meeting notes frm August 20, 2012

DeForest Area Progressives

 John's notes on meeting ofAugust 20, 2012,6:00 - 8:00 p.m.at6610 Lake Road office suite

 17 people present including guests

 The whole 2-hour meeting was devoted to a discussion of message sharing and the technology available to us to do that.  Note that "messaging" is one of the five areas of emphasis chosen at a recent state-wide meeting of the Wisconsin Grassroots Network.

 Jan Moore from SPARC, Sun Prairie progressives, recorded the meeting and presentations.

 We first heard from Brian Utter, a veteran of McFarland cable TV.  Brian talked about "P.E.G.": Public, Education, and Government, services typically provided through local cable television.  The Charter company is the big operator in cable television, and Charter is a for-profit corporation. 

 Marcia asked Brian, "What do we need to know?"  Brian answered that we need to reach out to Charter by sending them a letter of intent.  We need to get a franchise from them through our local municipalities, i.e., thevillageofDeForest, the town ofWindsor, theDeForestAreaSchool District, or some such entity.  A private group like D.A.P. is not likely to get any response from Charter. 

 (A note for you, reader of these notes: I might get some of the details wrong on some of these things, but the essence and most of the details I report here are close enough to accurate for our purposes at this stage.  John) 

 If D.A.P. decides to get into a local cable TV project, we should probably organize as some sort of "Friends Of" committee.  We would have to petition one or more municipalities or their equivalent to apply to the state Department of Financial Institutions.  (If this sounds confusing to you, reader, then join the club.)

 Two contacts: Tim Bowell used to be the government relations guy for Charter; Mary Cardona, Wisconsin Community Media

 Nick Zweifel, recently elected new County Board Supe from Sun Prairie is a teacher in DeForest.  Nick was helped significantly by people using citizens' access to Sun Prairie local cable TV in his successful campaign.  Nick said that short message segments work best -- five minutes, 10 at the most.  Someone mentioned that research has shown that 12 minutes is the maximum attention span for most of the kinds of messages that we might be interested in putting out.  Most such messages need to be repeated at least five times to sink in. 

 Nick continued that most people will not watch a 30 minute video on YouTube.  (I looked it up and "YouTube" is the correct spelling and construction of that media phenomenon.  J.)  Basically, remember that what you need to do is 1) decide what your message is, and then 2) repeat it.  You've got to be "on it" all the time.  Be passionate, be fresh, keep bringing it back to your main website -- your website being the hub of your messaging: click on something on Facebook it brings you back to your website; click on something on your blog, it brings you back to your website; click on something on any social medium, it brings you back to your website.

 You must have something interesting for visitors all the time when they go there.  Today's world is not cable TV.  Today's world includes communities on all media -- websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and so on.  All form a community.

 Nick's neighbor and associate, Steve, is a tech professional who works for Trek.  He performs other tech services in other realms as well.  Steve is an expert's expert.  Steve said what we should want to do is called, "Building your community."  And, Steve emphasized, "It's the content that matters."  (Yes, these are direct quotations from Steve.  I, John, am fussy about what goes into my quotation marks  J.  J.)  We are looking for the easiest and cheapest way to distribute that content, and distribution should be in "small, digestible segments."  Steve said that many in media communities do not watch television anymore.  They are using their phones and laptops.

 One goal might be to put out a 2-minute YouTube video daily.  OK, it might be 3 minutes.  Look at Google Plus.  Google owns YouTube.  YouTube lately is putting out "hangouts": YouTube "hangouts on air." 

 The first question to ask ourselves is, "Do we have the content?"

 When we put out products -- content -- we must be conscientious about the quality of the product.


Nick said he has already put up a YouTube channel for Wisconsin Grassroots Network.  He says he is waiting for us to use it.


I, John, ask, "Well punk, do yuh feel lucky?  Huh Punk?  Are yuh goin' tuh use it, punk.  Huh, are yuh?  Go ahead, make my day."


The meeting adjourned right on time ateight p.m.


John Scepanski

DeForest Area Progressives

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