Information Activism: Turning Information into Action

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Using games to engage and to learn strategy and tactics

I'm very excited to hear about the Tactical Technology handbook that's in the making that will provide a "hands-on" way for human rights activists to learn creative ways of using and adapting info-activism in their work.

I think the idea of using games is especially appealing to the younger generation that has grown up with technology and gaming. Putting their minds to work on social issues and problems - such as the relationship between police and citizens - in this way can not only spark interest but involvement as well - great idea.

I want to share a game that was developed by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict called "A Force More Powerful - the game of Nonviolent strategy".  It could be a very interesting tool especially for schools to teach young people about nonviolent action.

I'd love to know if others have also developed such games. 

Nancy Pearson, New Tactics in Human Rights Program Manager

Games and mobile phones

I’m also interested in games using mobile phones, like FourSquare. Would be great to have SMS based games that mimic SmartMob behavior. Any thoughts?

- Patrick Meier

games ... and mobiles

We have been looking into developing a game for our girls project. Some studies show that the  use  of computer gamers are skewed in favour of boys and men, but I read a study on cellphones in South Africa that found that girls play cellphones games more than boys do!

I was intriuged - and I still want to find out why (maybe it's because lower-end cellphones have fairly non-violent games like snake and tetris?? of course stereotyping girls into the category of non-violent!!!)

Anyway, I'd love to look at games that get young people thinking and engaging about risk behaviours  and decisions?

 

http://womensnet.org.za, Johannesburg South Africa:

Taking a BYte out of Gender Injustice

Info-activism games

Hi Women'sNet folk,

Here is an educational game I quite like for young people who have arrived in the US because of war: http://www.itvs.org/beyondthefire/

It is more interactive site than 'game' but it uses personal storytelling in a clever and pretty simple way which I think will be interesting to your work. IN fact http://www.itvs.org have many great interactive websites examples that are educational.

This company based in India was a 2008 Stockholm Challenge finalist and they make mobile games for communications development:  http://www.freedomhivaids.in/

I don't know their work but it looked like their design is pretty good and their focus on social development very relevant.

Cheers,
Tanya

games and mobiles

Thanks Tanya!

some interesting links, though on first glance Freedom from HIV/AIDs' two games seem pretty much focused on boys - 'AIDS Penalty Shoot Out' and 'AIDS Fighter Pilot' ... the later does have a female character though. Ill follow up with them as to whether there was good uptake by girls and what girls thought of the games. Young women outnumber young men in HIV+ statistics by 4 to 1 - so engaging with young women specifically is really important for us. 

http://womensnet.org.za, Johannesburg South Africa:

Taking a BYte out of Gender Injustice

info-activism and games

Hi Women'sNet folk,


Interesting about girls being biggest users of mobile games.

Here is an educational game I quite like for young people who have arrived in the US because of war: http://www.itvs.org/beyondthefire/

It is more interactive site than 'game' but it uses personal storytelling in a clever and pretty simple way which I think will be interesting to your work. IN fact http://www.itvs.org have many great interactive websites examples that are educational.

This company based in India was a 2008 Stockholm Challenge finalist and they make mobile games for communications development:  http://www.freedomhivaids.in/

I don't know their work but it looked like their design is pretty good and their focus on social development very relevant.

Cheers, Tanya

Tanya Notley
Tactical Tech
www.tacticaltech.org

what's your top 3 sites to find stories of info-activism??

Right now we are working on a multimedia Info-Activism handbook. I was planning to link to many of our info-activism videos this weekend. Unfortunately our editor is finding it impossible to get videos uploaded today. So while I wait... I was wondering:

What would I say were my top websites for finding new stories of Info-Activism. Here are three of them:

1.  Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org/

2. My Heart's in Accra Blog by Ethan Zuckerman: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/

3. Black Looks Blog by Sokari: http://www.blacklooks.org/

All have very active Twitter feeds as well.

What would be your top sites for info-activism stories???

Tanya

Tanya Notley,
Tactical Tech
www.tacticaltech.org

Visualisations for info-activism video

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share a 5 minute video with you. This a beta version is from our upcoming Info-Activism Multimedia Handbook. The video is based on 10 tactics you  can use for info-activism and it looks at stories of info-activism from around the world.

http://blip.tv/file/2348686/

This short video includes a story each from Labanon, Tunisia and Egypt.

We are mid editing this video so your input would be most appreciated! What extra info did you feel you wanted to hear, what did you like, not like....?

Cheers!

Tanya

 

Tanya Notley
Tactical Tech
www.tacticaltech.org

RE: Visualisations for info-activism video

Tanya - I really like the tip from Tunisia on geo-tagging videos to match up with Google Earth - not only for a known place like the example of the Presindental Palace in Tunis for anyone to stumble upon - but also perhaps for less geographically known places where activists could be directed to see cases of ie forced eviction, development-induced displacement, etc in a given area.

It may be easier for some to see how the land in question and the people living there are related to the surroundings. Is the land near a major river? Is the land near government offices?

Also, geo-tagging would be particulary interesting to show what existed before the construction of a new development project.

Thanks for sharing, 

Ryan

Ryan Schlief
Asia Coordinator
WITNESS
80 Hanson Place, 5th Floor
Brooklyn NY 11217 USA
+1.718.783.2000 x333
www.witness.org

Digital Storytelling for transformation

We have used Digital storytelling for advocacy and also to produce locally relevant training materials for change makers.

Our first digital story workshop was in 2006 and we trained 2 groups of women - survivors of domestic violence and young lesbain women who experienced hate crimes. 

Over 5 days we trained women to produce a short (max 6 minutes) movie using still images (scanned photos or drawings and documents) a recorded narration (in any language, in the storytellers voice) and music (participants sang) - the stories were about their experiences. The stories made abstract rights real.

We produced a DVD of stories that accompanied a book on using audio-visual meterials in human rights training and education.  We distributed this product to human rights NGOs only, the movies were not put online because of safety issues.

Since this time we have done lots of storytelling workshops - most recently with a transgender organisation called Gender DynamiX as well as with the African Decade for Disabled People.

 The value of digital stories methdolology is that they put the technology as well as the content decisions in the hands of people often overlooked - in our case we have worked with women and girls, with lesbian women, disabled people, transgender people, survivors of violence and HIV+ people. Also, the methdolology produces a powerful product that speaks about real lives - with all the complications,intricacies and difficulties!

Of course there are issues - we have not found suitable open source video editing software for community training (any ideas?!) and privacy and consent is a big issue, as well as evaluating the impact of the stories on the issue you want to address. 

http://womensnet.org.za, Johannesburg South Africa:

Taking a BYte out of Gender Injustice

Digital Storytelling with Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone

Sally-Jean and Womensnet.org,

Thank you for sharing the way you've been using digital storytelling. I want to share an example in our New Tactics database of tactics from Sierra Leone.

The Child Soldier Project of the International
Education and Resource Network in Sierra Leone (iEarn Sierra Leone) created a web site on which former child soldiers can share their
stories. The web site, www.childsoldiers.org, features the essays, poems, artwork and voices of former child soldiers and offers an online forum for discussion.  Click on the link to read more about their efforts: Creating a venue on the Internet for former child soldiers to share their stories and develop new skills

The internet can provide a powerful link for people who have been marginalized. I'd like to hear how others have used digital storytelling.

Nancy Pearson, New Tactics in Human Rights Program Manager

Mobilisr - new mobile messaging platform for CSOs

Cell-life, an innovator in mobiles and HIV aids, has developed a new tool for CSOs. We partner with them to bring the tools to women's and human rights organisations with an HIV/Aids componant, training on use and uptake.

more information here: http://www.mobilisr.org/

 

http://womensnet.org.za, Johannesburg South Africa:

Taking a BYte out of Gender Injustice

Mobiles & HIV in Africa

That's fantastic, Sally! So Mobiliser is an open-source project -- is it an alternative to something like FrontlineSMS? How is it different?

For the info-activism guide, I spoke with Uju Ofromata of One World UK, who collaborated on a campaign with Nigerian NGO's to educate and inform young people about sexual health and HIV. (Video about that campaign here: http://bit.ly/WxXsS) One part of the campaign, MyQuestion/MyAnswer (http://bit.ly/VFK0E), used a custom mobile platform, where queries could be sent in by SMS and answers sent back either via SMS, or by voice call if more detail was needed than could fit in 160 characters. This looks the kind of project that might have been able to use Mobiliser? 

 

mobilisr

Hi Melissa

The tool has just undergone a revision, and we are going to be working on the new version in the next 2 weeks. it aims to be a tool for mobilising responses to HIV... broadly to improve treatment and prevention in the country.

it can be used to keep in touch with members of a socal movement (the Treatment Action Campaign use it) for social change messages, and for information sharing (like where to get ARVs etc)

it builds in modules that are suitable for different tactics -  including USSD menu trees (that could ptentially be used to get feedback on services or collect basic data)

We are really looking forward to testing out how it works in the field - will report back!

 

http://womensnet.org.za, Johannesburg South Africa:

Taking a BYte out of Gender Injustice

Humor as civil resistance tactic

Hi All, thought this might be of interest: 

Humor as Nonviolent Resistance to Oppression

http://www.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/external/content/1/c4/11/36/v12021...
 

Cheerio,

 Patrick Meier, scholar, activist and writer for DigiActive, USA

The Yes Men - Using Satirical Humor in Activism

Patrick, I am glad you brought up the topic of humor. The Yes Men have taken this tactic to the highest level, impersonating executives, managers, and officers of major international organizations (WTO, IMF), governmental organizations (National Patroleum Council and US Department for Housing and Urban Development), and large corporations (Dow Chemical). In their impersonations they have managed to gain precious hours of global media attention (think BBC and the Dow Chemical impersonation), which usually originate in being mistakenly contacted due to mock websites they run parallel to those they are imitating.

Through this tactic, the Yes Men team have satirically put forth a "WTO" suggestion to implement slavery in Africa to help address the poverty crisis, a "National Petroleum Council" proposal to begin using human corpses to create future fuel sources, and a new "Halliburton" SurvivaBall (see photo below) to help humans survive global warming. Such forms of activism are not only humorous, but are also attractive to the media, and work well to publicize information the organizations and corporations would rather be kept quiet. Occassionally these actions can even have severe economic impacts, such as when an impostor claimed that Dow Chemical would liquidize one of its sub-companies for $12 billion, resulting in a $2 billion loss of shares in the German stock exchange. Although it was not true, the Yes Met made their point, very successfully. Clearly this is a tactical venue with great opportunities.   

Phillip Paiement,
New Tactics Intern

Online tactics used by extremists

Racial Extremists Discover Twitter
http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2009/07/08/racial-extremists-discover-twit...

A Call to Jihad Answered in America?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/us/12somalis.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc... 

Thoughts?

Patrick Meier, scholar, activist and writer for DigiActive, USA

---Incorporating Info-Activism tactics into your strategy

When deciding to incorporate Info-Activism tactics into your strategy, 

  •  What risks need to be assessed?
  • How do you identify your target audience?
  • How do you decide which tool to use?
  • What security measures need to be in place before implementing the tactic?
Helpful guide specifically on video for advocacy

WITNESS' Video for Change book and acompanying videos provide tips, a compelling range of case studies, and easy-to-use exercises on the range of strategic, technical and ethical issues involved in using video for advocacy.  

Chapter 2 focuses specifically on Safety & Security and the other sections are helpful guides to crafting your advocacy message, mapping your target audiences, selecting the most effective tactics, etc...  

Good as a comprehensive guide for both first-time and more experienced video-makers.  Download it for free here (available in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish).

Priscila (Content Coordinator at WITNESS' Hub

A classic approach

I would do all of the classic advocacy strategizing first, including problem analysis, if necessary research, stakeholder analysis, identifying good objectives, and then go into audiences and tactics. Where to fit the risk analysis? I would say during discussion of tactics.

We have a growing library of "generic" but tagged resources on Advocacy that we share with partners and friends here

http://delicious.com/AdvocacyResources

Excited to follow this discussion the best I can from far away!

Janet

Moving from activity, to tactics, to strategy

Thank you, Janet, for starting this thread on the 'classic approach' to applying tactics to your strategy.  I would like to share a few great resources and easy-to-follow tips from the author of the interTactica blog, Philippe Duhamel.  In his three-part series on moving from activity, to tactics, to strategy, Philippe describes the steps that he took to become a successful activist, tactician and strategist - a sequence that I think many activists can relate to.

Learning by doing 101: Activities create the activist

In this entry, Philippe describes a successful campaigner whose use of well-organized and well-articulated information inspired Philippe to act!  What was the trick?

  1. Hard-hitting information is allowed to sink in.
  2. Some concrete small step is asked (like sign a petition).
  3. Soon after the first opening, a greater, achievable challenge is proposed.

Learning by doing 201: Becoming a good tactician

In this next entry, Philippe explains what it takes to be a good tactician.  Philippe tells a story of his experience learning from a great tactician who was able to always stay one step ahead of his opponent.  What does it take to be a good tactician?

  1. Train for and attend lots of "games" (events and such) - in other words, training and preparation
  2. Read lots of cookbooks (guides like the New Tactics notebooks)
  3. And fill up that big, expanding toolbox (of tactics - like the info-activism tactics shared in this dialogue)

Learning by doing 301: From tactics to strategy

In this entry, Philippe explains the relationship between strategy and tactics, and the difference between what is need for a successful strategist, and a successful tactician. He writes: "The tactician thinks contextually, the strategist, more globally. While the tactician focuses on the short- to mid-term, the strategist generally focuses on the mid-term to long-term." What are the steps?

  1. Start from the North Star
  2. Set the big goal
  3. Build step-by-step objectives
  4. Pick your targets
  5. Identify your allies and adversaries
  6. Select tactics
  7. Build a campaign

What do you think? Please share your own experiences of moving from activity, to tactics, to strategy!

Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

know thy target... and thy policy enrivonment!

Just an example of how important it is to know your target and also to be aware of the policy environment as it's impact on your work....

know thy target...

In doing a little reading and research for our work with girls we found that:

- young people have a LOT of sim cards, from different service providers, and sometimes more than one handset

- young people are pretty savvy when it comes to service providers - using different sim cards at different times of the month to get the most out of them

- young south africans dont often share phones (sharing phones here is much less common than in other african countries)

- a lot of kids had their cellphones stolen (almost everyone had lost their phone to theft at some point)

So, when you have young South Africans as targets, you will have to have more that one phone number for them (possibly sending out a lot of dead and costly SMS'!)  and you will have to work hard to keep up with them (lots of changing of sim cards, lots of theft)

Know thy policy environment ... 

Frustratingly for young people, South Africa has just put into place a piece of legislation that will close the mobile phone arena - basically requiring all sellers of pay-as-you-go sim cards to record the sim card buyers'  identity number, a copy of their identity book as well as their address. This means that all those kids with more than 1 sim card is going to have to register their ID number and address for that sim- or loose it. The legislation is supposedly meant to prevent cellphones from being used to commit crime..... what it could end up doing is limit young people's use, and especially young people who might not have a fixed address, or who dont live in places where there is a street name, and who dont have an identify document.... 

http://womensnet.org.za, Johannesburg South Africa:

Taking a BYte out of Gender Injustice

when info-activism leads to arrest

I'm wondering how digital media can be best mobilised when info-activism has led to the arrest of the practitioners.

I've just been talking to people about the arrest of two Azeri youth activist bloggers  (more info at Azerbaijan: Citizen media in defense of detained activists, bloggers).

For example, how about a Kiva loans for paying bail and / or legal fees?

dan

Dr. Dan McQuillan, blogs about open source activism and social innovation at internetartizans.co.uk

Using digital media to mobilise demonstrators outside of prisons

Great question, Dan -- how can digital media be best mobilised when info-activism has led to the arrest of the practitioners?

New Tactics has documented a great example of a tactic used in Serbia to turn arrests (one of the government's strengths) against it.  It involves supporting activists that have been arrested (as well as gain momentum for the movement) by coordinate secondary protests outside of the prison where the activist is held. We call this tactic 'Plan B' (available for download in English and Turkish). Here is a short description:

Plan B is conceptually simple: whenever the police arrested activists
in their demonstrations, Otpor! would instantaneously launch a second
operation, mobilizing more people to show up at the police stations and
protest the arrest. The events at the police station became media
showpieces, calling attention to the injustice of the arrests and the
illegitimacy of the regime. They also provided moral support and
encouragement to the arrested activists, turning them into local and
national heroes, rather than forgotten victims. Otpor! thus turned the
regime’s policy of arrests to its own advantage and continued to build
a movement.

When implementing a tactic like this, I can imagine that digital media can be very effective in mobilizing so many people in a short amount of time!  It is so important, however, to be knowledgeable of all the risks involved in using digital media (see Tanya's comment on Security-in-a-box).

Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

How to integrate information activism into your strategy

I have found inspiration in the various creative examples of digital and information activism offered in this dialogue. While I believe that social relations will always change primarily through "analog" (i.e. real-life) connections between live beings, I am excited by some of the new opportunities created by modern-day information channels, emergent technologies, and the inventive new uses that are being pioneered.

Following the day-by-day developments in Iran and Honduras these days, however, and witnessing how global communities in struggle are still so vulnerable to information blackouts and censorship, I am realizing the importance for activists and organizers the world over to ramp up new forms and channels of unassailable and instant citizen-to-citizen means of communication.

State rulers and repressive brutes, wherever they conduct their misdeeds, be it in China, Honduras or Iran, must become powerless to filter out grassroots content that can disrupt their power-grabbing schemes. Likewise, powerful corporations that assist tyrants and human rights abusers in shutting down the voices of the dissident, must be circumvented and dismantled by a new globally empowered citizenry. I can think of no greater global mission information activists could rally around and implement IN THIS DECADE.

Information activism can be most effectively used as a tool in three stages of collective strategizing:

  1. At the pre-strategizing, "let's look closely at the situation first", analysis stage, when groups are seeking to draw the clearest picture possible of the problem they seek to remedy. Good information is vital to clever strategizing. In this, for example, the new mapping tools can help organizations identify the most pressure-sensitive points in a regime or unjust system, as they devise a strategy to overcome its own specific challenges.
  2. At the popular education ("propaganda") stage, as you make your case to the widest audience possible. The information "product" must now take a simple, creative, hard-hitting, emotionally powerful form to persuade and convince the key constituencies you seek to move to action. This knowledge tool can also serve to generate empathy and solidarity beyond the immediately impacted communities.
  3. At the mobilisation stage, and to fight off likely repression, when movement grow and move through various waves of battles, temporary setbacks, and ultimate success. The likelihood that means of official violence will be applied against successful social movements to shut them down, needs to be factored in under stage 1, initial strategizing. Repression is a reality that is seldom avoided, if you are being truly effective against injustice and abuse. So planning and preparing for repression should be a priority at the earliest stage of planning for information activism. Launching a new blog or some great new online protest tool without first assessing the risk of repression would be to act like the child who starts moving chess pieces around, not expecting the opponent to capture any of them. Information activists should look at what forms of repression are most likely, and then think of ways that such repression can be mitigated or, better yet, used to further collective goals. Surprisingly, repression can be turned into a positive, for instance when it is used to attract publicity on a massive scale, and to mobilize new or unlikely allies.


What's great about these new information activism tools, is that the information products can be taken through development cycles, tweaked and upgraded as your group moves along from analysis to strategizing, to propagandizing on to mobilizing, and then to fighting off repression and reaching the next stage. Think of it as building your beta version for strategizing, perfecting and launching a 1.0 release for mass education, then working towards your revolutionary 2.0 to allow powerful social interaction, birthing a tool that builds irrepressible collective power...

--

Philippe Duhamel, Intertactica — a liberation blog

 

---Resources

Share and explain any Info-Activism resources that you have, such as:

  • guides
  • video
  • websites
  • manuals
Guide | Communicating Securely in Repressive Environments

Hi All,

I thought this guide might be of interest:

http://www.digiactive.org/2009/06/26/secure-comm

Looking forward to any feedback and/or questions you may have!

All best,
Patrick

 

Common Craft for Security

This is great knowledge! The situation in Iran shows how people get swept by events in to needing this knowledge without time to become security geeks. I'd love to see security activism guides that are as easy to absorb as the Common Craft videos on social media.

Dr. Dan McQuillan, blogs about open source activism and social innovation at internetartizans.co.uk

Tactical Tech in process of producing Digital Security videos

Great point Dan on the need for simple Digital Security videos...At Tactical Tech we have recently started production on these and hope to release some in coming months.

Cheers

Tanya

Tactical Tech: Free Toolkits / Guides for Human Rights Advocates

Tactical Tech (www.tacticaltech.org) is an international NGO that provide human rights advocates with guides, tools, training and consultancy to help them develop the skills and tactics they need to increase the impact of their campaigning.

The following guides and toolkits are available online, as downloadable files or they can be posted to not-for-profits in a book/CD format, free of charge.

Mobiles in-a-box: Designed to support campaigners looking to use mobile technology in their work.

Email: mobiles{at}tacticaltech.org

Message in-a-box: A set of strategic guides and tools to help non-profits create media and communicate for social change.

Email: miab{at}tacticaltech.org

Security in-a-box: Created to meet the digital security and privacy needs of advocates and human rights defenders.

Email: security{at}tacticaltech.org

Maps for Advocacy: An effective, practical guide to using maps in advocacy campaigns.

Email: mapping{at}tacticaltech.org

Visualising Information for Advocacy: A manual aimed at helping NGOs and advocates strengthen their campaigns and projects through visual communication.

Email: infodesign{at}tacticaltech.org

Quick ‘n’ Easy Guide to Online Advocacy: Aims to expose advocates to online services that are quick to use and easy to understand.

Base NGO in-a-box: A collection of tools for the day-to-day running of small to medium sized NGOs.

Email: base{at}tacticaltech.org

Tactical Tech are happy to send copies of any or all of these toolkits and guides to human rights advocates working in marginalised communities. For general enquires email: ttc{at}tacticaltech.{dot}org

Website: http://www.tacticaltech.org

---
Dr. Tanya Notley
Skills Building Team Leader

Tactical Technology Collective
3 Gloucester Yard | 121 Gloucester Road | Brighton  |  East Sussex  |  BN1 4AF  |  UK

P: +44 (0) 1273 604 848
M: +44 (0) 7726243168
E: tanya [at] tacticaltech [dot] org

More resources on using video for advocacy

1) Video for Change book (available for free download online here)

2) Four short videos that accompany the Video for Change manual.  Watch Before Filming, During Filming Part 1, During Filming Part 2, and After Filming for a quick overview...

3) Overview: Effective Strategies for Video Advocacy

4) Video Action Plan - a questionnaire we designed to assist our partners in developing a plan to integrate video into their human rights advocacy.  This should be filled out before any shooting begins and is a great resource to help groups/individuals plan out the goals, audiences, and tactics for their video... download it here

5) YouTube's newly launched Reporters' Center also has useful resources...  

6) See3, which works to make nonprofit organizations more effective in raising money, educating the public and advocating for change, has a guide to creating online video for change (a useful seven-part series)

7) SmartMeme is a great organization that helps movements harness the power of storytelling and narrative to advance social change.  We recently watched their video, which is a good introduction to smartMeme's work and their story-based strategy model, appropriately titled as Grassroots Organizing Meets Narrative Power.  Once you watch this presentation, you will want to read Re:Imagining Change, their fantastic interactive book that provides tools, analysis, case studies and inspiration to amplify and enhance your social change work.  More on SmartMeme in this post by Chris Michael.

Thanks to my wonderful colleague Chris for putting these resources together!

Priscila (Content Coordinator at WITNESS' Hub

...and a few more resources on using video for advocacy

Wow, Priscila and Chris - that is a great list of resources. Thanks!

I have just a few more to add. Mary Joyce of DigiActive has put together a pretty nice straight forward online guide on Designing and Advocacy Video.  This is a guide to help activists put together a 'youtube-style' video to promote their cause.  The includes the following 4 important elements that a video like this should include:

  1.  Start with background info
  2. Use emotion to create interest in your cause
  3. Be a winning cause
  4. End the video with a call to action!

Last June, a few WITNESS folks joined New Tactics in a featured online dialogue focused specifically on Using Video for Advocacy.  We also have a New Tactics group of practitioners using video for advocacy. All are welcome to join the group and share your questions and resources!

Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

Multimedia in Blogs ...Random Thoughts

 

Many people do have no  time/interest to read and read. A video are
more attractive than words, at least, for those who sit in front of
their laptops at a coffee shop or at home after a long day of
working/studying.

Videos are preferred to be original, so the visitor
is tuned to watch something NEW, but if not possible to do, we can
publish popular videos (movie scenes- songs- footage of a meeting or a
conference- news report…) sometimes we need to clear the context of the
video.

Try to make a simple video clip or a PowerPoint show, using the
available photos you have/collected from internet, and do not forget to
play a suitable music as background. You can do it easily by
moviemaker, slidshow.com.

Do NOT publish a post without  a photo!(Do not insert the photo
always in the top of your posts, as all of them will appear in the
front page, and make it looks crowded, and takes longer time to load!).
If the pos
t is long, it is recommended to insert more than photo, banner, logo, etc.

Old photos are always fantastic!, the eye goes to the unusual  things, like a black& white photos.

Cartoons and drawings gives impression of
simplicity and satiric, so using them are more than useful when we want
to send a message for children, youngsters, even when tackling a
dramatic incident (ex: 3 consecutive torture to death  crimes in the
same month), such cases often are highlighted in the mainstream media,
people heard/ red about it.

 Audio Files have the advantages of being available
to the visitor all the time, just a click to download it, and he can
listen to the file more than time. Plus, audio files do not require
time to go by, people can play it, when they are browsing the website.
But Be Careful: in some websites/blogs  you hear a radio station once
you visit the main page, that is not recommended to do all the time.

- Noha

Video across languages, across borders

Video is absolutely essential for me in getting exposed to issues and campaigns when I don't speak the language myself. One of the reasons the sex workers in the Asia Pacific are so fond of karaoke videos as a form of info-activism is how well they can express an issue beyond their language groups, too.

Re: [New Tactics Dialogues: Information Activism: Turning Inform

I could only think of video after (i) we got some decent (read: 256 kbps!) connectivity in my village in India (ii) simple tools like TheFlip.com came up and made video work easy to use.

Re: [New Tactics Dialogues: Information Activism: Turning Inform

I completely hear you on that. With a Flip project WITNESS  and its partner LICADHO has throughout Cambodia documenting forced evictions for campaign use, it is important to plan how the video, although 'YouTubesque in quality and seemingly destined for online use, can also be used offline at screenings and community meetings. Although many do find there way to the internet, online video can easily be burned onto DVDs and screened where the bandwith makes viewing online video problematic if not impossible. 

And, as in the case of a community affected by HIV/AIDS facing imminent forced eviction in Phnom Penh, an intended target audience of the video lived in areas where the bandwith easily supported watching video online. In this case, activists sent emails with the relevant urls from the Hub to representatives of UNAIDS and the Red Cross, who then could have personal screenings of the video on their own office computer. The video accompanied written briefing and campaign materials, as well.

Ryan Schlief
Asia Coordinator
WITNESS
80 Hanson Place, 5th Floor
Brooklyn NY 11217 USA
US Land: +1.718.783.2000 x333
US Mobile: +1.718.307.9786
IN Mobile: +91 96 5060 8105
Skype: witnessryan
www.witness.org
Blog: hub.witness.org/blogs/ryan-schlief
FB: witness ryan

Borei Keila: Fighting for Health and Home
http://hub.witness.org/BoreiKeila

Borei Keila: Forced Eviction Date Delivered
http://hub.witness.org/BoreiKeila2

Watch an amazing video by WITNESS partner LICADHO on the Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh, "Living with HIV/AIDS in the Green Shed", on the WITNESS Hub blog and learn how you can take action. The blog also has links to articles, reports and media on Borei Keila.

really really local

I love the idea of capturing some of the local and organic ways people protest - like in South Africa, and im sure every place, songs because such a huge part of socal movements - from HIV to anti-globalization - songs were a way of celebrating progress, educating others, raising spirits and mobilising support.... and of course it's one of the great things about radio..

When ever we do workshops on producing audio, making a 'jingle' has been the most fun way of getitng people on board and into the technology- and now, we can make those jingles into ring tones for cellphones!

 

http://womensnet.org.za, Johannesburg South Africa:

Taking a BYte out of Gender Injustice

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents

Hi everyone, just wanted to share another great resource to this collection. It is a guide created by 'Reporters without Borders.'  The guide is called 'Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents.'  This guide includes some good info for those just getting started (What is a blog? page 7, How to set up and run a blog? page 16), selecting the best blogging tools (page 10), ethics, making 'your blog shine' as Noha was mentioning above, and some great examples of how activists have successfully used blogs (personal accounts page 36).  Thankfully, the guide includes information on security: how to blog anonymously, getting around censorship, and emailing privately. 

Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

Twitter (microblogging)

I'm sure people nowadays know a lot about microblogging, I mean after the mass protests in Iran. Twitter, Watwet , Jaiku or any of their brothers are quit useful.

After using twitter for a year or more, I find it helpful to give some tips:

  • 140 characters are not always enough for telling a story: you should use hyperlinks and some other ways ;)
  • I am not sure that my followers are following my tweeted hyperlinks : make your messages give a complete sentence
  • Make a topic on Twitter: simply by adding # before a key word for the cause
  • Tweet in 2 language (or more) if possible
  • Alert people to when your blog entry is Photos or Videos
  • Tweet your pictures!
  • See who is following you; he/she may be someone working for the same cause

-- Noha

Twitter, et al

Thanks Noha, that's very useful. It was almost a  Twitter-like (in brevity) guide to Twitter!

 I wonder under what circumstances Twitter would have an impact. Incidentally, have not heard it being very effective in Indian campaigns (except in disaster, where speed is the essence). Was wondering if this is due to the fact that (i) we still don't have too many Twitter users in this part of the world (ii) basic free-speech is not much of an issue here (though there are creeping censorship concerns) and hence it's utility is not so vital.

Just a Google link to some Twitter guides:  http://bit.ly/HQd8C

FN * http://fredericknoronha.wordpress.com http://twitter.com/fn
M +91-9822122436 P +91-832-2409490
http://fredericknoronha.multiply.com/ http://goa1556.goa-india.org

DigiActive’s Strategy Guide to Twitter for Activism

Thanks for your post, perhaps DigiActive’s Strategy Guide to Twitter for Activism might be of interest:

http://www.digiactive.org/2009/04/13/twitter_guide/

- Patrick Meier

mobilisation of young people & the streamlining info

Hi We’ve got a couple questions around the mobilisation of young people & the subsequent “corralling” of information into a centralised on-line hub. –       What are the most effective ways of alerting young people across a city of a new campaign to track discrimination of young people using public space? –       Do you have any suggestions about how to streamline the information that will be gathered – via mobile phone, on-line blogging, micro blogging, surveys – so that we can present a coherent and comprehensive review of young people’s experience in an on-line forum? Thanks so much Tamar

Using music, movies and art to mobilize young people

Hi Tamar, thanks for your post. I think one way to mobilize and alert young people is to use music, open-air concerts and movie showings, and art. You may want to see what “Not An Alternative” is doing:

http://www.notanalternative.net/

- Patrick Meier

Using a music video to inform people on human trafficking issues

Thanks, Patrick - I just came across a new music video that highlights the impact of human trafficking for sexual exploitation (found out about it on Twitter!).  This music video is a collaboration between 'The Killers' (a rock band), MTV, UNICEF, and USAID. Watch the video here - http://www.unicef.org.uk/videos/video.asp?video_id=145&thesource=tw 

Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

moblisation of young people and mash-ups

Hi Tamar,

I have asked a few people to respond to your post because I know they do great work around mash-ups...hopefully they will do this soon.

A mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service. 

It sounds like a mash-up would be relevant to you because creating an entire new site for young people to talk about discrimination might not be the way to go....already they are using MySpace, Facebook, YouTube. The question might be how to connect with them there. So instead you may want to promote that they 'tag' their blog-posts, tweets, photo's etc in a way that will allow you to aggregate what is happening. Perhaps there are already good sources that cover this issue already as well.

So below I am adding some info about a 'mash-up' website focused on Women's Rights to Drive in Saudi. It does this by directly pulling content from popular websites. The method may be relevant to you and I would be happy to discuss more if it would help! You could of course customise a mash-up site like this to meet your needs and it may involve very little effort to keep it dynamic.

The below case study will be included in our upcoming 'Info-Activism Handbook'

4. Case study

  • TITLE: We, the Women
  • WHO: Areej Khan, project director
  • WHERE: Women in Saudi Arabia and Saudi women abroad
  • URL: http://www.n7nudrive.com/

DESCRIPTION:
To draw attention to laws that ban women from driving cars in Saudi Arabia, Areej Khan, a Saudi artist and graphic designer living in the United States, created the “We, the Women” campaign. The project  asks women to respond to the question, “To drive or not drive?” by writing their answers on stickers that they can post  in public spaces. Areej asked participants to photograph their stickers and post the photos to the project's Flickr photo set and on its Facebook page. By collaborating anonymously over a long distance, Areej and the women who submitted stickers to the project have been able to engage with audiences who might not have otherwise had opportunity to speak to . “People don't like to post the stickers on their own, on Facebook or Flickr,” Areej said. “People preferred to do it anonymously, by email to me and then I post them” The individual and anonymous nature of the stickers allows women to express themselves in a range of ways – from the very personal to the openly political. The project received media attention from the Arab News in Saudi Arabia, and in the US. “Most of the people participate on the Facebook page are against women driving,” said Areej. “There's back and forth and debate on the group, people go off on tangents, and I have to mark posts as irrelevant if they go off topic. I had to be prepared that I can't control what this is at the end. It's about finding a solution as community, not what I think or am attached to.” Though the project gets many comments in opposition to women driving in Saudi Arabia Arjeej finds that,“a lot of people say they think that will change soon, because of the voice given to women by projects like this.”

  • Tools used: Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Google search. Stickers can be downloaded from Flickr and printed.
  • Reach: Over 2000 people participated on the Facebook page in the first three months of the project (April-June 2009), with 25 sticker designs submitted. Most of the sticker images were sent are from Saudi Arabia.
  • Cost: USD$2000 (web hosting, sticker printing)
  • Resources:  One volunteer staffs the project. A local printer in Saudi Arabia made 3000 stickers for the project for free.
  • Time: Seven months to plan, get training in web design, and execute. After the launch, it took only two days for the first participant to post a photo.

 

Tanya Notley
Tactical Tech
www.tacticaltech.org

RE: [New Tactics Dialogues: Information Activism: Turning Inform

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<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Hi Tanya<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Thanks so much for that feedback<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>I&#8217;ll share it with the working group &#8211; I&#8217;m
sure that they&#8217;ll be thrilled to have the opportunity to explore the example<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Take care<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Tamar<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></font></p>

<div>

<p class=MsoNormal><st1:PersonName w:st="on"><strong><b><font size=2
color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial;
color:navy'>Tamar Spatz</span></font></b></strong></st1:PersonName><font
color=navy><span style='color:navy'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><strong><b><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Project Officer</span></font></b></strong><font
color=navy><span style='color:navy'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><strong><b><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>Young People &amp; Human
Rights Project</span></font></b></strong><font color=navy><span
style='color:navy'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=3 color=navy face="Times New Roman"><span
style='font-size:12.0pt;color:navy'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'><a href="mailto:tamar@youthlaw.asn.au">tamar@youthlaw.asn.au</a></span></font><font
color=navy><span style='color:navy'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span style='font-size:
10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>9611 2412 ext 2433</span></font><font
color=navy><span style='color:navy'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=3 color=navy face="Times New Roman"><span
style='font-size:12.0pt;color:navy'>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><strong><b><font size=2 color=navy face=Arial><span
style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial;color:navy'>I work Mondays, Tuesdays,
Thursdays &amp; Fridays</span></font></b></strong><font color=navy><span
style='color:navy'><o:p></o:p></span></font></p>

<p class=MsoNormal><font size=3 color=navy face="Times New Roman"><span
style='font-size:12.0pt;color:navy'>&nbsp;</span></font><o:p></o:p></p>

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face="Times New Roman"><span lang=EN-US style='font-size:12.0pt'>

<hr size=2 width="100%" align=center tabindex=-1>

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style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Tahoma;font-weight:bold'>

Re: [New Tactics Dialogues: Information Activism: Turning Inform

it is encouragious to young men interesting in human rights . young cameroonians will to extend the mobilisation in cameroon.human can be well ptotected when each and evryone knows his or her rights.i will like share your expirience if you do 

Of Relationships;Information and call to Action

Co-Founder INFONET
Program Associate
www.sodnet.org
infonet.sodnet.org

We have been following the discussions with keen interest and find many of the innovations inspiring.
We would therefore like to add a little of our experience to the dialogue.
The INFONET Programme is based at the Social Development Network in Kenya. The programme was conceived within the premise of leveraging appropriate information and communication technologies that strengthen the work of civil society and social movements.

Budget tracking tool:

In this regard, INFONET has developed a couple of tools, but only one is live. In February this year, we launched a national budget tracking system (www.opengovernance.info): that is both web based and accessible by SMS on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The CDF is form of devolved system of for economic and democratic governance. The tool can be queried by anyone to provide information on funds disbursements. The public can also provide feedback on particular projects: on anomalies or corruption. We are now customizing the tool for internal monitoring upon request by Members of Parliament from the Coast Province.

Digital rebroadcasting:

Migori CLAN, a member of the Social Development Network is a community media entity that records mainstream media issues of concern for the community in Migori, Nyanza Province. The recordings are then broadcasted from a cart, with discussions held to generate public debate. The content is then published as news in a free grassroots newspaper (The Link) that has a rural distribution base of about 500,000.


We will contribute more in the coming days.

my opinion

I think is an opportunity to share, change, make and created new ways of community action. Oswaldo

Sharing of Tactics may bring New Tactic for activists!!

Human rights activists are active on different
issues of human rights all over the world. They are doing a lot by using
different tactics of human rights. But due to lack of sharing of we can
not know about each other tactics that could be a very helpful for all to move
right and innovative way to achieve the success of movement. 

Suppose- We are translating tactical note book and resource book of "New Tactics in
Human Rights
" in Bengali where lot of
innovative tactics been introduced through website for Bengali speaking
activists all over the world. Even all those Bengali documents are using by
some activists in Bangladesh for strengthening their human rights movement
although the activist are learning from the story of Africa and other country
but the used tactics bringing a new tactic for them. So a used tactic can use as
a new tactic for others if the sharing of tactics increase with each other.

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