The social and political impact of the Internet is growing at a rapid pace.Â After all of the successes credited to President Obama's social media campaign network in last fall's election, we still find ourselves at the earliest stages of development of the social layer of the Net.Â Still, some are quick to dismiss the activist power of the Internet and still are not convinced that this medium will continue to change the way the world organizes around issues.
Take a piece in today's Washington Post
by Monica Hesse, which commented on the "trendiness" of online activism and discounted these "click to join" groups as nothing more than numbers on a Facebook page.Â This completely misses the impact that social networks have had on increasing the awareness of many issues and building communities around these issues.Â As we gear up for our nation's 233rd birthday, we are reminded of how colonists planted seeds of activism and organized against oppressors from abroad.Â Instead of Facebook fan pages, they had militiamen; instead of asking others to click a link, they asked them to help gather supplies; instead of Twitter feeds, they used horses to get messages across.Â From top to bottom, they created organization that allowed supporters to thrive in any role or level they chose.Â The mother who allowed soldiers to sleep in her cabin, was as vital to their success as the soldiers themselves.Â It didn't matter what a supporter of the revolution was doing, their support alone was enough.
Today there are groups on Facebook aimed at gathering supporters for just about any cause.Â Just like any other advocacy effort, supporters join for a variety of different reasons.Â
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