NettuesdayActivist Communities Using Social Media


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This presentation was delivered at Philadelphia Net Tuesday on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009.

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NettuesdayActivist Communities Using Social Media

  1. 1. Activist Communities Using Social Media for Net Tuesday, July 7, 2009 Chris Bartlett @harveymilk Thanks Ivan and Seth
  2. 2. A community thrives by its connections, not by its collections! It's the relationships, and the prospect of future relationships, that keep members active and excited. @valdiskrebs
  3. 3. On-line community network @valdiskrebs
  4. 4. On-line community network  Outer Orbit- Blue nodes- not connected/lurkers. More than 60% of the group.  Middle Orbit- Connections to prior acquaintances- no sense of belonging yet. Likely to leave or become passive and will do so in unison. About 20% of the group. @valdiskrebs
  5. 5. The core of the network @valdiskrebs
  6. 6. The core of the network  “They are very involved and have formed a connected cluster. The leaders of the OLC are embedded in the core. The core members will stay and build the community. Unfortunately they are in the minority. The core nodes are usually less than 20% of most on-line groups. Although small, they are a powerful force of attraction. It is the core that is committed and loyal to the OLC and will work on making it a success. They see a win-win for themselves and the group -- better connectivity will help the individual and the group simultaneously.” @valdiskrebs
  7. 7.  We are all bundles of potentiality that only manifest in relationship.  If we're to evoke kindness, intelligence, accountability and learning in organizations, we need to promote healthy relationships. -Margaret Wheatley
  8. 8. What does it take to build strongly woven networks?  A shared ethos/sense of purpose  Geographical proximity  An understanding of the self-benefit of introducing other nodes on the network to each other  Shared projects (back channel of events, collection of group data, mapping of network).
  9. 9. What does it take to build strongly woven networks?  Breaking people out of isolating clusters AND  Reinforcing the uniqueness of the tribe  The value of inconvenience (Clay Shirky)  Creating opportunities for off-line connection- mentorship, job coaching, job banking, social meetups, dating profiles, housing, help-wanted.  How do new members of the network feel welcomed and appreciated?
  10. 10. What does it take to build strongly woven networks  Twitter: – Replies – Retweeting – Following people, and following friends of friends – DM (direct message): using this tool to ramp up connection with friends – Requesting that your friends follow others
  11. 11. No on 8  Twitter account set up to combat Proposition 8 (anti-gay proposition in California).  Tweeting of organizing / links  Establishing connections between No on 8 activists  Retweeting No on 8 tweets from others  Fundraising
  12. 12. Stickam  Opportunity for video/audio connection  Conference room set up by topic  Opportunities to set up individual live rooms for connections with friends / fellow activists  Security concerns (re: taping of meetings) need to be addressed
  13. 13. Radical Faerie Heart Circle  On-line meeting of 50 Radical Faeries from around the world  Set up quarterly, at different time zones to encourage worldwide participation  Thought given to reproducing “real-life” community rituals on-line.  Opportunity for participation by those who otherwise would be excluded due to geographic distance / cost of travel  Jump from on-line to FTF and back
  14. 14. Ning  Opportunity to create and cultivate your own social network  Map it out- note needs (demographic / geographic / skills)  Aggregation of social network tools on-site
  15. 15. Gay Men’s Health Ning  In two weeks, over two hundred activists from around the world have joined  Looking at ways to bring people into the inner circle  Ning’s technology “rewards” regular participation by highlighting those who regularly participate  Debate re: access
  16. 16. Gay Bar Mitzvah organizing on Twitter
  17. 17. Connection  Understand the network: encourage connections between the people you know and don’t know. Bring people into the inner orbit.  Jump from on-line to FTF and back  Let there be something at stake- a price for participating
  18. 18. Acknowledgements and Contacts  Thanks to Valdis Krebs for his useful theories on social networking and on-line communities.  I can be reached on Twitter @harveymilk or by email at