This is a copy of the e-mail I just sent to our local Dean mailing list to explain some of the benefits of DeanLink. Given that DeanLink (in my opinion) will become the central hub of the growing Dean grassroots tools, it seemed like it might make sense to share here as well…
Why use DeanLink? DeanLink allows you to create links to other Dean supporters. (Try it: login, and then click “search supporters by zip code”, and type in your zip code.) Once you see a name of someone you recognize, or someone whose interests are similar to yours, click “DeanLink (name)” in the top left-hand corner. Now you’ve linked to them. How does this help you? Whenever that person wants to share information about the campaign, or invite their “circle” to participate in a Dean event, you’ll receive that e-mail. And anyone who links to you becomes part of your “group” that you can communicate with. Think of it as your own personal Dean mailing list!
This only works if you seek out others to link to (and invite others to link to you). So spend a few minutes searching around. Look for people nearby, start building your links.
Another feature is to “leave feedback” for others. While this is a bit limited right now, it’s a way to show that you know someone and to identify what you think their strengths are. Why is this useful? If you happen to see a DeanLink member who you don’t know, but you see that a friend of yours said they’re an “enthusiastic Dean supporter”, then you know that your friend’s worked with them and they’re working hard. Even though you don’t know the person directly, you’ve got a good idea that they’re someone you might want to work with. Link to them and find out!
Finally, there are several ways to communicate with DeanLink members. I already discussed the group e-mails above. But you can also send private e-mails through DeanLink. And if you use AOL Instant Messenger, you can also find out who is currently online so you can chat with them. (Look for the little AOL “running man” icon – if it’s yellow, they’re logged in.) This makes it very easy to find others to chat with about what you’re doing on the campaign.
And if you haven’t signed up, what are you waiting for?! Go to the sign-up page — it just takes a few minutes!
So take some time to poke around the system. Search for people you’ve met through the campaign by name, and create links to their DeanLink page. Search by zip code and find people nearby who share similar interests to you so you can link to them as well. And send messages to people you know to make sure they link to you — that way you can grow your “group” within the system.
If you have any questions, there’s an introductory FAQ that should be helpful.