Talk:All Together Now For Great Justice Dot Org

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Old Examples and Tools

Examples to be applied to these core topics: should include both positive and negative (both negative in terms of goals and possibly negative in terms of a failed project

Some examples:

We may curate a list of more specific Tools.

Old questions

  1. is the ability of internet activism to create feelings of community/identity specific to these online tools? (Social capital creation)
  2. how does the internet allow activists to create more effective ladders of engagement?
  3. does it encourage a shallow type of engagement? (facebook causes, great schlep)
  4. how do you measure effectiveness and impact?
  5. what is the ask?
  6. how valuable on are online "attention/awareness" campaigns?
  7. Is there a generalizable model for succesful online mobilization? If yes, does this model have different success factors from the business world?
  8. To what extent does the internet and internet activism allow us to flatten traditional hierarchies of power? Does it replicate those hierarchies? Or does it create new hierarchies and new gatekeepers?
  9. How do we measure success and impact? (What does # of viewers, # of Facebook friends for your cause, etc mean if it means anything at all?)
  10. How does the digital divide play out with respect to internet activism? Do the tools of internet activism give disproportionate representation to those with disproportionate access and how concerned should we be about this?
  11. What are the downsides of this development? For instance, some companies or platforms might develop into gatekeepers, or a new digital divide might be created if participation on these platforms gives a certain sector of the population more direct/privileged access to decisionmakers, donors and civic participation. (How intensely should Obama listen to the questions posted on, knowing that they cannot be representative of the (non tech-savvy) population?) Third, what new privacy issues are coming up? (Every submission to Obama's Open for Question" seems to go directly to Google servers (Article). Do we want a private company to know people's political opinions?)
  12. (Source: If a for-profit company did the type of work that non-profits often do, but did it more efficiently, would people trust it the same way they trust non-profits?
  13. Will in future only the tech savvy be able to raise their voice?
  14. How can a government deal with 500 petitions or 5m signatures a day?
  15. Should Facebook (be able to) block petitions it does not like?
  16. Can people with more “weak ties”/social capital mobilize more people through these means than those with less ties?
  17. How can the power of a decentralized movement be harnessed for a government with centralized structures (see OFA right now)?
  18. Are decentralized movements against ruling authorities (e.g. in autocratic regimes) more legitimate/effective than centrally controlled ones?
  19. Who should have the privilege to use “hacking software” and get access to the necessary skills to use them?
  20. Can centralized judicial systems deal with distributed malicious attacks?
  21. To which degree should authorities allow “legitimate” ddos attacks (analogous to sit-ins or demonstrations)?

Old discussion

Of course there are a lot of custom-built tools for mobilizing people online to get things done in the real world. On the other hand, what about more general tools? We've all been invited, via Facebook, to join groups and attend events (the Obama campaign certainly made good use of this); is there a generalizable model here?

Facebook groups dedicated to particular causes remind me of the online petitions that began circulating widely via email about ten years ago: their effectiveness in accomplishing real world change--and even their visibility to individuals capable of affecting the desired changes--are dubious. Is the real purpose of these movements simply to make participants feel like they are being active and involved? What percentage of those who signed email petitions in the 1990s were aware that their signatures were unverifiable and that the widely-distributed emails were unlikely to be collated and submitted to an official authority? What expectations do participants in facebook group causes have for their involvement and its consequences? The facebook group causes are certainly more centralized and visible than the old email petitions, and they provide a better tool for identifying and communicating with supporters in order to mobilize them in an organized fashion. How often is such mobilization attempted, and with what degree of success? As a tool of online activism, is facebook a step forward from chain emails, is it a step in a different direction, or does it just serve the same old functions but in newer packaging? --Gwen 08:26, 29 November 2008 (EST)

Maybe we can invite some of the leaders of the various social networking sites or Jascha Franklin-Hodge, who was an architect of the Obama campaign's use of social technology.

Might also be worth considering SMS applications that interface with the internet in this context especially since cell phones will presumably be the nexus of tech activism in the developing world. See FrontlineSMS or Ushahidi, a web crisis mapping project that let any user with a cell phone text in reports of violence in post-election Kenya as a way to geographically report real-time citizen reporting. (ELANA)