The Blog — Collaboration
Since 2004, social media has grown to become a determining factor in the reporting of any story we come across. Without it, one wonders what might have happened over the last 16 months in the MENA region, or if the Arab Spring would have occurred at all.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Reddit, Digg – social media is what brings many of us together. And despite the sweeping changes taking place in the Middle East, one thing remains the same: there are not as many women using social media tools as men.
Protest4, an app designed to allow non-violent protestors to connect and organize, launched last week and has already acquired a significant user base amongst political activists in Pakistan.
Currently the 3rd Arab Bloggers Meeting is taking place in Tunis. While many influential and important Arab bloggers are in attendance, those coming from Palestine were denied entry visas by the Tunisian Interior Ministry. Bloggers at the conference and their supporters online have launched a campaign to draw attention to the injustice and find out why the visas were denied.
The Abahlali baseMjondolo logo Technology + a Shared Message = A Louder Political Voice in South Africa
In 2005, a shack dwellers community in Durban were denied land that they had been promised by the newly elected African National Congress - a party supposedly elected to serve them. This land would have significantly improved the community’s living situation by reducing overcrowding. This action by the government prompted members of this community to create a physical blockade to the planned development, and ultimately earn this land as their own. The Abahlali baseMjondolo (Shack Dweller’s) movement was born
Residents of Mumbai and their supporters all over the world are turning to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to share information a #MumbaiBlasts
Residents of Mumbai and their supporters all over the world are turning to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to share information about the #MumbaiBlasts: numbers for help lines, connecting families, information for contacting the police, and more. We've compiled some of the useful information here, please Tweet or Message us @aym if you have information you'd like us to add.
Looking for a way to find volunteers with professional skills to help out with short-term projects? Sparked, from the team at The Extraordinaries, is the world’s first microvolunteering network, a form of “online volunteering for busy people.” Nonprofits post small projects such as a logo redesign or a request for website feedback to Sparked. Projects are then routed to volunteers who have the relevant professional skill set or expertise and an interest in the cause. Tasks are then completed by a collaborative community of volunteers. So just what differentiates microvolunteering from other types of volunteering? What’s the appeal to both nonprofits and potential volunteers?
Over the weekend, software developers and engineers gathered at sites around the world to participate in the third Random Hacks of Kindness. What types of disaster risk- and response-related software projects came out of the hackathons?
Map of Freedom in Asia for 2010 From Freedom House; Green represents free, yellow partly free and purple not free. U.S. Places Bet on Indian Civil Society
The news coming out of Obama's visit to India has mainly covered his pressure on the Indian government to denounce its neighbors' human rights abuses. But, in a post on the White House blog, Samantha Power highlights a different strategy for fostering democracy in the region. She emphasizes the potential of civil society groups, rather than the government, to open up society throughout Asia:
"India may well become a kind of "city on the hill" that other countries look to for lessons on not only how to pull millions of people out of poverty, but also on how to strengthen democratic accountability...If Indian civil society groups should choose to share their experiences with citizens and NGOs in countries that have only recently embarked on their democratic journeys, the dividend will be profound...In support of this effort, we announced at today's expo an initial commitment of approximately $1m to support the work of Indian civil society in sharing their best practices abroad."
The Indian government has been less than eager to put pressure on neighboring countries (the weekend's elections in Burma are an apt example), so targeting civil society in an effort to see regional change may actually be more fruitful.
Editor's Note: The U.S.State Department* has convened a two day long event as part of its Tech@State initiative and we'll be posting summaries of the individual talks at Movements.org. Are you at the event? Get in touch to share a blog post.
Today, the U.S. State Department* held its third Tech@State event focusing on a program that they call "Civil Society 2.0." The goal of this initiative is “to assist non-governmental (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) in using new digital tools and technologies to increase the reach and impact of their work.” Today’s event was the first in a series of convenings that State will be holding to bring together technologists, CSOs, and those who interface between the two groups. Participants hope to learn more about the challenges CSOs face and how the tech community can help. Here are some highlights of thoughts shared and points made by this morning's speakers, including Alec Ross of the Office of the Secretary of State, Brian Gallagher of United Way, Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media, and Beth Kanter, co-author of The "Networked Nonprofit."
At AYM a big part of what we do is support other organizations' online activism campaigns. Today, Change.org has organized Blog Action Day 2010. We love this campaign. They've reached out to blogs and organizations and asked them to blog about the same topic on the same day—in this case, water—to stir up awareness.