Social Activism Online 

5 October 2008  
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Damian O’Broin gave an excellent presentation on the A-Z of social activism.  Here follows a list of campaigns that have worked for various not for profit organisations.  If you are involved in this sector (as I am), you’d do well to go through the list and ask yourself ‘now how can I adapt that to suit our story?”

Social activism presentation can be viewed here.

Here are my notes from the talk:

  • Act Blue – tool that raises money for democratic candidates in the US. Contribute to campaigns, can fundraise, etc.
  • Bloggers – NGO blogs don’t tend to be that great.  Many are uninteresting and read like PR.  One exception: Adam Shelton in the UK.  A blog that talks about relevant issues to the issue of shelter in a well written way.
  • Coca Cola Life – set up to utlise the CC distribution network.  Using it to distribute rehydration salts to people who need them desperately.  Campaign to bring pressure on Coca Cola to allocate one shelf on their carts for items more important than fizzy pop!
  • Doggies – how to engage supporters in an imaginatve way.  Doggy Snaps – like Flickr but for people who love their dogs.  Including Pooch Personality… 7,000 views.
  • Email – email campaigns by Amnesty International are just brilliant.  Email sent, less than a week later, an update… then a final follow up letting people know their action is taking effect.
  • Friends of the Earth – actforclimate campaign to 1500 email database.  Asked people to make a submission, link to a form, where you could build your submission and it was sent to Dept of Env.  500 took action.  when you make it easy, it’s powerful.
  • Greenpeace – Virtual March on Whaling 2005.  Were having a march in Japan/Korea, encouraged supporters to take pics of themselves with no whaling signs, these were added to the site, and printed to be carried by the marchers.
  • Hard facts.  Intelligent Giving – rates UK charities and talks about issues in an upfront way.
  • I First Aid – great use of podcasting by St Johns Ambulance.  Can download first aid advice and take a course via postcasting.
  • Japan – new types of barcode (QR Codes you can see them on here: url.ie)
  • Karaoke – campaign by UK homeless agency, send a singer – christmas corporate fundraising. Raised £1 million + last year.
  • Life is for 2nd life! American Cancer Socity – relay for life second life.  raised $200,000 by holding a virtual sponsored walk in 2L.
  • Mark Thomas – UK political comedian.  Sprang up after he got enraged about demo’s being banned.. mcdemo’s…
  • National Rifle Association – NRA Blacklist.com – decided to make it a badge of honour to be a part of the NRA blacklist.  By signing the petition you are adding yourself to the blacklist (campaign against legal guns)
  • Obama – if you want to look at good email campaigns, sign up for his…
  • Profanity – bollocks to poverty campaign by Sinead.  In tunes with bebo and FB users.  Run in tandem with make poverty history.  Video, music, auctions, etc.  Action oriented, youth focussed. No dusty-ness
  • Qwitter – social tool to help people give up smoking!
  • Remembering – THT to remember all those who died from AID.  Nice campaign to remember 17,000 people who have been lost to AIDS.  Friends can create an online lasting memorial to that person.  Thousands of ribbons.
  • S – I didn’t get this.  I was zoning off, but hey it was the middle of the afternoon and I was alert for A-R!
  • Twitter – dogstrust – not pushy, nice way of building a community – updates
  • Unconvinced – Actionaid – my action aid – allows you to take part, join community…sounds like a nice idea, potential? mycharity.ie allows you to do that for a range of charities.  Are poeple going to bother?  Doesn’t ahve the critical mass.  Better to migrate to a group in FB.
  • VAT – run by Irish Charities tax reform gruop a few years ago.. vatcampaign.com – try to change it that charities have to pay VAT (must pay but can’t claim it) – campaign to zero rate charities.  13,000 took part, 12,000 supporter dbase.
  • Wolves – defenders of wildlife action fund.  Email re. Palin’s wolf killing record – put it on the agenda.  really good use of email to raise funds for specific action
  • Xmas trees – born out of desperation from homeless charity from Edinburgh… buy a tree now, they buy those trees and you collect the tree from the depot…bethany’s care shelter in edinburgh.
  • Youtube – source of many great videos carrying messages.
  • Zack Exley – next up

The list of links may be found here:

Now I’m going off to look at  each of these in more detail.  Excellent presentation with lots of meaty thought provoking content by an excellent presenter.

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