Posts tagged ‘movement’
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.
This is one, in a group of posts by fellow changebloggers, uniting to show that social media can do, and is achieving social good.
Origins of the Changeblogger
“…use their blog, podcast or vlog to raise awareness, build community, and/or facilitate readers, listeners, and viewers taking action to make the world better.”
On her blog, Britt developed a working list of 40+ Changebloggers, events and other online lists.
Since then, a Changeblogger facebook group was created. Then, I developed the Changeblogger Wiki that is being used to gather blogs and their author’s names, Twitter contact names, locations, a shared list of Changeblogger meetups and events while also being a live idea-swapping forum.
How Two Conversations Connected
Then, on a Friday afternoon I had two phone conversations with two truly remarkable people. The first was with Joe Soloman. Joe is at SocialActions, and he helped them develop the Ad-words widget that was launched last week. Joe also created the Twitter box @nptechblogs, which brings together blog posts and news updates from a variety nptech blogs. He also created and maintains the socialmedia4change wiki.
Bascally, Joe is busy. However, he is not just busy – he is effective. Joe, using his creativity and no-limits thinking, contacted me and together we are working on developing a Twitter box for changebloggers.
The next conversation was with Alex Steed. Talking with Steed on a Friday afternoon, both of us exhausted from a long week and feeling a bit overwhelmed could not have been better timing. Alex’s project is exactly what the changeblogger movement needs. And, he needs us.
Alex is planning on traveling to 30+ cities to meet with socially-forward millennials to learn what they are doing, how they are doing int, and more importantly, why they are doing it.
This is our call: If you are a changeblogger or a changemaker, know one, or even if you have an extra couch, contact Alex to connect with him on his tour while he couchsurfs and covers the waves of change.
Rallying the Troops
The changeblogger troops have already put out the roll call, and we’re inviting any and all to join the movement. Here’s a list of how:
- Take part in the Changeblogging Meme, that was started by Qui Diaz. Anyone can be a changeblogger, or changemaker, it’s a matter of connecting one’s talents with a desire to do good.
- Chip In, following the example set by Beth Kanter, to help fund Alex’s trip around the country, as he will spread the changeblogger message both online – and off! (Or, put the widget in your blog. Here’s the code:
<embed src=”http://widget.chipin.com/widget/id/a237a485db98c2b4” flashVars=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowScriptAccess=”always” wmode=”transparent” width=”250″ height=”250″></embed>
- If you are in the area, show your support at the 1st Changebloggers/Changemakers Meetup on Oct. 15th as we welcome Alex Steed into the capital of change – Washington DC.
- Join the Changeblogger Facebook Group
- Add your blog or Twitter Name to the Changeblogger Wiki
- Connect on the Changeblogger NING group started by Britt Bravo
- Tweet it up using the Changeblogger hashtag: #changeblogger and/or follow the Twitter account @changeblogs to receive updates from top changebloggers!
Change is Coming to Town, and It Could be Yours
Awhile back, I wrote about a video that surfaced on YouTbue that was sending a message to Cannes to create a Humanitarian Lion at Cannes. The video has always been featured on my Events page. Now, I am excited to report that the video has turned into an official campaign.
Join us in sending a message to advertisers and clients everywhere: we want to elevate the good and generate a shift in the way we do business and increase our reputation as an industry. I just signed the pledge today, at did the folks over at Osocio.
The Cannes are a worldwide event, so this movement can be a worldwide effort.
You may have heard of Invisible Children. And no, this is nothing from a science-fiction movie.
Invisible Children is a non-profit that benefits children in war-torn Uganda. It began as a grassroots efforts in 2003 when 3 college students set off on an adventure to Uganda. With only a video camera to document their travels, they discovered a 17-year war they had never heard of where children were being forced to be child soldiers.
Their biggest observation was witnessing hundreds of children marching every night, miles upon miles, from their homes in the country to Gulu in hopes of avoiding being forced into the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). The children shared their stories with the students about their nightly commute and the struggles they face everyday. What came through clear, was that the children wanted more education.
Upon witnessing what they did, the students turned their videos into a documentary and showed it to anyone and everyone. The movement grew into the Global Night Commute , where Americans all over the country walked miles to sleep outside within their own cities, hoping for others to notice the situation in Uganda.
Since the Global Commute, Invisible Children’s movement has grown…a lot. Currently, it has a fully developed website, a visible child scholarship program, a bracelet campaign, Invisible Children Campus Movie Tour bus, teacher exchange program, internships, a world tour and more. For more information on the war or the movement, I highly recommend visiting and browsing the site.
I mention it here for three reasons:
1) I think it’s a great example of how a grassroots movement can go from a few individuals to an international movement…and how a good story, enhanced by media capabilities can be powerful beyond words.
2) I wanted to highlight how collaboration can lead to a more effective campaign and cause. This movement was begun by college students by has even hit the steps of Washington by gaining the interests of the media, policy makers, world leaders, government officials, special interest groups, partnering NGOs and more.
3) I wanted to emphasis the great use of capitalizing on your target and interested audiences. This movement begun by showing the movie at house parties and on college campuses, working to gain that one-on-one interaction combined with powerful stories and powerful media. Also, by targeting college campuses first (especially with Generation M), it made for a strong network to grow the movement. And, for great resources (students) to tap into to also promote the cause – they still believe that anything is possible, have more flexible schedules, want to feel like they matter, want to be the change in the world, have the technology know how, have some education and many other useful attributes…and with Invisible Children working to aide the children of Uganda…this is an audience college students can more closely relate towards, and as history shows, turned out quite successful.
(You can watch the original Invisible Children video here.)