Karen, I've emailed you guys and made a few posts on my desire to help. I run my own communications firm. Why spend hours researching something when you have professionals willing to help? Do you have anyone in your core group with communications experience?
If you don't do this right, your voice can get drowned out real fast. You have to be prepared to fight propaganda. If you are not organized you won't be able to respond timely or effectively.
If the 7 o'clock news put's out video of interviews with idiots and only gets video coverage of the purple haired drum dancers, your just going to attract more idiots and purple haired drum dancers. People will come for the spectacle, not the protest. If you want your movement taken serious, you have to be serious. This is what is lacking in the New York protests, but it is apparent they are slowly building a core group. It will take time, but being afraid to bring professionals in because your afraid of "infiltration" is only going to get you labeled as leftist conspiracy theorists.
Let me give you an example of how communications works..
"I find it ironic that the organizers of Occupy Houston are afraid to network with professionals for fear that bringing on someone who may be viewed as a "leader" would some how damage the idea of general assembly, when the organizers are affiliated with a band, the Free Radicals, and are using the Occupy Wall Street movement as a means to promote their band."
Do you see what I just did there? Now imagine if this was in an opinion piece and posted to the Chronicles home page? How do you think that type of press would be received by the general public in Houston? Are you prepared to counter that? Do you have a spokes person to deflect attention from that to something else? You could find your movement getting bad press. That bad press would effect your turn outs and ability to attract a diversified audience.
If you guys don't allow professionals to help, your going to get eaten alive by the media. The New York protests work for New York.. We live in Houston.. not New York. The demographic is incredibly different here and though the tools of the trade may be the same ie: twitter, youtube, social networking.. your message needs to be tailored to the area you live in.
If the media elites and opposition groups are going to kill this movement, it's going to be done locally, not on a national level. They will try and hurt the organizations individually and locally.
I hope my comments don't offend, but I'm trying to show you how ugly the media can be. I have been following the Wall Street protests from the beginning. This is the kind of stuff that fascinates people like me in the communications world because it usually breeds new strategies in communication. Some people in my industry use their talents for good and others for bad, but the thing is we all know how both sides work. I have no desire whatsoever in leading anything, but I would love to help in my own special way. But I can't help unless you have spokespeople.
You are going to need spokespeople and good communications people if you want this to succeed. You will quickly find that trying to deal with masses of unorganized people isn't what you expected.