by Ben Rattray
Online advocacy groups traditionally focus on demanding change from Congress, which is largely unresponsive to these efforts. Find out how citizen activists are changing the face of civic participation by using social media to mobilize people in their neighborhoods, schools and cities to successfully fight for local change every day.
In 2009 the Iranian government expelled most foreign media organisations and jammed international broadcasts. For the BBC's Persian TV emails, video, Twitter and facebook postings from Iran became the main source of news. Groundbreaking stories were complied using material from viewers and listeners - often sent in with great personal risk to themselves.
The current protests in Egypt, seem to have begun on Facebook. In the Xingjian province of China government censors were defeated by a tweet - news of a popular uprising amongst the regions Uighurs in this remote province leaked out to the world's media. A military clampdown ensued, but not before foreign media got to the region and heard the Uighurs grievances. Conversely the oppressors use the same social media tools, partly to spread disinformation about their activities, but also in the cases of groups such as the Taliban, to push their beliefs.
The panel will discuss how censorship and suppression is made more and more difficult to hide by the social media revolution, and the impact of this for traditional media organisations.
Julian Siddle the inventor of the BBC's technology programme Digital Planet leads the panel with journalists from the BBC Chinese and Persian services who were actively involved in these stories. Examples of UGC - user generated content; videos produced by the public in places with repressive regimes, will be shown during the panel.
Online supporters are working to save the world one Tweet at a time. But how can nonprofit and philanthropic causes take their efforts to the next level and stand out from the crowd to increase the success of social campaigns? Hear from technologists and nonprofits on how to define and implement the ideal strategy and get advanced with metrics to make social a key component of online fundraising and advocacy campaigns.
You may have heard it called online word of mouth, peer-to-peer organizing or online grassroots outreach, but one thing is for sure: online advocacy movements can be started now more easily than ever with the ubiquity of social media and the power of internet organizing. Learn how innovative nonprofit organizations are paving the way for driving social change through the use of social technologies and how you can emulate these strategies for you own personal causes.
Urban computing isn't just fun, games and mapping. There's a dark side to urban technology, with surveillance and subversion in operation and in opposition. It shouldn’t be a surprise: most technologies we use were originally developed in the military before making their way to the civilian side. But mostly, when we talk about urban computing, we tend to focus on its optimistic and entertaining uses.
This panel confronts the relationship of cities to technology. Some things it will discuss: how soldiers literally cut holes in walls to through houses in urban wars; how the government creates geographically dark spaces on the map and launches secret satellites; and the role of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in giving rise to urban technologies we use today – to name a few. In balance, we’ll look at the ways that artists, activists, designers, architects and hackers reveal and challenge these shadowy-seeming technologies in their work.
Grassroots movements, flash mobs and now group purchasing--they all have an intimate relationship with location; it’s the linchpin that ties the movement together.
For some time now, advertisers have tried to say “Go here. Buy this. Do it now.” But as consumers, we’ve been pretty reluctant to give in easily—there’s always another holiday for a car dealership to celebrate, and a liquidation sale at a furniture store just doesn’t motivate us anymore.
Flash mobs, grassroots movements—they have been exceedingly difficult to create. They’re purely organic movements, born out of internet chatrooms, with a bitter reaction to rigid organization. The holy grail—a sudden influx of consumers—has always been just out of reach for most businesses.
But more and more, brands are finding interesting ways to cultivate flash mobs of their own. Location based services play an important role in aiding these movements. Whether it be group purchasing sites created around local communities or mobile check in apps with flocks of users descending on a bar or restaurant, new tools continue to emerge for businesses and brands to create their own mobs.
We'll look at what tools are available for building mobs and how they are being focused towards completing a specific action. We'll envision what tools have yet to emerge. And we'll explore the delicate balance between pushing an action or a message while maintaining the organic feel that characterizes these movements.
The people-powered revolution, fueled by the Internet and technology, are changing everything -- especially the worlds of activism, media and politics. Today, the conversation about the Internet’s role has never been louder or more distributed.
Activism, media and politics have always gone hand in hand. But thanks to the tools we now have and will continue to develop, their speed and influence are limitless. New technologies are emerging every day that strengthen the people-powered movement, giving individuals the tools they need to make their voices heard.
Join us for a discussion about the latest technologies and how they are bolstering the people-powered revolution by empowering people to make a difference.
11th–15th March 2011