iCities is a Conference about Blogs, e-Government and Digital Participation.
Here come my notes for session V.
Round Table: Connected Citizens. Cyberactivism.
Chairs: Rosa Jiménez Cano
Alana Moceri, president Democrats Abroad Spain
First time that primary elections can be done on-line. This means increasing the number of countries where voting is possible from 34 up to 161.
Online, everyone can contribute: absolutely everyone can upload videos to YouTube, photos to Flickr or text to any blog. Pro: democratization. Con: loss of control over your campaing.
Fundrising is key and is a good proxy to test the health of a political campaign.
Obama’s discourse is really 2.0:
you can, empowerment, engagement. MyBarackObama.com is a good example of it, where you can even earn points as a reward for your implication and helping recruit other people. This really builds up a formidable base of activists.
It’s values, not only interests, what drives people to take part in civic movements.
Fundación Generación Libre: how voters connect to social networks in Argentina. Not centralized, not decentralized, not distributed, but complex networks. They best way to boost complex networks is to build software that enhances the connection between peripheral nodes to the central ones (leaders).
Cyberactivism: activities to help bridge the digital world with the off-line world, with impact in the “real” world.
Cybermilitant: someone commited in the long-run with “someting beyond” cyberactivism.
We’ve yet to find out what this really means.
Noticias LA: a distributed network of volunteers, living in all coutries of Latin America and Spain, selecting local news and feeding them to the site, acting as a news agency 2.0.
Social mediators are no more the protagonists in the Administration-Citizenry interaction: it’s the citizen the one that has to lead the approach towards their Government.
We are used to long run political campaigns, this is why, how and what for political parties were created for. But now people gather around more ephemeral and ad hoc actions. And, indeed, the top-down way of designing engagement has given place to a more bottom-up way of participating. Horizontal replaces vertical.
Goals of activism: have to be possible to reach and well planned. Assessment is a must and often overridden because of the speed of times and lack of time to reflect.
Proposals: agitation is good, but also reflection. A choral voice (i.e. making the same proposal from different places and points of view, but the same one) might be desirable now and then. Continuity and orientation of the discourse would help in the long-run engagement of our target.
Arguments: less opinion, more arguments. Ideas are good as long as they are “well packed” and backed with arguments.
Leadership: hyperleadership is good to avoid fragmentation, but has to leave room for shared leadership. Of course, leadership to achieve changes and goals. The ROI on leadership has to be positive and as big as possible.
What matters is not getting there alone and early, but with everyone and on time (León Felipe).
Activists: they have to feel comfortable working without parties and organizations. But linked to the causes by following some basic rules. ARTivists: someone to be taken into account to help in the “packaging” of our ideas and arguments.
Plurality: are we in a networked world without boundaries… or sheltered in our trenches? Open minds.
Influences: credible, proximate, creating opinion. We have to impact “reality 1.0”, not think from and for the minority.
iCities 2008, Blogs, e-Government and Digital Participation (2008)
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2008) “iCities (V). Round Table: Connected Citizens. Cyberactivism.” In ICTlogy,
#56, May 2008. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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