There have been some great articles about the conference in recent weeks. Here’s a few:
Chrissie Brodigan put out a straight up review full of wonderful comments. But there’s more: she reviews the use of online media by the Thompson and Bloomberg Mayoral Campaigns, and offers ten tips for the next generation of online apps. Read Brodigan on Huffpo for the details of each tip:
- Data-Hungry Developers Must Diet
- Imitate, Integrate, or Borrow From “Four Square”
- Meme, Mob, and Maybe Mock With Social Activities
- Create a Feedback Loop Around Local Issues
- You Lose Your Virginity Once, But In Politics You Have Primaries
- Keep it Simple, but Leverage Advanced User Personas and Segmentation
- Get Your Google Map On
- Provide “What to Expect” When You’re Expecting Voter Turnout
- Translation Party
- Accountability Analytics Are Awesome
Peter Miller is less focused on elections, but has gone on the conference trail. As a fan of conferences, I get really excited about any article that makes the effort to compare and contrast them. Miller attended Technology for Social Change — The Grassroots Use of Technology Conference X at Northeastern University in Boston before coming down to NY for Organizing 2.0. Both events have a similar theme, but cover very different topics.
There are basically two communities at work here, and while they overlap at the margins, they are not the same. On one end of the spectrum you have local community technology advocates, who focus on storytelling, bridging the digital divide, access to basic tools for nonprofits, and technical education with an emphasis on open source tools. On the other you have the full-fledged online organizers and new media gurus, folks who take access to broadband, Content Management Systems and Constituent Relationship Managers for granted. For this group, it’s not about access of purity of code, it’s how to increase online donations by 15% with A/B testing or provide a clear-cut ROI for ten hours a week on Facebook.
Miller did a group job covering both conferences. If you missed the event – and want to understand exactly what you missed without having to catch up on all the content – read his article, posted on the Open Media Boston site.
Libero Della Piana covered Organizing 2.0 for the People’s World. His main take away:
While acknowledging the real challenges of the “digital divide,” the unequal access to new technologies in working-class communities and communities of color, presenters and participants alike saw embracing new technology as key to organizing victories today a and in the future.
It’s true, although it doesn’t quite capture the intensity of the argument. For many years, some quarters of the social change world have resisted adopting needed technological change because of spurious claims that it simply didn’t apply to communities with less access to computers and internet. On the other hand, enthusiasts who spoke of the internet as a magical tool that automatically increases democracy are guilty of underplaying how it can also exacerbate existing inequality.
That said, it does feel like we’re all finally on the same page.