The internet, as we all know, spans across the globe. That means that there are networks worldwide that activists can tap into. Today I will give you a very brief and broad introduction to some of the ways in which websites, social networking and other web-based tools can be easily used by campaigners. You do not have to be able to take to the streets to be an effective activist.I cannot speak on accessibility issues which I am sure some of you will raise: these can be addressed in the discussion afterwards. However, I would like to point out that the Drop Dow Now campaign connects disparate groups worldwide and therefore hopefully I will be able to offer some useful pointers for linking up with individuals separated by space and with varied campaign issues.
It really is that simple. What’s important now is Pages, Posts and Widgets...
Quick intro to online campaigning
Drop Dow Now
Get information out Expose realities Share articles Tell your own story Offer comment Put out coverage from demos and events – videos, photos, interviews FoI requests – exposing government/councilMobilise for change Take action
The best way is to use each of these tools together with the others – e.g. Twitter and Facebook can promote a video that is linked to the webpage on your website, from which people can explore the rest of the issue and then take action on Twitter…
While this may seem daunting, a website is really easy to set up using Wordpress or something similar. This can be your central point to post information, videos, photos, blogs, etc. Other social media can therefore link interested people back to the detail on your website.
For a fee you can have a more „professional‟-looking web address e.g.www.mycampaignwebsite.org, .com or .net...
Posts are blog posts. They will run in chronological order, with the most recent at the top. You can create „Sticky‟ posts if you want something to always stay at the top of the front page of your site.
TOP TIP: LINK IN You will get your website higher up search engine results (making it easier to find) if you link your posts to things on other websites. When you are writing, simply enter the web address on the page OR highlight some text, click the „Link‟ button and enter the web address. Also, contact groups with aims similar to yours to see if they are happy to put links to your site.
Here‟s your link button Here‟s where you put the website you want to link toHere‟s your highlighted text
Pages will be in a contents page or menu on your front page, and will always be there. They don‟t get „bumped down‟ by new posts. This is a good place to have your key information that you want people to easily access about your campaign. E.g. A clear introduction to the issues, contact details, a links page.
These are what allow you to link into Facebook and Twitter on your site. Choose the appropriate Widgets from your Dashboard > Appearance > Widgets Apply the Facebook „Like‟ Feature and the Twitter feed with „Follow‟ button.
Dragging these into your „Sidebar‟ will mean thatthey are available on your website
This means that you‟re linking into Facebook andTwitter from the start.
On Facebook it is useful to set up as both a Person and as a Community. The Person means other people can get personal status updates from the campaign, and you can invite friends to campaign events. ◦ It could be you, or a made-up name like Drop DowNow if you would a) like some anonymity, and b) if you want to share the FB responsibilities. The Community has your campaign‟s name (ie Drop Dow Now) and people can „Like‟ the campaign from your website and then receive updates from you.
Keep your Facebook page updated with links andcomments, and your page can tell you how manypeople have seen your posts.
VOCAB „Tweet‟ – a message of 140 characters or less @ - to communicate to a person # - to add context and extra data for searches, e.g. #greenwashgold Re-Tweet (RT) – repost someone else‟s Tweet Direct Message (DM) – private message
Link to your website, to videos, articles, events, etc so your followers can see them. Send your Tweets to individuals to see if they will Re-Tweet your message to their followers. ◦ Chase journalists, celebrities, groups with links to yours. Engage in conversation with people about issues – your Twitter feed need not just be about pushing information.
It can be useful to post something multiple timesso you can send it to individual people
Linking into Facebook from Twitter is easythrough your Profile.
Facebook removed its „Invite All‟ button But you can still invite all your friends to events On Google Chrome, go to Google Chrome Webstore (www.chrome.google.com/webstore) Search „Facebook Friend Inviter‟ Download the App, and there you go!
„Add to Chrome‟ and then follow the instructions, itwill select all of your friends for you.
Government e-petitions - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ ◦ if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons. Change.org - http://www.change.org/
Our Drop Dow petition gained over 28,000signatures, and we combined with a US-basedSumOfUs petition to gain over 60,000.
The hand-in was an event in itself, and could not havebeen possible without the tens of thousands ofsignatories, and everyone who promoted the petitiononline
Contacting an individual or company directly Flooding their inbox and Twitter feed with messages about your issue Provide the content of the email/Tweet so that it is minimal effort for others to engage. Give people a couple of options for Tweets, and link to further information so they (and the target) can find out more.
TOP TIPS Starting your Tweet with “@someone” directs it at them, so while it is not a private message, this will not turn up in other people‟s Twitter feeds. e.g. “Dear @sebcoe Stop Defending #Dow‟s toxic legacy. Justice for #Bhopal. http://tinyurl.com/ bu533vr” NOT “@sebcoe Stop Defending #Dow‟s toxic legacy. Justice for #Bhopal. http://tinyurl.com/bu533vr” You can generate shorter links to use in Tweets through websites like www.tinyurl.com www.tiny.cc www.bitly.com
Especially useful for people who cannot participate in person in a demonstration Linking in worldwide participation Set up websites/pages on the website/Facebook page on which people can post testimonies or images in support Use a #hashtag so that everyone supporting can be united