Posts tagged ‘digital activism’

The Blogger Neighborhood: Meet the DigiActive Team

candle lightGet 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!

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Blog Name: DigiActive.org

Blog Topics: Being the Intersection of Technology and Grassroots Activismfacebook-guide-cover300px

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?

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.

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Past Blogger Neighbors Include:

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 @ socialbutterfly4change@gmail.com.

Remembering through Action: The Katrina 100

The 3-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is August 25th. To reflect and highlight on the city’s current state of affairs and the changemakers within the city, Jerri Chou and team at AllDayBuffet are blogging The New Orleans 100.

According to the Web site, The New Orleans 100 is:

a worldwide initiative that highlights and encourage discussion among millions about 100 of the most innovative and world-changing ideas to take root in the city since Katrina.

The group behind Katrina 100 wants to leverage bottom up tools like the social web to feature under-acknowledged, yet real stories that highlight the positive changes going on in the NEW Orleans since Katrina. The 100 list will be release and posted on the blog on August 25th, and the group hopes to reach 1,000,000 pageviews by 8/29/08. The main goal though, is the make the NOLA100 the alternative media story during the week of 8/25. Wondering how you can make that happen? Keep reading.

The group continues with calls to action beyond just visiting the site and reading the list. These include:

  1. Sign up to receive the NOLA100 list.
  2. ShareThis. Spread the NOLA100 message and list by email, blog, digg, twitter, stumbleupon and other social options.
  3. Contact one of the NOLA100 changemakers on the list to help out. This can include offering services, volunteering, making a donation, a connection, or extending a simple thank you.
  4. Send AllDayBuffet and NOLA100 new ideas to make an impact. This can include success stories, testimonies, interview requests, highlighting efforts beyond the NOLA100 and more. It’s up to you.

If you want to really dig in, then you yourself may qualify to join the AllDayBuffet team, and this is the way I see a lot of consulting and the future of business going. Free-agent consulting. And, others seem to agree.

In this instance, AllDayBuffet is “a social innovation brand for the creative mavericks”. Their key competitive edge, in terms of recruitment, is that their whole strategy revolves around the concept of open participation.”

This open participation is built in through G3, the Greater Good Guild. The G3 is a global collective of creative professionals that strive to change the world. The network represents social innovators, creative mavericks, change makers and more. To see if you’ve got what it takes, you can apply to be a G3 maverick yourself.

photo credit: flickr, NOgoddess

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