Sunday, July 18, 2010

Activism & The New Media

This coming August I will be leading a workshop on how to use videos and new media for advocacy purposes. It will be pretty exciting to work with a group of activists associated with a local NGO focusing on workers rights across the globe. I have been looking for information that can be relevant to their needs and ran across materials in various languages in the Global Voices site and DigiActive.

Even though I am fairly aware of the possibilities social media can offer to businesses and organizations, it has been really exciting to research about how it is been used for social justice and human rights causes. I was fascinated to learn more about examples of groups like the 'Support the Monk's Protest in Burma' that started in Facebook with a Canadian college student creating a group and it grew to have over 100,000 members at some point.

It is also very interesting to learn about the challenges these groups face when using social media like Facebook and Twitter for their causes due to diverse issues like difficulties running searches and finding members, or problems sending messages to over 5,000 members at a time...

While I was fooling around with Twitter the other day, I was thrilled to see that Witness has such a large number of followers and that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty have their share as well.

As I am still getting ready to teach this training, I welcome any comments or info related to using new media for activism.