By: Rachel L. MSW, LMSW
On Monday Social Work Chats held the first of a series of discussions about online advocacy. You can read the transcript from the chat here.
Those of you who were not able to join us are probably wondering what is online advocacy? Online Advocacy:
“is the use of electronic communication technologies such as social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, YouTube, e-mail, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by citizen movements and the delivery of local information to a large audience. Internet technologies are used for cause-related fundraising, community building, lobbying, and organizing.” (source)
Online advocacy is also known as online activism, digital campaigning, digital activism, online organizing, cyberactivism, e-advocacy and e-campaigning.
One example of online advocacy is Unite Blue who has worked to connect progressives on Twitter. Unite Blue frequently uses Twitter Bombs to get a message out into the public sphere. A Twitter Bomb is when you use a specific #hashtag at an agreed upon time with the goal of getting your message to trend on Twitter and thus, hopefully, gaining a wider audience for you cause.
In the past few weeks Unite Blue has used Twitter Bombs to protest the Sequester and to show support for the United States Postal Office.
Unite Blue is currently laying the ground work to organize members in Republican states to begin working on turning their state blue in the next election. You can learn more about Unite Blue, including how to join, at their site uniteblue.com.
Online advocacy is a vast subject so we will be devoting the next few Mondays to further exploring the various aspects of this fascinating topic. On Monday March 18th we will be joined by Gary Wexler to explore the issue of social media e-advocacy and online community organizing. In the mean time you can read more about online advocacy at epolitics.com.
To view the archive of our previous chat click here. This is an example of some of the resources and tweets you will find in the archive:
— Social Work Helper (@swhelpercom) March 12, 2013