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March 25 2013


[French] Le CR - Storytelling - L’art de narrer une histoire pour les ONG

Le StorytellingEst-ce qu’il y a une recette pour bien narrer une histoire pour son ONG? Quel message doit-on communiquer aux adhérents? Comment utiliser les médias sociaux pour partager son histoire?

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April 20 2012


Democratizing Digital Activism: Tools for Turning Information into Action

Is digital activism truly democratic? While encouraged by great examples of digital activism in action, I remained uneasy with universalizing narratives about an equal, liberating and benevolent digital frontier.

Is the social change potential of digital realizable in the same way for everyone, everywhere? Can local communities, especially ones that have been historically marginalized, use digital tools to solve chronic problems such as poverty, political persecution, and racism, offline? Or do we just leave this important business to the big names in the social change market (i.e. large NGOs and the digital experts hired by those organizations)?

Sure, anybody with a camera-equipped phone can be a citizen journalist and an “information activist” these days. And ostensibly, we have seen the rise of a “digital democracy”, offering opportunities for radical social change, especially via the sharing of information and calls to action on the Internet.

A 2011 study argues that the social Web is in fact, dominated by elite viewpoints rather than being the democracy it is commonly perceived to be. It concludes that the working class, for example, is underrepresented on the Internet and without their voices, their issues are ignored.

Not completely convinced by an academic study, I went looking for more examples, this time of tools which safely and securely make digital activism accessible to anyone and enable everyday people, especially marginalized communities, to effectively use information and technology to create positive social change.

That’s when I came across The Tactical Technology Collective (Tactical Tech). They have a three-pronged approach to enhance activism via information and technology that I really liked:

  • Act - Turning information into action
  • Reveal - Visualizing data and information for advocacy
  • Protect - Securing advocates from the risks of digital activism

Tactical Tech provides a ton of useful toolkits and guides translated in up to 20 languages, and even a robot that helps activists survive the digital age. All are free.

One of their most popular tools is the 10 Tactics for turning information into action:

  1. Mobilise People - bring them to action
  2. Witness and Record - someone is watching
  3. Visualise Your Message - picture it
  4. Amplify Personal Stories - no one is listening
  5. Just Add Humor - provoke a smile
  6. Manage Your Contacts - understand your connections
  7. Use Complex Data - make it simple
  8. Use Collective Intelligence - report it live
  9. Let People Ask Questions - technology that listens
  10. Investigate and Expose - reveal the truth

Centering on a 50-minute video - broken into interactive chapters - the tactics are being used by activists worldwide. You can also see all 10 tactics in videos on YouTube.

How are you using information and technology to drive positive social change? Use #digitalactivism to tell us on Twitter.

Image source: The Tactical Technology Collective
[Quoted Study] Poetics, Volume 39, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 145-168, DOI: 10.1016/j.poetic.2011.02.003

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February 10 2011


5th Annual DoGooder Video Awards: Submit your video today!

The DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards, from See3, in partnership with YouTube, are back again for the 5th year! The Awards are open for submissions from members of the YouTube Nonprofit Program until March 2nd.

This year, winners will again have the chance to win one of four $2500 grants generously provided by the Case Foundation, awesome video cameras from Flip Video, a free registration to next year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference provided by NTEN and more. For small nonprofits that have small funds in the video department, we have a new category for the best “thrifty” videos produced for under $500. And… wait for it: the winning videos will be announced at this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference hosted by NTEN and featured on YouTube’s homepage in March. (The YouTube part is sort of like having your nonprofit video seen during the Super Bowl.) Learn more about the contest guidelines and how to submit your video!

May 04 2010


April 20 2010


Lost Remote: New journalism programme to mix digital storytelling and business

“Even with the state of journalism today,” claims Lost Remote’s Cory Bergman, “most university professors would be loath to meld a curriculum of storytelling with the business side of the equation”. This is not the case at the University of Washington digital media programme though, which aims to become the ‘Columbia Journalism School of digital media and communication’, and teach “a unique blend of digital storytelling, social media and the business of digital media”.

“The three go together,” says Hanson Hosein, the director of the Masters of Communication in Digital Media program and a former NBC News correspondent who covered the Iraq war as a one-man band. “We’re hearing from our applicants that there’s nothing else like our program.”

Full story at this link…

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March 23 2010


#ds10: Blinked.tv – the emphasis is on live video and audio

Last week technology firm Blinked.TV demoed its mobile phone app for livestreaming audio and video to delegates at the Digital Storytelling conference (#ds10).

[Disclaimer: Blinked.TV was a sponsor of Journalism.co.uk's news:rewired conference in January]

The app, which will soon be available for iPhone users, lest you record and stream audio and video, and send text updates. Users can create channels archiving this multimedia content and different permissions, which can be embedded in their sites. Users can also switch between broadcast, audio and text modes without losing connection to a server during the stream, said co-founder Andrew Cadman.

The problem that digital journalists have is constantly swapping between applications to do multimedia work. Switching between applications is time lost.

The app’s interface is illustrated in this roughly-shot video below:

According to founder Andrew Cadman the app allows for “digital storytelling with a single broadcast” – an important part of this is the metadata attached to each piece of material. By itself a broadcast won’t tell a story, said Cadman, but with captions and location data attached to it, it can. The app also allows for multiple users to contribute to the same channel from different handsets and locations.

Providing high-quality livestreaming is the company’s ultimate aim – current 95 per cent of content uploaded via the Blinked.TV site is streamed live, said Cadman. Blinked.TV will also be trialled by a big UK media group in the next few months and is looking a charging larger companies for use of its embedded channels or charging on a bandwidth use basis.


As part of the Digital Storytelling event, Blinked.TV is running a competition offering prizes of £350 for the best individual and best team broadcast produced using the application. The deadline for entries, which will be judged by Blinked and digital journalism collaborative not on the wires, who organised the event, is 3 May.

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March 19 2010


#ds10 – Follow the Digital Storytelling 2010 event

Journalism.co.uk is attending today’s Digital Storytelling conference – a free one-day event looking a new tools and techniques for multimedia and online journalism. If you’re interested in following the day, use the liveblog below or follow the hashtag #ds10 on Twitter. We’ll try to share the best bits on the day on the site.

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February 02 2010


New digital journalism project ‘not on the wires’ goes live

not on the wires – the new digital journalism initiative Journalism.co.uk reported on last month – has gone live with a new website.

The group of journalists, which ran an innovative, multimedia project in November covering the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, will offer specialist training courses and is planning a ‘digital storytelling’ conference.

The team Alex Wood, Sheena Rossiter, Dominique van Heerden, Marco Woldt and Marcus Gilroy-Ware are seeking new opportunities for commercial and journalistic partnerships.

“We all work in different areas. It’s that whole sense that we’re entrepreneurial journalists – we’ve all got offshoots of the work we do, whether that’s web development or social media consulting,” Wood said of the Berlin Project in an interview in November.

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