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Author Topic: Social Media and Activism  (Read 4243 times)

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Offline Iggy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,435
Social Media and Activism
« on: February 27, 2008, 11:33:56 AM »
Twitter, Facebook, Second Life, Wikis, etc -

Does anyone here have experience with using social media regularly for awareness and activism?

I'm working with my ASO on bringing them into a greater outreach and networking framework using some of the social media.  I've already done some research and have seen both the practical applications as well as the long term ones to eventually utilize.

I'm curious of feedback from any who regularly uses such services in campaigns and what has worked best or has not been what you thought was worth it.

The key to me is that it can not have an actual financial cost as far as set-up and utilization and have a minimal cost as far as required resources (e.g. manpower hours needed to setup and maintain.)

Any and all feedback is welcomed.

Offline JR Gabbard

  • Member
  • Posts: 249
  • Union Jacks
Re: Social Media and Activism
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 08:07:22 PM »

Iggy-

I've been thinking about this stuff too lately.  How to leverage the web to do outreach/raise awareness and (for my purpose) how to provide direct social services to PWAs online.

Of the sites you listed, the one that has gotten me the most interested is Second Life.  Imagine a support group where everyone showed up as an avatar.  That could be very powerful and very healing.

One way to do outreach would be to get your plot of "Linden Land" and put up an ASO with an info center.  Then advertise.  For a more personal touch, you could get a group together, have some script that goes over the avatar name that reads something like "Condom Patrol" or some other pithy saying that gets the message across, and then go out dancing or "siteseeing" as a group.  Then it is just a matter of good old-fashioned outreach like we did in the early days.

The cash outlay would be fairly small, and the place could basically run itself if you automated it:  "Sit here, watch this video" have materials to give out, or whatever.

This is something that I have been giving a lot of thought to over the past months.  I don't have the needed skills yet, though I may be on the verge of getting them, to put such an ASO together.  If you do something on SL, please let me know.  I'm more than willing to get involved.

Something else I've heard that people are doing is going as a group to hook-up chat rooms and making sure that folks are thinking about rubbers while they are preparing to get their freak on.

I like your thinking   ;)

JR
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift,
The baffled king composing Hallelujah!

L. Cohen

Offline Iggy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,435
Re: Social Media and Activism
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 02:00:23 PM »
Hey JR,

Thanks for your thoughts and I agree about the potential with Second Life, which is something I will eventually investigate in more details.

One of the interesting things that I am discovering in Charlotte is that ironically, it makes more sense for rural or small urban setting ASO's and other orgs to be a little more out there in internet outreach, education and services because they bricks and mortar base is stretched too thin as far as finances, manpower and ease of reach (physical location.)

Right now my first step with the ASO is to help them have a presence on the internet beyond just a website.  Starting slowly, getting them listed on certain electronic non-profit directories and social network sites (e.g. Idealist.org)  is the first and primary step.  From there I want them to test the waters on everything from blogs, podcasts and video conferencing with certain schools (they all ready have a partnership with local colleges). 

The other aspects of the longer term goals or twitter updates, library of videos and presentations on their own youtube channel and things of that nature. 

The eventual effort of things like Second Life will ave to be long after I got them moving and grooving to the above basics.

The key to all of this as I said is that I am doing this as a volunteer and anything I set-up has to require minimal maintenance of which I would like it to be stuff they are comfortable doing themselves just to guarantee continuity in output.

I would love to keep in touch on the Second Life idea for either down the road or for something unrelated directly to the ASO.  I just took a look and found about five groups on SL in relation to HIV/AIDS but haven't yet explored them

Thanks again for input.

Mark
« Last Edit: February 29, 2008, 02:02:52 PM by Iggy »

Offline JR Gabbard

  • Member
  • Posts: 249
  • Union Jacks
Re: Social Media and Activism
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2008, 06:26:48 PM »

Hey Mark,

  A couple of interesting thoughts occurred to me as I read your post:

One of the interesting things that I am discovering in Charlotte is that ironically, it makes more sense for rural or small urban setting ASO's and other orgs to be a little more out there in internet outreach, education and services because they bricks and mortar base is stretched too thin as far as finances, manpower and ease of reach (physical location.)[/flash]

I hear the same things from small urban and rural areas on this side of the country.  No money, no manpower, and the brain trust is drained.  I would like to create an online ASO to offer some of the traditional services:  benefits counseling, support groups, education on various topics, and help with disability claims are services that could be offered online pretty successfully.

I've been thinking about just creating it as a stand-alone ASO not tied to any locality.  But (here's the idea I got from your post) what about networking small and rural ASOs from across the country on one site that offers these services.  That would fill in the gaps that so many areas are experiencing.

I bought a webhosting package, and it is prepaid until the end of 2009, so I could do this without charging the affiliates (unless there is an unforeseen expense that I am not thinking of).  We could recruit volunteers from the individual ASOs, and I can train folks in benefits counseling and the Social Security stuff.  I wasn't going to incorporate as a non-profit (a butt-load of work) but I could in order to make it more attractive to agencies.  I was also thinking about doing outreach to universities and colleges.  College students are wired in by default, and would probably love something like this.

I think I've found a good way to provide support groups online--and by support groups I mean small groups with confidentiality required--with some Open Source software named Moodle.  It is technically for offering online courses, but the structure will lend itself to closed groups pretty easily.  Here's a link:  http://www.aidslawproject.com/thelivingroom/  Log in as guest, PW guest.  Don't laugh, it is not complete by any means.  This is just one part of what will be a much larger effort.  Eventually, there will be blogs, search pages on various topics, a forum (already there, but hidden) an ftp library, and I will probably put in a bookstore and gift shop (or some kind of store).

That's enough brain fart for today.  We're just tossing around ideas, right?  What do you think.  Would something like this do what you want to do?

JR

It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth,
The minor fall, the major lift,
The baffled king composing Hallelujah!

L. Cohen

Offline Iggy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,435
Re: Social Media and Activism
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2008, 06:41:37 PM »
We're just tossing around ideas, right?

I'm going to reply first with one of your last thoughts as I think it might be the key.  Idea wise I think it has something worth exploring, but in a pragmatic sense - I just don't think it is going to be something that my ASO (or those of a similar profile) will find an immediate use.

The problem I think is that your idea is two steps ahead of a place where I think the internet naive ASO's are ready to go at this time.  Also I think it is something that an ASO that is still overwhelmed with local issues won't have the luxury to consider when the mission of what you seem to be describing is more broad based.

Now that is my gut reaction based only off of an initial reading of what you propose and I am gonna admit that maybe I am misunderstanding your idea, so if so, please correct me and clarify.

If it helps with understanding where I am coming from, my goals with my local ASO is to help them better serve their local client base through web based services that can offer help to local audiences in ways that their limited staff can not do on their own.

I AM interested in your idea, but confess that I've got too many pots on the stove at this time to look into a broader project in a significant sense - though I am up for talking about the ideas of it.


Offline Winiroo

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,082
  • Positive since 1991
Re: Social Media and Activism
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2008, 10:26:18 PM »
Psshh

I was stupid enough to think I could pull off my own dotcom. I didn't have the time, money or energy for it.

Winiroo.com

I did have mediocre success with the free websites I generated when i was active in chatting in various chat rooms. I never got money from it but the sites where accessed alot.

I haven't been on any of my old pages in forever to delete bad links or add anything useful in a very long time. Not long after I went to a HTML class at the local jr college and got a certification I lost the creative urge that made me make them in the first place.
Hell I cant even remember where some of the free sites I've made are located and what the user name and passwords are LOL


Good luck in your venture.

 


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