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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Florida
Current location: Orlando
Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 09:49 AM
Number of posts: 20,958

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Writing on DU is activism, actually

Lots of talk lately about what constitutes activism. And with that, there's the urge to draw the line neatly around one thing, and not "the other."

I've been kicking around activist circles since the 1980s and a LOT has changed since then. Back when I started it was easier to define activism. Things we would have listed as activism included:

-- turning out people to public meetings
-- hosting events for large-scale involvement
-- writing letters to the editor
-- phone-banking
-- door-knocking
-- participating in activist planning/strategy/forums (which, were mostly in-person at the time).

Since the 80s we've seen the rise of this thing called Social Media and most organizations either have a social media job with their communications department, OR they rely on organizers to use social media to take their message out.

Pay attention to that last line..."to take their message out." This is what we used to do primarily with Letters to the Editor. LTEs are still very important, especially when trying to move electeds to a better policy position. It's VERY important b/c electeds use SEO and web searches for their name to report back to the lawmaker on how their messaging is doing out in the world, and...in the best case scenario...to reality check if their constituents are still with them. DU is recognized as having excellent SEO. Often when researching a new issue my searches put DU on the first page, even when I'm using a work computer that isn't full of DU cookies.

This forum can be seen as a daily paper for *engaged Democrats." An engaged Dem is someone who is a likely voter and someone who can be mobilized to participate in other actions such as social media engagement LTEs, phone-banking and doorknocking. We are also likely to turn-out to assemblies, town halls, and protests.

When you're posting your thoughts to DU you're talking directly to Democratic party people with the intent of *moving people* in the direction of your point of view. The audience is different from an LTE; much larger and clearly more Dem.

If there wasn't the potential to move decision-makers with our actions here, there wouldn't be such turf fights over policy issues. It's activism in the clearest sense, using social media to bridge the divide between rank-and-file Dems and their national leadership.

Posting on DU isn't only activism, it's effective activism. But I would agree with others that it's not complete. Also go out and work on the issues that you're passionate about. Election reform, job quality, school reform, environmental and of course, peace and justice organizations all NEED your help.

Use DU to help you think and to better communicate your POV. Save your posts here for LTEs in your local newspapers. If you have a really good one, pitch it as an op-ed, post it on Facebook, or add it to another blog. Use DU's Twitter and Facebook buttons to extend your social reach.

But don't let anyone tell you that what you're doing isn't activism. It is. As a DU poster, you're valuable and needed part of the activist eco-system.

Posted by nashville_brook | Mon Sep 23, 2013, 09:37 AM (129 replies)
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