Notes from Activism session

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Marty Kearns - Green Media Toolshed

Price of calling anywhere in the world has gone down

Bowling Alone was wrong -- we have more social ties than we used to to have, it is coming out of sleep and TV. We know about creating individual and organization capacity for facilitating change. We don't know much about building networking capacity.

Networks matter. And now we can map them and see them, and we can use network theory.

The structure of Romantic and Sexual Relations at "Jefferson High School" (see

Talks about The rise of the "Do Not Call Network", and how fast people signed up Pug lovers network biggest on Meetup. 23,280 memeber in 133 groups. The FUH2 site, Mapping craters, Chevy Tahoe commercials

Michael Silberman - EchoDitto

Worked on Dean Campaign -- meetups, house parties, aand real world events. Anyone can be an organizer or fundraiser.

  • Evite -- 250K per month
  • Facebook for college campuses.

Getting your members together offline 1) What kind of program? Volunteer / Fundraising / Hybrid? Frequency -- one time or regular intervals? Location - private homes or public place? Resources -- what can org provide to organizers? Advantage of coordinated, people feel part of larger thing.

2) Choosing your tools Third party tools -- meetup, evite, party lanch

Custom tools DFALink (lots more) Yahoo Groups SurveyMonkey Goodstorm

Examples able to do a great job amplifying the work being done on the ground.

Ignite and sustan the fire

[Editorial note -- Michael has a great paper at]

Aaron Pava of CivicActions

Starts with campaigns, Save Ocean Beach, Put together website on short notice, including Letter to Editor module to get people to send letter to park manager. Send out to his friends. Got them to send url to mails. Got people to post stuff on social networking site. Generated thousands of letters to park manager.

Example #2, Free software foundation campaign against Digital Rights Management, Put up site, did media events (people with Hazmats at Seattle Microsoft conference), and then put up media on social sites. Collected cellphone numbers

Q & A

Leveraging social networks. Look on social networks for allies. Look at what messages your non-web friends and relatives send around. Find the communities that are already interested in the issue.