Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is no stranger to controversy. But when attacks on the nation’s leading provider of reproductive health care jumped beyond the usual suspects to include the majority of the House of Representatives in early 2011, the organization’s Online Advocacy and New Media teams snapped into crisis communications mode. Hear from a panel of current and former PPFA staffers as we discuss how we implemented an integrated strategy to inform the public, take control of the message, and flip a huge potential #Fail into the wildly successful “Stand With Planned Parenthood” advocacy and support campaign. Through PPFA’s story of what went right and not-so-right, learn how to defend your own organization using online and offline tactics while energizing your base to become your greatest advocates.
Does this proposal piss you off? In recent years, the Internet has honed its use as a platform for righteous rage, from ranting blog posts to Facebook campaigns.
Politicized outrage, as opposed to flame wars, usually starts with a gaffe or an incendiary sentiment by someone in the public eye, or an offensive ad campaign, at which point the public jumps in en masse.
Can this generate change? In March, nearly 50,000 people signed a Change.org petition demanding The New York Times apologize for its coverage of the gang-rape of a child, after bloggers called it out for victim-blaming; the Times eventually assigned an entirely new story in response. In July, it was bloggers that first pointed out that the FAMiLY LEADER pledge signed by Michele Bachmann contained (historically fantastical) nostalgia about how black families were so much better off during slavery, and that part got removed.
But are these ephemeral victories, as the horde moves on to the next shiny thing? Are they generating real conversation, or just noise? How do different technological platforms change how the conversation is carried out? And what's the best cure for a rage headache?
Are you embroiled in an cartographic dispute? Do you disagree with the official version of your geography? Do you need a up-to-date map of your area of interest?From the BP Oil Spill to the Gowanus Canal Super Fund site, Grassroots Mapping and the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science work to empower citizens around the world. Communities engage in citizen cartography and create aerial images with low-cost, DIY, open sourced technologies. This method of mapping creates on-demand imagery that’s 30 to 50 times higher resolution than what’s available via Google Maps. It allows people to document, to lobby and to enact change in their neighborhoods. The Public Laboratory community has expanded to organize projects around the world. Recently recognized with the award of $500,000 Knight Foundation grant, that work continues to expand. We’ll discuss the unique challenges and obstacles of scaling citizen science, IRL community development work, and online technology engagement.
by Boyd Neil
In this presentation, Boyd Neil a former political activist and trade unionist looks at the fallacy that social web advocacy and activism channels energy away from making real-world social and political change. Using experience as a political and union organizer in the 70s and early 80s, Boyd demonstrates that slacktivism online is a failure not of the social web but of poor 'organizing'.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement began in September, 2011 with the goal of holding a 24/7 public protest at the nerve center of American finance. Uniquely among American mass protest movements, the "occupation" used a variety of specially configured audio, video and social media resources to built an independent media capacity to extend the reach of its message and bypass mainstream media filters. These systems emphasized the role of the citizen observer over traditional media engagement strategies, and by creating "news" and validating events through shared experience, they helped the occupation movement achieve and sustain critical mass. This panel features members from various occupation sites who have worked on national media efforts.
9th–13th March 2012