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Social Media and Activism

I today was at the annual meeting of a group of web people from Swiss NGOs. The meeting was at the offices of Greenpeace in Zurich and about 30 persons from different NGOs attended. This year’s topic was the use of Social Media / Web 2.0 platforms like Facebook and Twitter for NGOs. Some of the organisations were quite active in this field, while others observed with a certain scepticism or did not become active due to missing personal resources.

After the presentation of some campaigns run partly on Facebook there was a lively discussion about best practices and difficulties with the work. In general it was observed that it is quite difficult to get people becoming active besides click-activism in a social media campaign. It is also sometimes difficult to reduce complex situations to 120 letters – the language has to be very concise and pithy.

In the afternoon there was an input of Peter Hogenkamp, a person who is professionally working since years with blogs and social media, as a publisher and consultant. He started with a video: What the hell is social media? summing up in a frantic way ten reasons why you should get involved with Twitter and the like. He encouraged the use with many examples, but his style was frantic like the video – the nervous style of this media-junkie

A similar input in this NGO group made me start blogging 4 years ago and discussions let me to start a Facebook page for my office and for the Circle of Good Will. Now I just launched a Twitter account, only to reserve the address, as the speaker had proposed – what I’m going to do with it time will show.

What the hell is social media – from the video

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