Digital Marketing Insights

Let’s face it. We live on this tarnished planet that we call home where every day we see or hear of an injustice taking place. Our lives have become accustomed to just accepting the amount of rubbish that is thrown our way. Whether it is the war in the Middle East and its aftermath, or the continued fight for climate change, what do we do about it? Nothing. We stare aimlessly at the TV and just agree in disbelief at what is happening around us.

I’m not saying we’re all guilty of not doing anything—I like to think that I have given my fair share of goodwill back to society—but in general it’s far easier to sit back and let someone else sort out the planet. Am I right? Am I also right in saying that only when something bad happens that personally affects you, a family member, or someone close to you, do you actually take note and do something about it?

It has to be the easiness of letting other people take care of it. It must be, otherwise we’d all be up and doing more. As it stands, who wants to work a full day, and then have to organize a petition, or a rally, or be responsible for starting a national movement? It’s simple. You don’t. And that’s why those that do are recognized and applauded. However, what if you could spark a national movement, or take your cause online, from the comfort and ease of your own home?

I’m not asking you all to go all Kony on me—hey, maybe some of you out there will (what’s the latest on that by the way? I, along with probably the other 99% who watched the first video, never watched part two)—but surely if you could create a movement and post your cause, or want for change on Facebook as easily as you would update your status, then you would do more, wouldn’t you?

Online Activism is doing exactly that. With their mission to magnify activism using the power of the internet, they give their users the tools to take their causes online and spark national movements. And according to executive vice-president Ben Wikler, he believes the power of this platform enables a campaign to scale very quickly, reaching thousands of people in a matter of hours, “Online petitions can grow incredibly fast, incredibly quickly…You can start a petition on in about 30 seconds, you can push it out on Facebook, and it potentially can go viral.”

Although founded in 2007, 2012 has been an incredible year for the certified B-Corp with their name attached to some very high profile campaigns. They hosted petitions against SOPA, and the major campaign to change the R-rating of controversial documentary Bully. However, it was the Trayvon Martin movement that quite literally changed the way people protest online. Initially reported in the press, it wasn’t until the boy’s parents created the movement on which finally brought their son’s killer to trail. Garnering 100,000 signatures in the first 72 hours made this the fastest petition in history and “changed the national conversation about violence and race, and provoked a lot of powerful discussions”, states Wikler.

Currently with 13 million registered users, signing petitions and participating in activism, has other avenues they want to focus on. Next month they will host their second-annual Hack for Change, a 24-hour “hack-a-thon” devoted to apps that improve the lives of individuals and the community. Last year’s winner, GoodNeighbor, a text-based service that enables users to ask their neighbors for help with small tasks, is just as important to as is the activism created by their site.

On the Flip-side

When I consider what is doing, it makes me think how different our planet might be today, if we had had the unstoppable force of today’s social media platforms back in 2003. Even now, although I wasn’t a part of it, I remember protesters marching through the streets of London imploring the then UK Government not to join America and invade Iraq. Just imagine if that was today. How many people would have signed that petition or joined that anti-war movement upon the influential power of Facebook and social media? I’m confident it would have been in the hundreds of millions, most likely from all around the world.

But we’ll never know.

I just hope that together if we see the beginning of what could possibly be the start of another 10 years, just like the last 10 years we’ve had, then we’ll be ready. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops in hand, we’ll unite together and shout down the powers that be, from the quiet, ease, and comfort of our homes.

Mouneeb is an experienced digital marketing strategist with a passion for helping clients achieve their goals online. With over 15 years of experience in designing, developing, and managing a team that develops top-notch web projects, he brings a wealth of information to the teams that he leads and the leaders that he follows.

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