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Posts about socialchange

21 May 2008

Some nonprofits, older and more institutionalized, are wary of giving their members “control” of their “message” in the realm of social networks and social media. Mostly, I think that’s nothing more than a fear of losing power. When you think you know how to change the world, it can be hard for some people to want to involve others — or give anyone else the credit. What’s interesting here is that there’s a significant ability for activists to self-organize. The message to nonprofits from the past few years seems pretty clear: Stand in our way, and we’ll just go around you.

11 October 2007

For the Genocide Intervention Network, involvement in the “social web” is really an outgrowth of our entire mission: To form the first anti-genocide constituency, and to empower our members with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. The words “constituency” and “empower” are key. We’re not simply looking for a mailing list or an ATM — we want an educated, active movement of people interested in preventing and stopping genocide. Our members need to be able to think for themselves on the issue, not to simply be another name on a list, but to be a hub in an ever-expanding network.

4 December 2006

Offering concrete ideas for how to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem can give people a sense that they, as individuals, have a stake in an issue. The Genocide Intervention Network links to a list of “ten things you can do to stop genocide.” Ivan Boothe argues that these steps, broken down into easily digestible chunks, give people an easy way to participate. Although they also link to the Genocide Intervention Network’s main web site, that isn’t always the point. “A number of these steps aren’t even within our organization,” Boothe says. This sort of advocacy is similar to bottom-up, open-source collaborative projects like Wikipedia, in which no one group has proprietary ownership over an idea or a product; instead, the goal is a constant generation of awareness and ideas. A MySpaceMySpace is a social network that is not built around a single identity. Users can and do have multiple profiles, with no restrictions on the “names” they use. MySpace is used by many musical groups. page, says Boothe, isn’t simply an advertisement for an organization, “it’s a tool for mobilizing people for different kinds of action.”

30 May 2006

It seems important to me to keep these different types of elites in mind as we think about the intersections of technology and social change. One way of achieving change is by appealing to the state’s powerholders — traditional power, that is. But throughout history, coalitions of people without this power have banded together to effect change. It may be that among the three other types of elites, a social movement can emerge that represents true democratic change.

28 May 2006

The Genocide Intervention Network is a nonprofit based in DC that is a little more than two years old. We began as a student group at Swarthmore College with an idea: to change the way the world responds to genocide. As a result of our origins as a student group, we have a strong history in using online social networking and viral campaigns, and this continues even as we branch out into other constituencies. In our first year of existence, we raised a quarter-million dollars for peacekeepers in Darfur — the only NGO to raise money for protection rather than humanitarian aid — primarily through student networks, both actual and virtual.

19 November 2008

Ivan Boothe helped start the Genocide Intervention Network< in 2004, and was responsible for communications, web development and social networking strategy. He has since started doing freelance work on his own at rootwork.org<. So he cautioned me that some of the information might not be entirely up to date that he shared on listserv including a pointer to his awesome slide show with audio.

Ivan is one of a small number of nonprofit early adopters in social media and social networks — he has a couple of years of experience under his belt — so his wisdom is priceless<.

Ivan says their organization’s social networking initiatives have been successful in building the “brand” of an anti-genocide constituency. Ivan notes, “Social networking is a long-term approach and using traditional metrics of advocacy or fundraising it may not look like much. But over a long period of time social networking is actually critical in building an effective, educated political constituency.”

So, what is the right fit to use a social networking strategy?  Ivan suggests:

Social networking is a natural fit for an organization that wants more than an ATM of donors or a list of petition-signers, but active and engaged political organizers.

24 April 2008

Ivan Boothe, for example, says his organization’s goal is to “involve people who are active and educated about the issue who become leaders as members. Our members are not just a mailing list. GI-Net is all about giving up control … Organizations need more than a membership card. We are creating a permanent anti-genocide constituency.”

18 February 2008

The group … uses social networking to call its members to action. A
targeted campaign of FacebookFacebook is a social network encouraging real identity — each user has a single account under their full, real name. Facebook began among US college students but has quickly expanded to people of all ages around the world. messages in Indiana netted a large number
of students willing to call Sen. Richard Lugar’s top donors (a list of
which was uploaded from opensecrets.org) and ask them to pressure the
senator to approve a bill on Darfur he was holding in his committee.

4 December 2006

Offering concrete ideas for how to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem can give people a sense that they, as individuals, have a stake in an issue. The Genocide Intervention Network links to a list of “ten things you can do to stop genocide.” Ivan Boothe argues that these steps, broken down into easily digestible chunks, give people an easy way to participate. Although they also link to the Genocide Intervention Network’s main web site, that isn’t always the point. “A number of these steps aren’t even within our organization,” Boothe says. This sort of advocacy is similar to bottom-up, open-source collaborative projects like Wikipedia, in which no one group has proprietary ownership over an idea or a product; instead, the goal is a constant generation of awareness and ideas. A MySpaceMySpace is a social network that is not built around a single identity. Users can and do have multiple profiles, with no restrictions on the “names” they use. MySpace is used by many musical groups. page, says Boothe, isn’t simply an advertisement for an organization, “it’s a tool for mobilizing people for different kinds of action.”

26 April 2006

This weekend, tens of thousands of Americans will rally in front of
the U.S. Capitol — and in dozens of other cities across the country — to
send the message to Congress that it’s time for America to step up and
help end the systematic slaughter of more than 400,000 civilians in
 Darfur.

Yesterday, we caught up with two dynamic leaders at the forefront of this movement — Mark Hanis and Ivan Boothe of the Genocide Intervention Network<
(GI-Net). Hear how GI-Net is using technology to rapidly mobilize
hundreds of campus leaders and thousands of college and university
students across the country.

And find out why celebs like Nick Kristof<, Angelina Jolie<, and Oprah< are all asking their their audiences to head over to GI-Net to take action.

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