Aspiration hosted our annual eAdvocacy shindig, which we lovingly named the "eAdvocacy Jamboree", from July 17-20 at Preservation Park in Oakland. The main event ran July 18-20, with a pre-day of eAdvocacy trainings on July 17 for those wanting to ramp up their eAdvocacy skills.
Electric Embers also hosted their third annual Most Excellent AdvocacyDev Veggie-Friendly BBQ Shindig, continuing to raise the bar for NPTech hospitality!
The final agenda is online. We continued to expand the format this year, and offered several interleaved tracks:
- Training Fest: A full day of in-depth trainings was offered on Tuesday the 17th, before the main Jamboree, on a range of topics including eAdvocacy 101, Web 2.0 Tools and Tactics, eAdvocacy Best Practices, Strategic Blogging, Intro and Advanced sessions on Democracy in Action, CiviCRM, Non-Profit Soapbox, Drupal, and Joomla.
- Interactive Track: participants were able to workshop their current campaigns with facilitators and other participants, participate in peer web site reviews, brainstorm new campaign ideas, and engage in skillshares on any topic they wanted to discuss. Spectators were few and far between!
- Strategy Track - Tools, Tactics and Best Practices: eOrganizers and eAdvocacy practitioners from a broad base of causes and sectors discussed what they've got in their toolboxes and the tactics and strategies they're currently employing. Sessions considered the challenges of messaging and maintaining supporter bases across campaigns. A particular focus was on developing best practices in eCampaiging process and engagement models. Participants also related how they're using emerging web 2.0 and other technologies to augment their eAdvocacy efforts. User/Developer sessions allowed stakeholders across the eAdvocacy landscape to discuss how we can all work together more effectively.
- Developer Track - Open Source eAdvocacy Platforms: Where are we, what's new, and how will it all interoperate? We continued the dialog from past AdvocacyDev convergences and looked for more opportunities to write tools that make life easier for campaigners and organizers. Latest releases of all relevant platforms were demo'd and compared, and participants were invited to drink from the fountain of cool technology Koolaid.
- eAdvocacy Capacity Track - Addressing the Challenge: The most consistently vexing problem in the eAdvocacy space is how to develop more capacity. Campaigns and causes go wanting for able staff and consultants who could help them craft and execute appropriate online campaigns and strategies. This track mapped what's already being done in terms of training and documentation, while opening up the floor for discussion on how better to scale eAdvocacy communities of practice and pool various documentation resources.
As always, participant input dramatically shaped what happened at the event.
Event partners who worked with Aspiration to design the agenda and sessions included Blue Oxen Associates, Caltha.pl (Warsaw, Poland), Change.org, CiviCRM, CivicSpace, DemocracyInAction, Drupal, Joomla!, MobileVoter, New Organizing Institute, Non-Profit Soapbox/PICnet, Protest.net, and Radical Designs.