CyberNOW

http://www.now.org/

by Sarah Stapleton-Gray, Internet and LAN manager
webperson@now.org

The Internet's immense possibilities continue to strengthen NOW's actions and events while expanding the organization's reach to the uninitiated.

Online PAC Auction

Auctions to benefit the NOW Political Action Committees (PACs) have always been popular events with NOW members.  For the first time, the NOW PACs opened the auction held at the 1998 Women's Rights Convention and Vision Summit to Internet users.  With the inventory for the PAC auction posted online in advance, convention attendees had an opportunity to think about what to bid on before arriving in Rochester, and those who couldn't attend the convention had a chance to submit bids for the items.

During the auction, Internet bids competed with live bids.  Five of the online bidders ultimately placed the winning bids.  One woman discovered the auction while doing some Internet research and became a NOW member in addition to placing a successful bid.

NOW hopes to have more online PAC auctions in the future—please check back at the http://www.now.org/pac site.

E-mail Lists

NOW regions and states have found communicating by e-mail to be helpful with their activism. A chapter, state or region can use an e-mail list to send out action alerts and press releases or to discuss strategy.

The National Action Center has several lists (including now-action-list for action alerts, and news-releases for press releases) that are helpful complements to using the telephone or U.S. mail to communicate with members and potential members.

While you can maintain a list through most e-mail programs yourself, finding a host for your list has a number of advantages.  A host will utilize an e-mail list system such as "majordomo" which automates the adding and changing of addresses.

E-mail lists also place a burden on any machine that they run on, taking up both time and space.  Unfortunately, the NOW National Action Center does not have the extra capacity on our server to host chapter or state e-mail lists.  However, activists may be able to solicit a local or national Internet provider to host your list for free.  Connect to http://thelist.com to look up your local Internet providers.   Some progressive or women's sites may also be willing to host your list for free.
 Several sites are in the business of hosting e-mail lists for free, although they automatically add advertisements to the bottom of your e-mail messages.  Try places such as http://www.findmail.com/ or http://www.coollist.com/ or http://www.onelist.com/ for free e-mail lists and other services.
 If you do start a local e-mail list, feel free to subscribe that list to NOW's national lists, so that individual members will only need to update their e-mail addresses in one place.  You can also conect to the NOW web site at http://www.now.org/chapters/freemail.html to read about how to obtain a free e-mail address.


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