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Edemocracy Updates 26/02/07

26 February, 2007
By An Nguyen

New global movement kicks off with one million participants
Over 93,000 netizens from all over the world joined a virtual march asking the US Congress to oppose Bush’s recent plan for military escalation in Iraq.

This is the result of the first campaign of, a new global movement co-founded by the community, which has recently kicked off with nearly one million participants. These people form a borderless citizenry to make their voices heard, with the aim “to ensure that the views and values of the world's peoples shape the decisions that affect all our lives”, from the war in Iraq to climate change to global poverty.

Avaaz’s second effort - on climate change and global warming – has begun with a combination of the first global TV ad campaign – first in Germany, India, France and the US, a multilingual YouTube video, and an online petition. The petition has been signed by over 48,000 people by the time of writing.

This impressive debut has been featured in this story by The Economist (subscription required).

"The mouse-click that roared" 
In less than two years, GetUp! - the organisation behind the "Bring David Hicks Home" campaign - has turned itself from a "Trojan Horse" for the Labor Party into a substantial political force raising $500,000 alone in 2006. This story in The Age details its rise.

EU to accelerate open access to scientific information
The European Commission has launched a policy document “to examine how new digital technologies can be better used to increase access to research publications and data as an important driver for innovation in our increasingly knowledge-based economy”.

The Commission’s concrete measures for 2007-2008 include €50 million to support and help coordinate infrastructures for storing scientific data across Europe; €25 million for research on digital preservation, supporting in particular centres of competence in digital preservation; and €10 million to improve interoperability of, and multilingual access to, collections of scientific material. 

Examples of successful YouTube-only campaigns in 2006 election
Raven Brooks on the Personal Democracy Forum recently picked up two YouTube-only ads which he believed had “a much larger impact on the electorate” than those produced for television and then adapted for YouTube. One, on stem cell research by Claire McCaskill, got over 2.3 million views and reached over 5,900 comments by the time of this update. The other, by VoteVets on purchasing armour for troops in Iraq, received much less page views (23,500) and no comments but “did spread … virally”. 

Whether you agree with this pick or not, the cheaply produced but exciting videos – featuring Michael Fox and Pete Granato – are worth a look here and here.

Are campaigns conversations?
Recent online campaigns by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and others are NOT authentic conversations as they are claimed to be, according to Patrick Ruffini in a recent post.

“In the age of new media, the worst thing someone can be guilty of is being inauthentic. That’s not exactly a new insight either, but the YouTubeization of politics amplifies a candidate’s past twists and contradictions many times over. That means you don’t have a “conversation” with someone that’s really a monologue. Most of Hillary Clinton’s invitations to “chat” are immediately followed by a fade to black. Faking a conversation is worse than not having one at all,” said Ruffini.


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