Friday, January 2, 2009

Civic action - now available online?

Eat your vegetables, save the environment, help your neighbor -- 'tis the season for setting lofty goals to improve self and society. 

But lately, the line between action and advocacy has been blurred by the ease in which one can avow contribution online - forward to a friend, join a Facebook cause or digitally sign a petition. These actions provide an instant gratification of aligning oneself with a trendy cause, say community gardening, without all the hassle of actually getting your hands muddy. So does the all the blogging and online network action actually translate offline? 

One group of online advocates that appears determined to continue its record-level engagement online is Obama supporters. A recent study from Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 62% of Obama voters plan to be online advocates for his administrative policies once he takes office. For this support, they are expecting continued communication from Obama in return. Will our next president maintain this unique online fan club? Or will all this Obamania result in a civic engagement beyond mere words? Time will tell...

1 comment:

David said...

It's already happening, 14,000 people have said they would volunteer on MLK day. Don't know whether they'll all show up, but just the idea of 1,000 people honoring MLK by volunteering their time is really cool.