Blue Utopia Blog

Racially Gerrymandered Districts

Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - 01:38 PM

Illegal Redistricting

The GOP-controlled Texas Legislature approved redistricting maps in 2011. On Friday, a federal court ruled that at least 3 districts were illegally drawn along racial lines in order to maximize Republicans' chances to retain the seats. According to the

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How to approach building a website

Sat, Feb 4, 2017 - 11:23 PM

Building a Website

When we talk about putting up a website, it’s helpful to break that down into a couple of distinct phases.

The first phase is your overall approach. The easiest way to think about this is how custom you want to be.

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Social Connections are now available

Thu, Feb 2, 2017 - 03:07 PM

Soical Connections

Social Connections is an expanded part of our Connections feature area. The Connections area of our system allows you to see all your supporters’ connections in one area.

Associations of all kinds to other people are easily entered by staff and

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Migrating from NationBuilder to Blue Utopia

Tue, Jan 17, 2017 - 01:36 PM

Migrate from NationBuilder

With NationBuilder embracing their business side and increasingly supporting Republicans, Blue Utopia is the only full CRM platform that is dedicated to progressive success and priced at a level that all campaigns have access to technology. With the loud uproar over

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Why Your Tech Should be Blue

Tue, Jan 17, 2017 - 01:29 PM

If you are a Democratic or Progressive organization, this article is about why your technology platform should align with your mission.

Just days after Donald Trump was elected president, NationBuilder created a lot of anger and disgust in the progressive community by celebrating Mr. Trump’s victory

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How Nationbuilder Went Republican

Fri, Jan 13, 2017 - 01:07 PM

NationBuilder declares itself a nonpartisan provider of Leadership software. They are neither the only nor the first political software vendor to go down this path. Way back in the 80’s the first real pioneer in the political technology space was a firm called Aristotle, who also began

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Photos and Videos at Polling Locations

Sat, Oct 29, 2016 - 01:01 PM

Posted by staff



We should expect plenty of interesting events at polling locations in a few days.  And with everyone having a video camera in their pocket, there will be lots of opportunity to photo document this.  

Before you break out your phone, did you know



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Democrats Have A Wells Fargo Problem

Wed, Sep 28, 2016 - 03:58 PM

Posted by Mike Nellis, Revolution Messaging



Goals are good. They help us visualize success and they motivate us to work harder and strive to do a little better with each project. But goals can have a nasty side-effect, especially when they are widely unrealistic.

Wells Fargo learned this



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Building an effective email program

Thu, Sep 15, 2016 - 03:25 PM



Great, you've decided to put some effort into building a good email communication program with your constituents/supporters.  But where to start?  What tone to take?  What to talk about?  All great questions that usually keep this program where

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Getting Read by Creating Better Subject Lines

Mon, Sep 12, 2016 - 10:30 AM

Email Subject Lines

Even with all proliferation with communication medium like facebook, texting, skype, twitter, and many others email is still a primary channel for most of us.  And our inboxes continue to be full of both wanted and unwanted emails – which

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Getting Your Email Delivered

Mon, Sep 12, 2016 - 10:11 AM



Did you know that well over 50% of all email is spam?  And that number has been reported as high as 90% in years past.  The reason you don’t see the vast majority of spam email is because ISP’s do a very good

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Revised Help Center

Fri, Jul 29, 2016 - 02:34 PM

Today, we migrated to a revised help center. This should make it easier to navigate and to find the right help articles when you need them.

Here's a quick rundown of the layout:

Main Support Home

As you can see from above, much of the structure is still


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The rise of ad-blocking

Fri, Jul 29, 2016 - 10:05 AM

ad-blockingIf you're a web user and you are not yet familiar with ad-blocking software, then you can head on over to wiki for a quick tutorial. But if you're an advertiser, which many political campaigns/consultants are, then ad-blocking is a serious

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Website Battle: HRC or DJT?

Thu, Jun 23, 2016 - 05:30 PM



A couple of months ago (back when the 2016 field was more full), Jim Saska at Slate wrote an article called "The Presidential Campaign Websites Are Terrible". In it he compared all


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Splash Page Abusers: HRC

Tue, Jun 21, 2016 - 01:20 PM

Posted by Trace Anderson

I wrote about splash pages recently.  Today, I’m going to pick on HRC a bit --not because she’s not awesome. She is. And she’s our future president. This article derives from her use of these insipid splash pages. Her website is a case study in what

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When to use a splash page. (Hint rarely)

Tue, Jun 21, 2016 - 12:20 PM

Splash pages, also referred to as sub-home pages are very common in political campaign websites.  Go to any presidential campaign site and you’ll likely get one jammed at you, asking you to donate, volunteer, or semi-politely demand your email. 

Despite the prevalence of these being used by teams that should

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The (real) year of the Social Campaign

Mon, Jun 20, 2016 - 10:47 AM

Back in 2008, Barack Obama ran the first social media campaign. It was groundbreaking and it changed the way we think about campaigns online. But consider this:

Audience Size. Back in 2008 just 25% of adults were actually on social media. Today that number is 65%.

Importance. Social

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Our approach to website templates

Mon, Jun 13, 2016 - 02:57 PM

Today, we’re launching over 400 new template-themes that make publishing a polished, professional, mobile-friendly website as easy as you can possibly imagine. But as we do that, we thought we’d write about templates and why our approach is different -- and better, at least for our

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What is Responsive Design? (The Basics)

Wed, May 4, 2016 - 01:43 PM

Responsive design gets a lot of airtime but for people who don’t regularly create websites -- which is a lot of people in the political campaign world -- it’s not always clear what it means. So we’re going to give a quick background and explain the basics.

This post

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Do you know your state's yard sign laws?

Mon, Mar 28, 2016 - 12:14 PM


A few months ago, we recently highlighted a study about the very limited effect that lawn signs have. But lawn signs have been around for a very long time and they aren’t going anywhere soon. And if you are using lawn signs, then


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Are we done with lawn signs?

Wed, Jan 6, 2016 - 04:20 PM


A recent study showed that, on average, lawn signs increase vote share by 1.7 percentage points.

According to the authors, "It appears that [yard] signs typically have a modest effect on advertising candidates' vote shares — an effect that is probably greater than zero but unlikely


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What is dark social?

Wed, Oct 7, 2015 - 09:09 AM

At a basic level, dark social, is the way we used to share, before there were one-click sharing social platforms that enabled (and tracked) everything we share. 

Today, we have one-click sharing platforms like twitter, facebook, reddit, and many more.  When a user shares content on your site and their

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New website system with mobile-friendly templates

Wed, Aug 19, 2015 - 02:29 PM

mobile-website-templates

Earlier this year, we began seeing more traffic to our client websites coming from mobile devices.  As a result, we began revising our website templates.  Today, we we’re happy to launch Blue Utopia’s new web publishing system.  Like the previous award-winning system, the new system allows

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What makes a website mobile-friendly?

Wed, Aug 19, 2015 - 11:17 AM

For a long time, in the early phases of mobile, it was enough if your website displayed okay but required the user to zoom in, for instance, fill out a form or read longer text.  In Apirl 2015 though, Google changed the conversation about mobile, making it clear to all

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Mobile websites: When to make it a priority

Mon, Aug 10, 2015 - 11:07 AM

In April 2015 Google announced it was updating its search algorithm to show preference for sites that were mobile-friendly.  This announcement brought some real panic and craziness for a while but has since settled a bit.  I wrote about the actual impacts of this change here.

In short,

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A review of Google's mobile search results

Sat, Aug 1, 2015 - 10:37 AM

in SEO

Google changes algorithm.  In April 2015 Google announced it was updating its search algorithm to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results.  The reaction in the web and online marketing world was panic.  The change was referred to as mobilegeddon, mobilepocalyse, mopocalypse and mobocalypse.  But, as

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Why not do my own website?

Tue, May 5, 2015 - 04:27 PM

Why not do my own website?

We get asked that a lot. To be sure, there are some great web platforms out there. WordPress was atrocious when we first started Blue Utopia in 2004/05. Since then, it has become a powerful and impressive platform for developers and non-developers to create great

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Who gives to federal campaigns?

Fri, Feb 6, 2015 - 08:40 PM

Data on the 2014 federal election, provided by OpenSecrets.org show that less than 5 million people (4.75M actually) donate at least $200 (the required reporting threshold) to federal political campaigns each cycle.

Even more important is that the top 10 donors to federal campaigns gave as

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Adding mailto links with subject and body text

Wed, Jan 21, 2015 - 11:56 AM

in Website

We recently performed a redesign of a client website. One of the things they wanted to do but didn’t know how was to add a link on their website that would allow their visitor to send a pre-populated email to their legislators. Obviously there are a number of ways to

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Free Photo Download Sites

Tue, Sep 23, 2014 - 09:43 AM

A lot of our clients need stock photos and the good news is there is an ever-growing group of sites that are providing free image downloads.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Unsplash is a free photo archive that is based upon users uploading

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Why a Custom-Branded Page Matters

Wed, Aug 6, 2014 - 03:32 PM

in Online Fundraising

A recent study titled, The Online Giving Study, found that custom branded donation pages are considerably more effective than 3rd party or non-branded pages. In fact, custom-branded pages raise over 35% more than 3rd-party or non-branded pages.

What is a

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Blue Utopia pushes button. Wins Pollie Award

Thu, Jul 25, 2013 - 11:02 AM

We won a 2013 Pollie for best state/statewide website. 

In a category where campaigns will spend tens of thousands of dollars on a website, our client's website (No On I-1185) won from a standard template from our click-n-publish website system. 

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The Basics of Writing an Email

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 - 03:34 PM

in Email Outreach

We see a lot of emails here.  We've written quite a few too.  If you are just getting started, here are some basic tips to get started. 

Make a single ask.  It is almost never a good idea to ask for more than one thing at a time in a

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Introducing Blue Utopia Facebook Fundraising

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 - 02:08 PM

in New Features

Introducing Blue Utopia Facebook Fundraising

 

We are very pleased to announce the availability of our new Facebook Fundraising app.  This new app puts your donation page where your supporters are.  It is just one more piece of our

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Writing Effective Emails Checklist

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 - 05:29 PM

in Email Outreach

New Organizing Institute has a basic but decent checklist of effective email writing. It covers basic process and techniques. What I liked about it was that its simple and to-the-point and doesn't attempt to make email more complicated than it really is.

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4 Ways to Rethink the Press Release

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 - 09:46 PM

This is reposted from Mashable:  4 Ways to Rethink the Press Release because I thought it very applicable to our users not only because there is considerably less use and more confusion about the press release but also becuase there seems to be increasing confusion about the role

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Blue Utopia Blog: Our Intent and Scope

Thu, Sep 15, 2016 - 02:21 PM

We would like to provide a quick statement on our purpose, in part, becasue a lot of time, we cover just the very top 20% of a subject.  

We serve Democratic political campaigns.  So when we post an article on our blog, we are trying to deliver information

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