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  • Rune 15:17 on August 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    We’ve moved – find us at changeyourtools.com 

    We’ve moved this blog to http://www.changeyourtools.com

    There will be no more updates on this adress…

  • Rune 10:43 on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: online campaigning   

    Communicator for Social Change 

    Just before leaving for holiday – which I’m still enjoying – I ran a one-week course on social media and social change at MS ActionAid sporting a combination of great external lectures, intense toolstraining and the actual design of online campaigns. The content and context of the course is probably pretty relevant to the readers of this site – so here you’ll have a couple of the inputs of the course.

    As you’ll notice the key external speakers were talking via Skype – which is a great way to get not just the best of what’s going on in Denmark (which in the field of online campaigning is is not much!) – but the absolute pioneers in online campaigning for social change world wide! However, it’s not quite the most optimal and engaging format – to look at a person in front of his or her webcam via a poor quality skype-connection- and especially not when recorded on a video-camera for documentation as is the case here. Hence, it might only be the nerds and geeks out there actually whatching it all through – but it’s definately worth the effort. To my best knowledge, Jeremy Heimans and Josh Levy range among the pioneers of redesigning politics to take advantage of the powers of new social media!

    Jeremy Heimans talks about his experience with starting getup.org and avaaz.org and educating us on how to introduce ambitous and large scale online campaigning in a country with no such tradition – Australia, his home country.

    [blip.tv ?posts_id=2376946&dest=-1]

    Josh Levy takes us on a tour around some of the best examples of how to use online campaign sites to spawn offline engagement and introduces key concepts such as ‘The Hub’, ‘The Spoke’ and the all-important ‘List’, that all online-campaigns seek to build – with Obama and Moveon.org as the most successful so far.

    [blip.tv ?posts_id=2394304&dest=-1]

    A big thank you to both Josh and Jeremy for taking their time to educate us  (and to my friend Solana Larsen of Global Voices who introduced me to them!)

    For those interested in the course itself and other materials relating to the subject – a comprehensive if somewhat messy resource-room can be found here

    At MS ActionAid we’re planning a follow-up course in both Copenhagen and Nairobi, Kenya in October for regional activists, social change-makers and citizen journalists alike.

  • Rune 10:22 on July 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Change your tools – two-pages in ‘Udvikling’ 

    For the Danish speaking audience, your favourite blogger at this site – Anders – just ran a two-page feature on mobile-tech in Africa Image of the newspaper Udvikling in the Danish dev.-newspaper Udvikling. Click the image to download in pdf.

  • Rune 22:07 on July 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Virtual sit-in at the Presidents palace 

    Apart from being an innovative use of geo-mapping – or geo-bombing – it’s also fun: Tunesian bloggers has made a virtual sit-in at the presidential palace

  • Rune 20:49 on June 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Anyone sceptical about Twitter – please go for #Iranelection 

    So then it came to us – a large scale social upheveal evolving with twitter as an al important medium of exchange and repporting.

    Yesterday we looked a little into blogs and youtube – today we continue with a note on twitter. The Iranian post-election rupture  is my debut on twitter – I just had to take a look at how it was evolving on twitter, and must say that it is totally overwhelming. So, are you puzzled on what to make of twitter – this is the time to check it out. It was big during the Mumbai shootings last year – but this time its really quite extraordinary to see what this extremely simple tools does to spread communication across the globe – in a situation where all established media has been shut down and few else than Robert Fisk and a couple of Al Jazeera journalists remain in the country.

    The trick of twitter is the hashtag. This is the most important horisontal organizing concept, whereby people with no prior knowledge of eachother can engage in the same dialogue. For Iran its #Iranelection. By typing this on your twitter-search, you get a constantly expanding tread of links, comments and invitations to engage by individuals all over the world – each minutes the updates are counted in hundreds, and is by all comparisons the number one source for information on what’s going on right now.

    If you still doubt the importance of this new tool – how about this: the US state department has asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled maintainance-update, that would have disabled the service for a couple of hours – in order for the flow of information to be kept alive.

    So why don’t you get started? Twitter.com, make your own acount and search for #Iranelection and watch the posts come  in second by second.

    Need a guide? go for mashable.com

    Additional inspiration and perspective can be found at Clay Shirky recent TED-talk or more specifically at the follow-up blog interview on Iran

  • Rune 21:23 on June 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Iran – the revolution will not be televised; but blogged! 


    Musavi post-election support rally

    Having friends with Iranian background and met people still living there, struggling and striving for change – the latest events in the aftermath of the elections are thrilling to say the least. No upheavel of such proportions have been seen since the revolution in 1979.

    In the context of this blog – it’s not less interesting whats going on. The regime has expelled foreign journalists and closed of media reporting from the established media outlets. However, Iran has for some years now been one of the largest blogging-nations – ranging third worldwide in numbers of blogs – as a direct result of the supression of the freedom of expression.

    Despite the crack down on professional media – reports, images and video-footage is flowing around in great abundance on blogs, youtube and facebook. No doubt, when things are boiling over as they are right now – the ability to communicate local protests and demonstrations is all important for the snowball to keep on rolling.

    Despite the ban on gatherings, people continue to take to the streets – and document these events on blogs and youtube extensively:

    The Rotten Gods blog is a good first stop for first-hand documentation and coverage on the events – including video footage of huge demonstrations, killings of demonstrators, peaceful manifestations etc.

    The Volcano Erupts is one recent youtube-video mashup of a great deal of photos and videos  from the protests shows quite well how apt and fast activists and citizen reporters use video, blogs and images, combine it with popular tunes and thereby help build the narrative and document the events:

    I’m no person to say where it’ll all lead – but for sure, the free availability of citizen media is an important contribution to getting the stories out and continue to build the pressure on the regime. As in all social upheavels, acces to or control over media and information is one of the most important aspects of getting the upper hand and ruling the game. What is happening right now in Iran is turn out to be a case in point on how dificult control of information has become with the unfolding media revolution.

    Up for more? A good overview of Iranian blogs in English can be found here.

    (And yes, the title of this post is a reference to the film about the coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2003 and the takeover of the  large broadcasting stations as the all important measure in the – failed – effort to takover goverment. The film – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – has some quite extraordinary footage of the minutes and hours of chaos inside the presidential palace – and some even more historical ones where the assumed president-to-be appears on the privately held TV-network for the first time, thanks the TV-station for his rise to primacy and lays out their whole scheme in front of the rolling cameras.)

  • Rune 21:58 on June 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Online Politics 101 

    Via Josh Levy – behind change.org among other interesting projects, and coming up skype-lecturer at Communicator for Social Change that I’m wrapping up these weeks – I was introduced to epolitics.com and the guide Online Politics 101 (pdf). It’s a nice introductory read for anyone interested in how to use the Internet for social change written for a US context, but applicable elsewhere. Recomended.

  • Rune 20:48 on June 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply  


    While I’m not to convinced on the examples proposed by Max Gladwll on how social media might produce social change he gave me a chance to see a rather thrilling example of how strong webvideo can be, when kept as simple as in this one, by now seen by more than 21 millions viewers worldwide:

    For sure, this guy’s been travelling a lot – but apart from that the means are so dead simple – and still, the video bit produces a sense of unitity and universality that reminds me of all the kids playing football in every corner of the world in Michael Winterbottoms masterpiece, In This World.

  • Rune 21:49 on May 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Global Voices online 

    A longtime foreign correspondent who took a buyout a few years ago told me that when he visited the newsroom recently, the old globe that pinpointed the Post’s foreign bureaus was gone – it would have looked too embarrassing. (Todd Gitlin, openDemocracy)

    What better way to follow up on yesterdays post on the crises of the established media houses, than to point to one of its most promising supplements or even substitutes: citizen journalism from the Global South substituting the vanishing foreign correspondents – Global Voices Online. While the continued cut-backs in forreign correspondents on all major newspapers and networks remains a troublesome fact, citizen journalism spawned by new social media in the form of the Global Voices is one of the most promising projects to arrive in the battle over what shape the new developing publics and media formats will take in the years to come. 

    There’s still a long way to go before ‘small’ projects (in terms of funding, staffing, outreach and audience) like Global Voices will have an impact in itself without the all-important coverage by traditional media. Nevertheless, Global Voices is indeed already a truly amazing creation in itself today: it gathers bloggers from all over the world – and primarily outside Europe and North America – translates, curates, trains and inspires – and creates an outstanding global citizens-dialogue on a very broad number of issues.

    At the Global Change-course this autumn we will have a first run on a new collaboration with 20 leading editors and bloggers from the outstanding Global Voices-network, in which the Global Voices bloggers will act as mentors to our students and thereby directly train them in becoming skilled and experienced bloggers themselves.

  • Rune 22:20 on May 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: about this blog, crises of journalism   

    The crisis of journalism – and this blog… 

    Boiled down, this blog is about the intersection of media, publics and social change – with an emphazis on new social & digital media and technological tools that enable each and everyone of us to contribute in new was to both media, publics and the ignitement of social change.

    Hence, we’ll be blogging about new technological developments opening new perspectives for social changemakers (as you and I!); about the transformation of publics locally and globally with the rise of citizen journalism as the major revolution these years – and the intense crisis of ‘institutionalised’ journalism on the other; and finally, about the more floffy concept of social change in itself, which we – when busy not writing on this blog – spends a good deal of our time with making sense of…

    Quite a few posts from my hand are likely to come in the form of ‘today’s link’, instead of longer pieces on particular issues. Hopefully this can serve you as a reader as inspiration…

    Which brings me to… Today’s link – taking the second of the above mentioned bullets as starting point: the crisis of journalism.

    While much is being said and written about the crisis – or crises – of journalism – few pieces clears the ground so well as the recent one by Todd Gitlin just published at openDemocracy: Journalisms many Crises.

    An early quote sets the scene:

    “The surplus of crises has commentators scrambling for metaphors, even mixed ones. The Project for Excellence in Journalism put it this way in a recent report: “The newspaper industry exited a harrowing 2008 and entered 2009 in something perilously close to free fall. Perhaps some parachutes will deploy, and maybe some tree limbs will cushion the descent, but for a third consecutive year the bottom is not in sight.” The newspaper industry in the United States is afflicted with a grave and deepening sense that it is moribund, that the journalistic world they knew is vanishing; that it is melting away not just within their lifetimes but before their eyes.”

    Should you prefer the more tangible facts and figures, here’s your meal:

    “The numbers virtually shout out that this is not paranoia. Overall, newspaper circulation has dropped 13.5 percent for the dailies and 17.3 percent for the Sunday editions since 2001; almost 5 percent just in 2008. In what some are calling the Great Recession, advertising revenue is down – 23 percent over the last two years – even as paper costs are up. Nearly one out of every five journalists working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone. Foreign bureaus have been shuttered – all those of the Boston Globe, for example, New England’s major paper.”

    In a Danish context, the crisis is perhaps not quite as dramatic – yet? – but nevertheless severe. Look for the latest resume of the discussions at the informal and closed meeting of media-managers by Lasse Jensen in Information.dk (in Danish).

    Your favourite blogger on this site – that being mr. Anders – already made the prediction a couple of weeks ago that 2009 will se the closing down of one of the major Danish newspapers due to some of the structural difficulties, that Todd Gitlin describes in his great piece.

    One important merit of Gitlins approach to the crises is to underscore that it shouldn’t be seen as an economic one alone. It has everything to do with content and coverage as well. Gitlin points to the horrendous coverage of the runup to the Iraq war and the failure to scrutinize the housing bubble as two major failures of institutionalised journalism, which calls for anything but a sole focus on finance when looking at the future of journalism.

    (And hey, should you have the time, today’s second link is the original source of much of Gitlins work: Pew’s The State of the News Media)

    All for now, Rune

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