Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Open Source Model Applied to Political Action Using Twitter

The "0pen source model" used for software development is now being applied very effectively by political conservatives using the power of Twitter to connect people online. On their site they maintain a list of "Action Projects" members are welcome to join and participate in.

At TCOT (Top Consevatives on Twitter), the projects are led by PS-Ls (Project Servant-Leaders) . They chose the term "PS-Ls" very intentionally to reflect the stewardship nature of leadership in their group. There is a definite hierarchical structure to their group but the projects are open to people who wish to contribute to achieving the groups goals. They seem to disavow and disaprove of an autocratic leadership style. They want you to leave your ego at the door, so to speak, if you decide to get involved.

Their stated goal is to restore limited government, free markets, and conservative principles to the governance of the United States.
"Team members who devote the time and money to the accomplishment of the goals of the project, therefore, should be lead with recognition of their commitment. Servant-leadership is an inherently conservative principle. Just as a government with too much power inevitably leads to problems, a leader with too much power does the same. Government - or leaders - with too much power either take away freedom and initiative or poorly allocate resources.

As a grassroots volunteer organization facing a huge challenge, (TCOT) cannot afford either reduced initiative or poorly allocated resources. PS-Ls will, in contrast to autocratic leaders, ensure the group receives the most value and best results. PS-L's, in essence, recognize the power of the free market in political ideas and organization."

People get involved by finding a mentor and going through a kind of orientation. Then as talents and abilities are assessed and matched up with "Action Projects" members gain status and responsibility. I am very impressed with they way they apparently manage their organization and the speed with which they can respond to current events.

I think we will likely see more groups of individuals with shared values organizing themselves via Twitter to accomplish all kinds of shared purpose and goals.

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