April 2009

#p2 and prioritizing diversity: background reading for Thursday’s tweeting

#p2 tweeting* Thursday April 30

7-8PM Pacific/10-11PM Eastern
Draft agenda and discussion here
Please join us!

#p2 logoTwitter is an opportunity to engage with communities currently marginalized by the “progressive blogosphere”

— Tracy Viselli and Jon Pincus, The #p2 Hashtag and Strategies for Progressives on Twitter on The Exception

#p2 is a resource for progressives who prioritize diversity and empowerment

— #p2’s wiki and Twitter profile

Because #p2 (aka “progressives 2.0”) is the closest thing to a broad communication mechanism for progressives on Twitter so far, I’m not sure how many people realize that the primary focus is on diversity. So here’s some background reading about #p2 for Thursday’s tweeting  on how progressives can organize more effectively on Twitter.

Let’s start with a question that I think doesn’t get asked enough.

Do progressives care about diversity?

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Equal Pay Day: #fairpay and Women don’t ask

Blog for fair payAccording to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007 the ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings reached almost 78 cents on the dollar for full-time year-round workers, up from just under 77 cents in 2006. This is the narrowest the wage gap has ever been, but it’s only an additional one cent on the dollar. One cent is chump change. It isn’t real change.

— from AAUW’s Equal Pay Day, April 28

African-American women earn 62¢ and Latinas earn 53¢ for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. #fairpay #fem2 #p2

— @NWLC on Twitter

One of President Obama’s first actions in late January was signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.  That’s only a first step, though; the next battle in the fight against wage discrimination is the Paycheck Fairness Act.  The PFA updates the 45-year-old Equal Pay Act in many important ways, and passed the House with strong bipartisan support, and is currently before the Senate as S.182.

The AAUW’s site has a bunch of ways you can help: call your Senators, wear red,* blog about it, share on Facebook and join their group and cause, and tweet about it using the #fairpay hashtag.  It’s all important; do as much as you can.  There are a couple of things I’d specifically like to highlight.

Let’s start with Twitter, where this is another great opportunity for hashtag-based diversity activism.  Activity via #fairpay accomplishes several things.  Most obviously, it raises awareness: whenever you tweet, all your followers are reminded of the wage gap.  If some of the Twitterati start retweeting, or there’s enough activity that #fairpay winds up in the top 10 “trending” hashtags, a lot more people will see it.  So tweet away!  If you’re not sure what to say, the National Women’s Law Center has some tweeting points you can use as inspiration.

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#p2 and prioritizing diversity and empowerment (DRAFT)

DRAFT! Work in progress! Feedback welcome!

Twitter is an opportunity to engage with communities currently marginalized by the “progressive blogosphere”

— Tracy Viselli and Jon Pincus, The #p2 Hashtag and Strategies for Progressives on Twitter on The Exception

#p2’s wiki, Twitter profile, and tagal.us entry all describe it  as ” a resource for progressives who prioritize diversity and empowerment” .  But because #p2 is the closest thing to a broad communication mechanism for progressives on Twitter so far, a lot of people have forgotten (or maybe never even knew) that the primary focus is on diversity.  So as discussions kick off on how progressives can organize more effectively on Twitter, I wanted to start by talking about what this means to me.

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Twitter *is* a strategy (UPDATED draft)

DRAFT!  Work in progress.  Feedback welcome!

Update, April 27: This thread sparked and tied in with substantial discussion elsewhere — see the bottom of the main post for additional links.  I developed my thoughts in Cognitive evolution and revolution, which I presented at Politics Online; the blog post and comments also document a couple of successful examples of Twitter as a strategy for diversity in male-, white- and elitist-dominated environments. I wonder why it’s so hard for some people to accept that (1) I know what strategy is, (2) I’ve been treating Twitter as a strategy, and (3) it’s working?

Update, April 2017: This has held up pretty well!  I fixed some typos and links


Too often, Twitter is the enemy of complex thought, not its friend — if you’re on Twitter yourself, look at your last few weeks’ posts and see what fraction of your potential mental capability they actually express. Probably not much: that’s not what the tool is good for.

— Colin Delany in Twitter is not a strategy on e.Politics and techPresident

Yeap – Twitter is NOT a Strategy | http://ow.ly/1vIN

— @IsCool, on Twitter

Help me make #CA10 the next skittles. We can do this. #gov20 #opengov #p2
Adriel Hampton on Twitter

Somebody’s missing what’s going on here and I don’t think it’s Adriel.

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Cognitive evolution and revolution, part 1: #polc09 and a #diversityfail

Intersectionality and you

Opening slide from early draft of Hashtags at #polc09

Politics Online (1, 2) was a great conference, at least from my perspective.  Starting with the opening session by Secretaries of State Debra Bowen and Jennifer Brunner, every session I went to had great content.   It was a wonderful opportunity to meet friends and colleagues in-person, many for the first time,* and to be on a panel with people like Judith Donath and Clive Thompson.   And of course was also a good chance to continue the Twitter *is* a strategy debate and explore progressives’ bizarre resistance to embrace social network activism; more on that soon.

First, though, I’d like to follow up on the experiment in cognitive evolution and revolution I kicked off in the opening panel.
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#amazonfail and we’re not done yet: links and perspectives (UPDATED with new links)

amazon.fail ... and you're done

Update, April 21: added some additional links here

Amazon’s stock has recovered, bouyed by Friday’s report that Kindle sales have exceeded expectations. Traffic on the #amazonfail hashtag is much lighter.  The auction for AmazonFail.com is over, at least for the time being.

But I don’t think this issue’s going away quite that quickly.

Right now it feels like everybody’s taking a step back and reflecting.  There’s general agreement on the narrative described in the National Coalition Against Censorship’s #amazonfail explained in a flowchart and there’s a theme starting to emerge in the tweets on #amazonfail and blog posts:

It’s not over.

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Tweet the silence! #dayofsilence Twitter chat today at 3:30 PM Eastern/12:30 Pacific

Tweet the silence!

The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year the event has grown, now with hundreds of thousands of students coming together to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior.

dayofsilence.org

11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover took his own life last week after constant bullying, including daily taunts of being gay.  yet another reminder of how important this issue is to kids and anybody who cares about them.  This year, the National Day of Silence is Friday, April 17.  Tweet the silence is a way for everybody to support the students standing up against anti-LGBT bullying … and to help create more awareness of the issue.

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Guest-blogging mania! New posts on Twitter activism and innovation

I’ve got a couple of new guest-blog posts up elsewhere:

  • Skittles and infowar: #pman, disinformation, and trolls on The Seminal continues the “Lessons from Skittles for poets and activists” series, focusing on the Moldovan protests.  This week’s lesson: Expect interference — and have a plan to deal with it.  I posted an earlier draft here; there’s also some background information in the comments of Twitter *is* a strategy.
  • A collaborative journey … on The Ideators’ Journey kicks off a new series exploring product and business opportunities for web-based collaboration tools. Along the way, if all goes well, we’ll design and perhaps even prototype a free tool, and recruit some early users. If that sounds interesting, please join us!  There’s an earlier draft of this and the second post in the series here.

Thanks to Jason Rosenbaum of The Seminal and Eve Enslow and Michael Foster of The Ideators’ Journey for the opportunities!

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My reply to Clay Shirky on #amazonfail

amazon.fail ... and you're done

Clay’s post The failure of #amazonfail admits that over the weekend, he jumped to conclusions,  “believed things that weren’t true” about Amazon and was “intoxicated” by the hashtag.  He now thinks he was wrong.  Most of the post is written in the first person plural, assuming everybody else reacted as he did.  He concludes that “we” should apologize to Amazon.  Here’s my reply, originally posted as a comment.

Update: aemeliaclare says it far better than me on Barely and Widely, as does Mike Edwards. Many of the commenters in Clay’s thread have good things to say as well.  On Twitter, by contrast, the backlash is out in force, with many positive responses to “the great Shirky”.

Update on April 16: Janet D. Stemwedel’s Morality, outrage, and #amazonfail: a reply to Clay Shirky on Adventures in Ethics and Science, and Andrew Sempere’s Why Shirky Missed the Point on A repository of ten thousand indignities and the harbinger of God knew what are two more examples of “saying it better than me”.  Nadia Cooke’s On the resolution of #amazonfail on The Ink Spectrum and Landon Bryce’s It’s Still On: The real failure of Amazonfail, Dubai, and Internet Outrage on Bookkake aren’t phrased as replies to Shirky, but make some very complementary points.

By contrast, Meg Pickard’s Spreading like wildfire: Twitter, Amazon and the social media mob focuses on what she sees as “ugly, prejudiced, underinformed, sneery, rude, kneejerk activity” on Twitter and sees it as “Destructive. Damaging. Virulent. Unapologetic. Unrelenting.”  Sigh.

My replies to Clay and Meg below the fold.

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Disinformation, trolls, and #pman: more serious than Skittles (DRAFT)

DRAFT!  Work in progress!  Feedback welcome …

Final version to appear on The Seminal

If you’re joining the series already in progress:

  • Lessons from Skittles for poets and activists introduced the series, briefly described how Skittles’ Twitter-centric viral marketing campaign caught fire, and concluded that Activists and poets — and anybody else who wants media attention without spending a lot of money — should consider including Twitter in their plans.
  • Mr. President, do you like Skittles? and Activism at the speed of Skittles, looked at how a small group of activists used Twitter to highlight a question about homeless vets and it was answered on the White House blog less than 48 hours later. The conclusion: Things happen very quickly in the Twitterverse
  • What rhymes with Skittles? shifted attention to poets, looking at my brother Greg’s 30 Poets/30 Days project and the #kidlit #poetry hashtags, and concluded that Everybody knows: fun rules.

This week, we’ll turn our attention to a more serious matter: the protests in reaction to Moldova’s disputed election results. As a “flash mob” congregated in Chisinau’s central square, the Piata Marii Adunari Nationalethe, and dramatically hoisted the EU and Romanian flags on Parliament, the #pman hashtag became a key communication channel for supporters and media around the world.

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How to vote in NetSquared challenges — voting closes Friday 3 PM Pacific time!

NetSquared is hosting the N2Y4 Mobile Challenge and Social Actions’ Change the Web Challenge, both filled with great projects for people to vote on, with a total of $60,000 in funding and prizes for the winners .  Cool!  But …

At least for me, the voting process was extraordinarily difficult; I counted 15 steps, and in many cases the instructions for what to do next weren’t at all obvious.  It’s a complicated two-step process where you have to first “mark your ballot” and then submit it.  Even finding the button to vote isn’t easy — it looks like an ad for NetSquared.   And I’m a trained professional!

NetSquared’s voting instructions help some if you can find them but are primarily text — there’s only one screenshot (and it highlights the “send to administrator link” which doesn’t have anything to do with voting).  Fortunately the folks at Capitol News Connection have written up excellent instructions for their project … and it’s straightforward to see how to apply these to any of the ideas in the N2Y4 Project Gallery and Change the Web Project Gallery.

So if you’re trying to vote, check out the instructions below.

And if you’re advocating for a project, consider creating a similar instruction sheet and distributing it to your supporters before tomorrow’s deadline, encouraging them to double-check their votes.  If you don’t have the time or resources to do something slick, that’s fine: step-by-step text instructions with links are a lot better than nothing.  Voter education makes a huge difference in competitions like this, and it also is a good way of showing your supporters that you appreciate all the hard work they’re doing getting through the obstacles NetSqaured has set up from them.

jon

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Change the way you ask for help (DRAFT)

DRAFT!  Work in progress, feedback welcome! See the first comment for some specific questions

Revised version to appear on The Ideators’ Journey, kicking off a series on collaboration and innovation, perhaps as two posts.

Eve’s Ask for help makes a great introduction to a series that Mikal Lewis and I will be kicking off on collaboration.  Eve, Michael, Mikal, and many of the other people you’ll see participating in this series met on the Ad Astra (Analysis and Development of Awesome STRAtegies) project I led at Microsoft.

During this series, we’ll apply approaches from Change the Way you see Innovation to a real-world problem: designing a free web-based collaboration tool, while simultaneously exploring business opportunities in this space.  In this post, I’ll lay out an initial scenario, and Mikal will take it from there.  First though a little background for people joining our journey in progress.

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