March saw me cramming half of the time and procrastinating in the other. A half-baked thesis that still fulfilled requirements and a sink-and-swim stint in political activism later, I realized the month just passed by with me micro-blogging thoughts that didn’t get enough incubation to become blog articles. Onwards to April, and I’m still knee-deep in write-ups for the Computer Professionals’ Union.
I have been working on the first proceedings of AOM 2.0, our national workshop in integrating Info-Activism in people’s campaigns first conducted just in August 2009. Since this and other taskings in CPU, alongside the electoral campaign for Bayan Muna and the Makabayan senatoriables Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, prevent me from delving completely into the world of blogging again, I thought of maybe sharing some unedited snippets of the proceedings.
Here’s one on the BAN Balikatan campaign by our network of people’s orgaizations in Bicol, demonstrating their comprehensive use of ICTs in both online and offline scenarios:
BAN Balikatan engaged in various protests and mobilizations to encourage popular participation. This included the people’s caravan, a bankaton fluvial protest of over 35 boats and 200 people, a transport strike that paralyzed 85% of the entire Bicol region, and a relief operation for victims of the Balikatan’s clearing operations. They distributed thousands of posters, fliers, primers and newspapers and engaged in creative propaganda such as producing protest shirts, pins and songs and holding street photo exhibits.
ICT was also integrated in their mass campaigns as a means of overcoming technical constraints and maximizing available resources. Taking advantage of different free blogsites such as wordpress, blogspot and multiply, these sites with their own communities became the main medium for BAN Balikatan’s press releases and updates. Both Bicol and National media used these sites as sources.
Multimedia sites such as youtube, flickr and imeem were also integrated in the sites. Updates were circulated through site updates and email forwarding. Every information and materials on the issue were collated into hardcopies for areas in Bicol without internet access. Various creative propagandas such as documentaries and other films were distributed through CDs.
The workshop had training sessions on various ICTs such as blogging platforms and social networking sites. Instead of including this pretty much self-explanatory aspect of the tools, we wrote short “abstracts” on how campaigners can use these tools. For example, on blogging:
According to Wikipedia, a blog (a condensed form of the term “web log”) is a type of website usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics and videos. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, or function as more personal online diaries.
Blogs are highly networked, having interactive features such as permalinks, comments and trackbacks. A study by Yahoo-Nielsen in 2009 revealed that internet users are opinion-makers in nature. The blogosphere, then, is an influential community that can greatly contribute to information dissemination if their participation in grassroots campaigns translated into the offline.
Blogging Platforms: WordPress, Live Journal, Blogspot, Tumblr
We’re adding sidebars on various tackled topics and relevant articles too, including those from our co-organizers Digiactive.org and our sister scientist group Agham’s Manila Times column Prometheus Bound.
We hope this would help sustain the tactics and strategies our network organizations learned from AOM 2.0. Watch out for the proceedings sometime this April!