CPAC Panel Discusses Conservative Efforts in New media

Conservatives must know how to effectively use online social media to promote their ideas, concluded a panel discussion at a Thursday CPAC session entitled ‘Blogging, Tweeting, and other Funny Words that Grow the Movement.’

Michelle Oddis, assistant managing editor at HUMAN EVENTS, said there are “two pillar items” involved in helping an organization transition into the world of new/direct media.

“One is logical,” she said. “You need someone who understands how to use Twitter and Facebook and all those other things.”

Ms. Oddis pointed out older organizations may not know how to utilize social media, but suggested young people more familiar with social media can be enlisted to help those organizations in better understanding them.

‘The second part is accepting and realizing that these applications are vital to the growth of the organization and driving traffic,’ she said ‘and sometimes that’s the hardest part.’

She greatly emphasized Twitter’s importance in marketing ideas to big audiences, citing how the service generated increased traffic to HUMAN EVENTS website.

‘As soon as offices and newspapers realize that these opportunities for PR and search engine optimization or driving traffic really come from Twitter and Facebook, the sooner they’ll be on top,’ she said.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, viral videos on Youtube are also a new way of promoting conservative ideas.

One example is Matthias Shapiro’s ‘10,000 Pennies’ video, a Youtube video that sought to put President Obama’s spending spree into perspective.

It generated over 1 million views on Youtube to date.

Online video allows one to ‘get out ahead of the crowd’ because there is less production time involved, allowing the delivery of ideas to be instantaneous and visually-engaging, said Mr. Shapiro, who writes for

‘With visual media, it’s so immediate, distinct, and visceral,’ he said.

One of the most key components of putting out these videos, he said, is that they must make good use of humor and political persuasiveness.

‘If you can combine these two things, you are like the greatest person ever,’ he said.

One urge that comes with using social media for conservative ideas is to immediately get caught up in blogging about national politics, said Megan Barth, a blogger for

She maintained effective change really begins when using the power of the pen to address local level issues.

She cited how she used social media to organize local tea parties near her home in Orange County and in other parts of the nation as well.

‘See how the encroachment of liberty is impacting your school districts, your judicial elections, your sheriff elections, your school boards because that’s where it really starts,’ she said.

She said challenging those in the local community will make a difference and will eventually ‘filter up’ to the national level.

‘All of you have the power of the pen and all of you can lead and make a difference through your writing,’ she said.

In addition to using data visualization, calling people to action through the social media sphere won’t be effective if there isn’t a central message, said David All, of the David All Group.

‘Don’t tell people to read something if it has no purpose,’ he said.

Mr. All worked in on a series of videos helping Rep. Joe Wilson raise money after his “You lie” outburst at President Obama.

At the end of the day, he encouraged that people shouldn’t be afraid to show their personality through their Twitter or Facebook accounts.

However, he said there’s still somewhat of a caveat.

“Be yourself, but recognize that you should only say something when you have something important to say and that’s worth sharing with other people.”