’t. Not unexpected but not to be accepted. Let’s give them hell. For fun, amusement. For social change. Or just because it’s right. BTW Shitstorm first came to my attention when our then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd used it. So tell my mum it’s ok to use it, right?

I don’t actually know how to sue the Government. But given that my social media day job is putting together these types of campaigns to emotionally manipulate you into buying an idea,  I know how to get enough people behind this to give Gov a taste of the revolution that currently occurring on the streets and in the Twittersphere and that they seem oblivious to. *waves to Change.org, Adbusters, Anonymous, SumofUs etc* whether you take it to the next step and use crowdsourced funds to force Gov to stop dithering, up to you. Ten Steps to Create a Shitstorm Online with Social Media.

1. Document everything on Social Media

Create a storify. Collate your social assets (tweets, photos whatever). Storify is what Fairfax are using instead of articles these days. Oooh look, I found one. Actually a dozen but this one will do.

2. Collect your lists from social media sites

These are the sub communities that will help you create shitstorm online. Marketing have technical terms like “curating a database” or “connecting with key influencers”. You just have to know which people, which crowds and which buttons to press. I’d start with gay and lesbian community, pro gay marriage communities, grassroots activist communities and whatnot.

Have a look through the Twitter lists that @AMEQUALITY are on. Notice that they are included in more than just gay and lesbian lists. Also social good, social equality, NFPs, etc. Raid those lists! These are your best new friends!

3. Create your Voice on social media

Create a website (probably on WordPress, free, and non-Australian hosted ^^) and collect social media assets to put on there (photos, videos, infographics and so on that support your case). Make sure this is a central hub that your Facebook Page and Twitter and Instagram photos will spin off (hub and spoke):

From Facebook: amequality

The tone and quality of content informs the kind of discussions you will have.

4. Send Government a message, one at a time on social media and email

They just love getting these emails.

email re: gay marriage equality ministers

5. Then Send them A Collective/Crowdsourced Message (Petition)

Here’s  Change.org petitions.

Dozens of petitions on Change.org

There’s bound to be heaps more.

Government ignore petitions. Mandate of the people tends to mean “they voted me in by a small margin I can do what the hell I want til I need them to vote again”. Screw that.

6. Social Fundraising: Sue the Government

You better crowdsource those legal bills. But hey if Tim Flannery (sacked from Climate Commission) can raise 1/2 a million in 24 hours to do a crowdfunded Climate Council, why can’t gay marriage use a similar proposition?

Getup marriage equality gay

if the Government wants to play “politics” and approve gay and lesbian marriage one minute and rescind the next, lets learn ’em a lesson or 3.

7. Keep communicating with your stakeholders.

Journalists are on Twitter, politicans are on Facebook. Hold them all accountable, make sure discussions are public and accessible and quoteable. Stay connected and updating donators and signatories on petition. Leverage new facts – so people can keep repeating the core message in new ways.

Keep fundraising.

8. Plan your conversation diary

Leverage events that are occurring in community space. Off the top of my head I’d have a bunch of videos about gay families at Christmas (December) and broken hearts for Valentines Day. You get the idea. Tap into the community spirit with your message.  Share and curate other projects that share your values.

Kickstarter gay marriage equality

Don’t let up, keep pushing people to sign, donate and most importantly…

9. Get their friends involved

Social media is social mediums is social channels. In other words if the very next thing that people do after seeing a video, reading an article, signing a petition or donating is pass the message on, then social media is occurring (the participant must become the channel into their networks). Ask them, have call to actions to share your court case fundraiser, or petition to ministers with their network. Friends share interests with friends.

Besides you’d want their friends to drink at Starbucks

Sumofus gay marriage equality

Not Gloria Jeans, right?

Gloria jeans anti gay marriage equality

10 What else is on the list for creating a Social Media Shitstorm online?

  • Find your communities, (more than one, subtribes)
  • Find your supporters & key influencers, (they will make bigger ripples with their trusted network reputation)
  • Connect with heritage media and others (use them, they are there)
  • Curate infographics and projects by others (sharing is caring)
  • Stick to a conversation diary with rituals and rites of passage in them like Valentines Day
  • encourage signing of petitions and sending emails to gov (nuisance value, numbers game)
  • prepare for a social good, class action against the gov with awareness raising and crowdsourced legal bills.
  • Call to Action to activate their networks (tell their friends)
  • what else?

The numbers just aren’t there to keep stonewalling gay and lesbian marriage. If 1.8 million Australians talked about Cricket on Facebook in the last 30 days (it was on, and popular) then 280,000 talking about marriage equality on Facebook is a fair number. I guess the point is, if you follow these steps more or less you can take back control of self appointed tasks to Government. And either Australia will get behind you or it won’t. THAT is what a mandate is! Rinse and repeat for NBN, #StopTheBoat and anywhere else you want to create a shitstorm around issues and values. Good luck!

If you are still with me, go have a look at metagov site at Whitehouse  NSA petition ^^ Head of Google promoting it. Now that’s a key influencer telling people to create a Shitstorm online LOL.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

5 thoughts on “How to Serve Government A Shitstorm Online #SocialMedia #Auspol #LGBT

  1. No dancing – nekkid or otherwise… Laurel, Thoroughly enjoyed reading this article – as I enjoy most of the articles you put up via links on Fb, Twitter and G+. I say most, because I miss a few. I realised why the vitriol was so thick today from certain people in the social media streams – Today is Thursday… It is going to be a hard slog, getting equality for all, but this is a first step in a series of first steps. Social media will, of course, be there for every comment and opinion and that is what makes this method of communication so interesting.

    Today, I started the day reading about how it was “all the current government’s fault” that holden is closing down its factories. I ended the day reading about how it was “all the current government’s fault that marriage equality wasn’t honored in the high court.” Nobody has said “if Gillard or Rudd had changed the law and supported marriage equality, this sad day wouldn’t have been an issue”, or “if someone like dick smith, or one of the plethora of other millionaires australia has decided to set up a home grown car brand, holden could have gone and we would have a viable alternative”.

    Imagine being married over the weekend and then be told that you are no longer because the government doesn’t recognise your union. How unfair is that? Both parties need to take a long, hard look at what they are doing. Does gay marriage effect me? no. will I have emotional damage because a couple of people want to be recognised by law as being together? good luck to them. It matters not a jot to me. If it allows them to make decisions with respect to health issues, legal matters and other issues, let them have the ability to be married.

    1. Thanks Peter. And yes the rebuttal wasnt expected & its an across Gov thing. But I try to be about solutions, not blame so I guess no matter which party is in, they had better buckle up cos activism is about to go to a whole ‘nother level. 🙂

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