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#p2 Takes on the Progressive Twitter Challenge

BY Sarah Granger | Monday, February 16 2009

First it was #tcot - a grassroots conservative hashtag organized to get more like-minded people together tweeting about their views on issues and current events. Soon thereafter, #rebelleft and #topprog were launched for progressives - to mixed reviews. A new effort launched late last week, #p2 addresses the challenge of organizing progressives on Twitter in a collaborative nature. Introduced by Jon Pincus and Tracy Viselli, #p2 aims bring together participants from all progressive groups on Twitter - #topprog, #rebelleft, #fem2, #woc and #lgbt as well as the Progressive Exchange community. So far, the shorter #p2 tag is picking up steam, already being used by @huffpost.

"I see #p2 as a unifying tag--an umbrella," says Viselli, who notes that this is not a competition but an effort to include everyone in the discussion. "The p2 Hashtag and Strategies for Progressives on Twitter" article by Pincus and Viselli introducing #p2 includes several recommendations, including improving on "Twitter best practices" such as "regular Twitter-based chats by organizations and bloggers."

Where #tcot has been successful is through rapid organic growth, the progressive tags used to date have not been able to attract the same level of traffic. And while #p2 is "complementary to #topprog," it is much shorter and can be used easily in conjunction with other related tags. So far, they have received positive responses to the idea.

Regarding how to bring in people and grow the participation, Pincus says "more balanced and organic growth is preferable" and "we are pulling the thought leaders in." Viselli explains that those participants will "help make sure that it's absorbed through osmosis on Twitter itself which is really what will dictate the ultimate success of any progressive project using Twitter."

Pincus adds that "the energy's more likely to come from people marginalized in the existing system -- and if we're successful, they'll reap the rewards of early participation." "Longer term, the key is to provide value.  Why are people into #journchat?  It's interesting and useful.  If #p2 becomes a hub for rapid diffusion via retweeting, or a mechanism for #digging, people will start to take advantage of it."

Over the weekend, Pincus established a wiki for #p2 at http://p2pt0.wetpaint.com/ and the website at http://www.progressives2pt0.net should be up soon. The next step is to plan for a Tweetup, which Pincus says will probably be planned for later this week.

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