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The New Environment for Advocates & NGOs


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Director Lee Rainie presented 10 fresh realities of the digital age to journalists, government officials, and leaders of non-governmental organizations from 33 countries.

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The New Environment for Advocates & NGOs

  1. 1. The New Environment for Advocates & NGOs 10 fresh realities of the digital age State Department Visitors Program January 17, 2012 Lee Rainie: Director, Pew Internet Project Email: [email_address] Twitter: @Lrainie
  2. 2. Digital Revolution 1 Internet (83%) and Broadband at home (67%) 71% 67%
  3. 3. Digital Revolution 2 Social networking – 50% of all adults % of internet users
  4. 4. Digital Revolution 3 Mobile – 84% 327.6 million Total U.S. population: 315.5 million 2011
  5. 5. Mobile internet connectors – 63% adults
  6. 6. 35% own “smartphones”
  7. 7. New Reality 1) The world is full of networked individuals using networked information Image attribution: Flickrverse, Expanding Ever with New Galaxies Forming Cobalt123
  8. 8. New Reality 2) Giant changes in civic culture and mediasphere have created new opportunities for NGOs and activists
  9. 9. New reality 2) Corollary <ul><li>New civic actors are emerging with social media </li></ul>
  10. 10. New reality 2) Corollary <ul><li>Do-it-yourself/hacker ethic of networked individuals can be tapped to fill gaps </li></ul>
  11. 11. New Reality 3) The is no high-tech secret sauce for effective message making
  12. 12. New Reality 3) Corollaries <ul><li>Credibility is assessed through multiple filters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trusted information sources (including search engines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal beliefs/experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggressive fact checking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yes, bad information hangs around, but it can be attacked in several ways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recanting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better information, especially from multiple sources </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. New Reality 4) Mass-media megaphones still matter to getting a story out, but new messaging opportunities have emerged David Edelman: “Branding in the Digital Age: You’re Spending Your Money in All the Wrong Places,” Harvard Business Review apps
  14. 14. New Reality 5) There are stages of engagement with audiences and each has a different weight
  15. 15. New reality 5) Corollaries <ul><li>The social media space is a “fifth estate” with a different civic sensibility </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook is different from Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Social media users are semi-elite, they do not represent everybody </li></ul><ul><li>Lurkers matter as an audience that is watching and assessing </li></ul>
  16. 16. New Reality 6) Influence is migrating from organizations to networks and new “experts” <ul><li>Traditional experts with new platforms, esp. blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Amateur experts who are avid contributors – sometimes with tribes </li></ul><ul><li>New algorithmic authorities </li></ul>
  17. 17. New Reality 6) Corollaries <ul><li>Social networks are more influential and are differently segmented and layered </li></ul>Sentries
  18. 18. New Reality 6) Corollaries Evaluators Social networks are more influential and are differently segmented and layered
  19. 19. New Reality 6) Corollaries <ul><li>Social networks are more influential and are differently segmented and layered </li></ul>Audience
  20. 20. New Reality 7) The flow of news has changed – and so have people’s attention zones <ul><li>Continuous partial attention to media streams </li></ul><ul><li>Immersion in deep dives </li></ul><ul><li>Info-snacking in free moments </li></ul>
  21. 21. New Reality 8) All organizations are under more scrutiny and transparency is a new marker of trust <ul><li>Surveillance – powerful watch the ordinary </li></ul><ul><li>Sousveillance – ordinary watch powerful </li></ul><ul><li>Coveillance – peers stalk peers </li></ul>
  22. 22. New Reality 9) The age of big data is upon us – and will give new power to analytics
  23. 23. New Reality 10) Critical uncertainties remain <ul><li>The architecture itself </li></ul><ul><li>Information policies </li></ul><ul><li>Social norms and attitudes </li></ul>
  24. 24. Thank you!