Posts tagged ‘social change’
Get out of your comfort zone. This includes myself, often I am use to comfortably perusing my usual blogs in my RSS reader, however, when I first found DigiActive over the summer, I immediately knew I needed to get out more. DigiActive brings together a team of international bloggers from SIX continents and offers great content from diverse perspectives. The change movement knows no boundaries.
I must also give Amine, from DigiActive the award for patience. Amine and I conversed at the end of August, and I am just now getting up their interview. Thank you Amine and the DigiActive team for your world-class patience. Without further adieu, enjoy!
Blog Name: DigiActive.org
Blog Explained: The group blog at DigiActive.org is part of DigiActive’s overall mission to help grassroots activists around the world use technology to increase their impact. DigiActive also publishes guides, such as “A DigiActive Introduction to Facebook Activism” and maintains a digital activism map. DigiActive is also in the process of launching a research program (R@D), which will provide actionable analysis for the benefit of digital activists around the world.
About the Author(s): The site features an international group of bloggers from six continents from countries including Iran, Morocco, China, Cameroon, the US and Germany. We come from a wide range of backgrounds and professions. Some of us work for NGOs while others are students or journalists. All our bloggers are volunteers and write for the site because of a passion for digital activism.
Why do you blog? A few answers from some of the DigiActive team members include:
“I love to write about things I love” -Kate Brodock
“I write for DigiActive because it gives me an excuse to keep up to date on the cutting edge of digital activism. Activists “hacking” online applications, creating new uses for platforms like Facebook or Google Earth and turning them into tools for change, that’s what gets me up in the morning.” – Mary Jocye
“I’m blogging for DigiActive because I have a crush on digital activism. Blogging let’s me share the product of this splendid connection with a global community, which is another thing I will never really understand, but always be amazed of.” – Simon Columbus
“It is a fantastic opportunity to investigate and learn about this increasingly important movement. I work in a part of the world where these tools are underutilized but needed with urgency, and I use my work to educate and involve the people around me.” – Tamara Palamakumbara
What first prompted you to blog? DigiActive was started by Mary and Amine, who met on Facebook and built DigiActive together before ever meeting in person. Our ambition was “to create a center for the global digital activism movement.” With an ever-increasing number of partners, we are still working to achieve that goal.
Why digital activism? What is it, and how do you know when it’s successful?
Digital Activism is defined as digital actions taken by grassroots organizations or individuals to achieve a social or political change. It means taking the power of the new global reach of user-generated content and turning it towards the purposes of social justice.
It’s hard to know when digital activism has succeeded. Clear-cut cases of digital success, like the Help Fouad campaign in Morocco are rare. Even when a goal is achieved, it is often the result of multiple campaigns, not only digital ones, and often it takes years to achieve these goals. I don’t think there’s a clear formula for success. Digital activism is not about quantity of people you can reach, but it’s about the quality by which you reach them.
What’s the impact digital activism has, or could have, on our community?
One of the greatest strengths of digital activism is that it allows people to collaborate closely regardless of physical location. As mentioned previously, Mary and Amine developed the idea for DigiActive and built the site without ever meeting. In fact, they still live on different continents. Talia edits for the DigiActive blog from Boston, even though our correspondents are dispersed across the globe. I think the two biggest technical advantages that digital activism has are 1) the speed at which technology is being introduced, improved upon, and made widely available and 2) the number of tools that are available, which enables users to use the one that best suits their situation. It’s not a one-sie-fit-all. It’s a custom-tailored approach. The biggest qualitative advantage of digital activism is, as mentioned, the ability to connect to so many people and get yourself in front of large number of eyes and ears!
If you could live on any street, what would that street be named and why?
“Hope Street” – Simon
“The Beginning” – Kate
“TechCanHelpUChangeTheWorld Blvd.” – Mary
Who would be your dream real-life neighbor?
Some of the answers from the DigiActive team include: An international group of passionate grassroots activists, committed to the goal of realizing the human dignity of all the world’s citizens. Dalaid Lama and Dave Barry. Maybe Jon Stewart too.
What was the last URL you added to your RSS feed?
- An incredibly active Kenyan blog called Sukuma Kenya.
- The last English-language blog I added to my feed reader was Life under electronic conditions by German sociologist Benedict Köhler
- Six Pixel’s of Separation, A Thousand Cuts and Treehugger
What’s your favorite blog post and why?
Successful digital activism campaign are always fun to write about. Whether it be about young Egyptian activists using Facebook to organize a country-wide strike, about Jamaican gay rights activists who use blogs and the internet to fight to get into a UN AIDS meeting or about activists in Morocco who used the web to coordinate a successful international campaign to free the “Facebook Prisonner”. However it is also important to consider the limitations of digital activism and provide useful information and guides on how to best harness its potential.
What’s one lesson you’ve learned from blogging?
- Don’t be afraid to express yourself – everyones experience and opinions count.
- That it takes a global village to write a blog.
- It’s a great way to meet and to get to know incredible people from around the world.
Past Blogger Neighbors Include:
- Osocio @ Osocio, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Beth Kanter @ Beth’s Blog, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Beth Dunn @ Small Dots, nominated by Beth Kanter
- Len Edgerly @ LenEdgerly.com, nominated by Beth Dunn
- Stacey Monk @ Epic Change, nominated by the Twitter-verse
- Jason Dick @ A Small Change, nominated by Stacey Monk
- Roger Carr @ Everyday Giving, nominated by Jason Dick
- Andre Blackman @ Pulse & Signal, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Laura Stockman @ 25 Days to Make a Difference, nominated by Roger Carr
- Karama Neal @ So What Can I Do?, nominated by the Carnival of Change
- Julie Zauzmer @ 52 Ways to Change the World, nominated by Karama Neal
- Vanessa Mason @ Subject to Change, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Stephanie Gulley @ HeyStephanie.com, nominated by Vanessa Mason
- Aaron Ferster @ EPA’s Greenversations, nominated by SocialButterfly
- Julia Barry @ New Moon Media, nominated by the YPulse Conference
- Rosetta Thurman @ Perspectives from the Pipeline, nominated by Avi Kaplan
- The DigiActive International Blogging Team, nominated by SocialButterfly
This continuous series highlights different blogs and their respective bloggers in the blogosphere neighborhood. Following the great Mr. Rogers, who tells us to ‘Get to know your neighbor,’ this series introduces us to our blogger neighbors, making for a more unified, collaborative voice for the social sector. Like to nominate someone or be featured yourself? Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
My dad sent me this great video today. It makes you think. It motivates you, like @garyvee, to get off your butt and get moving. You may think that doing nothing only affects you. Tuning out is a choice. So, that can be your opinion. But, standing, means not helping others to fly.
No matter your political leanings, you must admit this quote is poetic. On NPR, a man talked about getting ready to vote for a president for the first time was being asked who he was voting for and why. He recalled this text message he received from a friend:
“Rosa sat, so Martin could walk. Martin walked, so Obama could run. And, Obama is running so our children can fly.”
What if that could be you? What if your actions could empower others to succeed. Think about the power that ripple effect could have. Whether it’s for Obama or McCain, Vote. Act. Do. No matter what, after the election, we will all need to keep moving, if not faster. Let’s get busy, and let’s FLY together. Just ask these guys:
*Don’t quote me on the stats, as I’m still trying to find this video’s source. But, it is powerful.
New Resources and Communities Abound…
1. Two Social Marketing Blogs join the movement! Mike Newton-Ward, a social marketer based in North Carolina launched Social Marketing Panorama earlier this fall. Bob Marshall also launched USSOCIALMARKETINGPLAN to highlight the need of a larger social marketing movement that attaches itself to a body of professionals in the United States.
2. C-Change, a new peer-reviewed and research-based e-newsletter developed by USAID and AED is now available and…is free! According to the web site, “C-Change works with global, regional and local partners to use communication to change behaviors and social norms, supported by evidence-based strategies, state-of-the-art training and capacity building, and cutting-edge research. The ultimate goal is the improved health and well-being of people in the developing world.” The e-newsletters focus on four main areas:
- Family Planning and Reproductive Health
- Communication for Behavior and Social Change
3. GovLoop, the “premiere social network for the government community,” including agencies, contractors and consultants has grown to over 1700 members! I invite you to join me and the main other amazing professionals on this robust community created through NING, especially SB readers who are keen to the government 2.0 movement! For those in DC, join the DC Social Media Club this upcoming week Oct. 22 for a seminar panel on all items Government 2.0, moderated by John Bell of Ogilvy PR.
4. As I’ve shared, the full presentations from all the keynotes during the World Social Marketing Conference are available to view and download. I shared my own recap, as well as a picture recap. Good news is that I wasn’t alone as we had a ‘team’ of bloggers covering the event: Stephen Dann, Craig Lefebvre, Andy Jaeger, and Cheryl Brown.
5. Edelman recently launched their Health Engagement Blog to stress the concept of ‘health engagement.’ The blog corresponds to Edelman’s whitepaper, available for free, called Health Engagement Barometer Study.
6. Mike Kujawski, a social marketer based in Canada, created a Government 2.0 Best Practices Wiki for Canadian, U.S. and International Governments. In its first week of launch, the wiki got over 5000 visitors!
7. The CDC is now offering a web-based course called Social Marketing for Nutrition and Physical Activity. This is good. Though, I still echo Nancy Lee’s call for social marketing curricula integrating into formal education. And more courses would be a great start, but a formal graduate degree in social marketing would be even better.
Have social marketing (or social marketing-related) news you’d like to have featured in the Bulletin? Send job posts, new workshops, events, research resources and tools to email@example.com with Bulletin in the subject line. =)
In honor of today’s Blog Action Day on poverty, here is a background on poverty and how social marketing can be applied, as I saw broken down by Philip Kotler himself at the World Social Marketing Conference.
Additionally, join over 40 of DC’s influential changemakers at Buffalo Billiards at DC’s 1st Changeblogger meetup. We will recognize and commemorate Blog Action Day, connect with Alex Steed’s social change tour, mingle and share re: living and working for positive change.
What is poverty?
In researching the answer to this question, I couldn’t escape the purpose behind a campaign by the Association of Public Health Schools and the Pfizer Foundation recently created called “What is public health?” This campaign works to better brand ‘public health’ to the public, while also raising awareness, education and encouraging participation in the public health conversation. Participants are asked to put red “This is public health stickers” on items that they feel represent public health. My challenge: What would this look like if the question: “What is poverty?” was asked?
Early Solutions to Poverty
Kotler listed 4 early solutions to poverty: alms programs, workhouses for the poor, deficit financing and economic development. With these solutions, four major strategies reveal themselves to reduce poverty:
- Economic Growth Strategy
- Redistribution Strategy
- Massive Foreign Aid
- Population Control
As Kotler continued to outline, he stated the “Two Main Thrusts” used to alleviate poverty are population control (from contraceptive campaigns, to abortions, education of women, industrialization to passing laws restricting the number of children) and improving the support of povert-escaping behavior. This umbrellas micro finance and empowerment, education and health programs.
As part of the Millennium Goals, the World Bank and the United Nations have 8 goals and 17 targets to alleviate poverty (Kotler). One goal is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by:
- Cutting in half the proportion of people whose income is less than a $1 a day.
- Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
Everyone hears we need to solve poverty, but my eyes were widened as to WHY we need to solve hunger. And, this goes beyond the humanity of reasons, but puts some more solid evidence to the issue. Kotler spoke of these 6 reasons:
- Sympathy and compassion about wasted lives.
- Poverty drives some poor people into crime and terrorism.
- Poor are more prone to health problems and spreading of disease.
- Poor are more likely to follow demogogues.
- Poor nations can collapse into “failed states” that cannot pay their foreign debt.
- The poor are an untapped trillion dollar market opportunity.
Why Social Marketing?
Kotler, along with social marketing expert Nancy Lee, both are literally writing the book answering this part of the poverty question. I personally can’t wait for the book to come out because I truly believe that social marketing provides the right tools for us to solve global issues such as poverty. In the presentation, Kotler identified a 6-part framework as to how social marketing can be applied to the poverty issue. However, in the book, a larger and more developed framework is offered, as well as further context of the issue.
So, back to the challenge. How would you answer this question: What is poverty?
Finally…a picture-based recap on the events from the World Social Marketing Conference, which took place in Brighton, England on September 29-30.
NOTE: PDFs and audio of all keynote presentations are available here.
Prof. Alan Andreasen gave a closing and optimistic keynote address about the future of social marketing. –>
This quote was presented by England’s National Social Marketing Centre’s director, Jeff French, who calls all social marketers to unite together and learn from each other in moving the field forward. –>
<– Philip Kotler opened the conference with a keynote about poverty, and how we can apply social marketing to poverty to increase effectiveness and positive change.
Jeff Jordan, M.A., President and Founder of Rescue Social Change, presented his research about Social Branding (which he trademarked), along with 2 case studies about how to use social norming to influence behavior for high-risk adolescents. –>
<– The Purpose Driven Campaign – my master’s thesis that I presented during the poster session! (I also created SocialButterfly, Fly4Change.com pens that were quite popular. =)
Craig Lefebvre, presented an exciting presentation where he “dropped the gauntlet,” and presented the challenge for social marketers to walk the walk, as well as talk the talk when it comes to creating an international social marketing association. Lefebvre announced that he alone has raised a quarter of a million dollars for the project! –>
Other Highlights included:
- NIOSH presented add some ‘flavoring’ to the conference by presenting their case study on a social marketing program to improve the safety of butter flavoring employees.
- Ogilvy PR presented their fascinating Pandemic Flu case study.
- Porter Novelli and CDC presented their case study on HIV testing.
- Nancy Lee outlined 4 examples of how social marketing can offer products and services.
- RT Hon. Alan Milbourne, MP, discussed how the world of social marketing and public policy relate.
- Bob Marshall presented findings from studying the NSMC and from his recent survey about creating a new social marketing association for the States. This is part of an on-going discussion that can be followed here, USSocialMarketingPlan.
- Ronne Ostby-Malling of AED presented her preliminary research about the behavior of online social network behavior among adolescents versus their behavior in real-life.
I don’t like to do this, but here is an update on me, in the hopes of being able to connect with some of you –> offline. This fall will be a busy time for SocialButterfly! If you will be at any of these events, be sure to let me know, so that we can connect!
Sept. 6: American Independent Writers Workshop, George Mason University
- Presenting in a panel about using social media and social networks for writing, freelancing, and enhancing one’s professional presence on the web.
Sept. 18: TwinTech2, Washington D.C.
- Join the brightest minds in the tech-venture space who will be on hand to mix and mingle with one another during a happy hour style meet-up. I shall be there as well to share in the social.
Sept. 29-30: World Social Marketing Conference, Brighton, England
- Presenting my master’s thesis in a poster session. The thesis is titled: The Purpose Driven Campaign…more details on that are sure to follow.
Oct. 13: BlogHer Reach Out Tour, Washington D.C.
- Presenting in a panel about Online Community and the philosophical reasons supporting why social media can help make a difference for good causes, non-profits, social change, or even political activism. (bringing in my perspective of navigating the social media landscape for government agencies)
Oct 15: 1st Changemakers/Changebloggers Event, Washington D.C.
- D.C. is known for its robust social media/tech community, that’s no doubt. However, many of D.C.’s finest are in the intersection of social media and social good. We call these unique individuals, changemakers. And for those that blog, changebloggers. Join us as we gather to connect and strengthen our community and show that social media can do, and is achieving, good. Also, journalist Alex Steed will be joining us as part of his 30+ day tour across the country documenting and interviewing millennial changebloggers.
Check It Out
- If you are on Facebook’s BlogNetworks application, please stop by SocialButterfly’s page and introduce yourself. I also created a SocialButterfly Facebook group as well.
- I am addicted to my RSS feeder lately. I’d love to connect with you, and follow you there too, so feel free to leave your URL in the comments, especially, you fellow changebloggers!
- Speaking of Changebloggers, I created the Changeblogger wiki, and if you participated in the Changeblogger meme, be sure to post your permalink to the wiki, so we can all check it out!
- Check out the Twitter feed @changeblogs to follow top changebloggers.
- The Social Marketing Events page on SocialButterfly has been updated with some new events that you’ll want to check out including CDC’s Web Dialogue, HealthCampeDC and more!
Thus, lots going on! Let me know if you want to get involved, or if we can meetup and say hello at any of these events! Blogging has been slow because my fiance and I just drove from KC to DC, and are in the midst of setting up shop as I like to say. So, thank you for your patience! =)