At 6:30 PM I participated in the Twitter Storm for #BerniesBrigade, which was organized by the Reddit Sanders for President group.

The Motivation

As you may know, mainstream media tend to ignore Bernie. So the Reddit Sanders for President group aimed to balance that out. “If the media will not take us seriously then we will flood them with Bernie Sanders to show that he has our support.”

The Nuts & Bolts

The suggested addressees were @CNNPolitics, @CNNOpinion, @CNN, @Maddow, @MSNBC, @FoxNews, @FoxNewsPolitics, and @Reuters.

There were five prepared Twitter messages:

  • I vote for the Candidate that listens to Americans.
  • I want a President that fights for the middle class, not the banks.
  • I want a candidate funded by the PEOPLE, not the BILLIONAIRES.
  • “Do not underestimate me.” (A popular Bernie quote.)
  • The only politician with the courage and integrity to stand up to the 1%.

(During the Storm, many people tweeted their own messages. Some included an image or a video that illustrated why they support Bernie Sanders.)

Finally, each Twitter Storm tweet was to include the hash tag, #BerniesBrigade.

The Fun & Excitement

I learned about the #BerniesBrigade Twitter Storm early this afternoon, and hurriedly spread the word on my social networks. The next time there’s a Bernie storm, I hope to know about it sooner – and I will give you a ‘heads up’ on the blog here.

Today was the first time I sent Twitter Storm tweets using the @ sign. It wasn’t too hard, mostly cut & paste from the Reddit instructions.

After sending my own pro-Bernie tweets, I searched #BerniesBrigade on Twitter, and retweeted all of those tweets! By adding a comment like this in the retweets…

@CNNPolitics @CNNOpinion @CNN @Maddow @MSNBC @FoxNews @FoxNewsPolitics @Reuters My vote: Bernie! #BerniesBrigade

…each of the media outlets received yet another ‘mention’ that will appear in their Twitter Notifications. In a short time, I put out about 300 tweets and/or mentions. (Was that… excessive?)

That wasn’t the end of it. When I checked my own Notifications, a lot of people had retweeted my tweets and my retweets.

The #BerniesBrigade Twitter Storm was a frenzy! Once I got the hang of it, I found this kind of online grassroots activism quite engaging.

Was It Effective?

Was the Storm effective? I don’t know. But I anticipate that each Bernie Twitter Storm will be larger than the one before it.

All the Presidential Candidates want to work social media to their advantage. It’s a way to connect with the grassroots. While most candidates are able to raise $millions from their wealthy donors, they actually need millions of little ‘blades of grass’ to vote for them.

There is a strong grassroots pro-democracy movement afoot, whether it is covered on mainstream media or not. I suspect, or at least hope, that most of the Presidential Candidates find that a bit unsettling. American politics are in flux.