“The revolution will not be televised.” Maybe not. Be as we have seen in events around the world, the revolution will be tweeted, photographed, mapped and posted to our status. And most importantly: it will be documented and shared by large numbers of people, experiencing it first hand, and sharing news and updates in real time. The revolution may not be televised, but no matter where you are, you can now have a front row seat to the broadcast.
As a community organizer and network weaver myself, I am incredibly excited by the #OccupyWallStreet movement that started in New York just over three months ago now (on September 17th) in response to a failing federal economy and political process that impact local, national, and international markets. In less than a month, over 1,700 other cities started Occupy events – both in solidarity to the thousands protesting around the clock in New York’s financial district, and with a loud voice that these issues are not unique to the US. The “leaderless” organizing of the Occupy Wall Street movement has helped avoid strategic arrests or censorship but has also prompted a powerful use of social technologies.
Over the past few years, the use of social technologies during disaster response has become a central component to news and information delivery. One key element is the use of an online homebase. We are now seeing this put to great use with #OWS. There are many free online website and content creation tools available. Creating a space where you can collect and aggregate the news, content, and updates of your movement is important for people to better understand, follow, and join you. It doesn’t have to be fancy (remember: less is more) – it just needs to pull all the pieces together for your community.
Brought to you Live
The power of “now” is what makes something go from news, to breaking news. Thankfully for members of #OWS, there are various tools to livestream events, just from your mobile phone. The livestream – whether it’s video, audio, or just text – can be embedded in your online homebase and shared across social networks. The updates and first-hand accounts bring attention to a movement and generate more participation.
The most successful fundraising campaigns, advocacy efforts, and even personal experiences center on one person, one animal, one story, especially when trying to support a huge, faceless issue. #OWS has made the economy and political process a personal issue, inviting people around the US and the world to put their story on paper and share a photo of themselves with the story online. This level of personal connection inspires sharing and participation by those on the ground, and those following remotely.