Hello, I’m Ivan BootheI’m into frontend engineering (especially back-of-the-frontend), creative social protest and radical nonviolent praxis. These things go together more than you think. Read more about me
Some really incredible presentations here at the NetSquared conference, both from featured projects and individual speakers. Seth Horwitz and I are busily collecting information for next Tuesday’s Philly NetSquared event.
The NetSquared Year Three conference has gotten off to a great start: Nonprofit staffers, activists, techies and funders gathering to talk about – and award some money to – using technology for social change.
Some nonprofits, older and more institutionalized, are wary of giving their members “control” of their “message” in 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. But the message to nonprofits seems pretty clear: Stand in our way, and we’ll just go around you.
This week, the Genocide Intervention Network was honored to be nominated by the NetSquared community as a 2008 Featured Project for our proposal to upgrade and extend the DarfurScores.org website. Thank you to everyone who offered your support!
In return for NetSquared’s generosity, I wanted to post some tips for nonprofits thinking about using Drupal for their sites – when to use it and when not to use it, as well as a few useful tidbits from a recent workshop.
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 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.
Just wanted to highlight a small initiative the Genocide Intervention Network sent out today using Collactive, a web firm that helps organizations use their network of members to promote news stories and websites to larger audiences. In this case, we are asking our members to vote up an article on our anti-genocide hotline, 1-800-GENOCIDE.
Although these two panels – “Leveraging the Power of Participatory Media” and “The Future of Online Outreach” – were held separately at the 2007 Nonprofit Technology Conference, I thought that they related so well that I’d present them together.
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. 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. Social media can be “a tool for mobilizing people for different kinds of action.”
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.