Sorry for the unreasonably long silence from us there. I can’t quite believe how long it’s been since the last blog post. But, things have been continuing for Digital Activism. Our campaigners have made great progress since the last post. New websites have been made, social networking activities have been under way and a wide range of people have been getting involved. And we’re now busy writing it all up into a toolkit for others to (hopefully) be inspired to do similar.
Here’s a very quick round up of our campaigners’ hard work so far. Please do take a look at what they’re doing and feel free to get involved, share with your networks and join them on Twitter and Facebook. Why not even rate your retailer and add it to the Shelve It! Porn Map, wherever you are…
Action Peckham (Southwark)
We have been very busy working with Ahmed at Southwark Organisers to develop a website and use social media and text messaging to engage people in Peckham. Ahmed had no experience of administrating a website – Action Peckham – let alone making one, but has developed a great little website to share local people’s thoughts, opinions and wants for their neighbourhood. He’s also started learning how to use his Facebook page to share information with people.
Hackney CAB Crowdmap
Hackney CAB Crowdmap has been hampered somewhat recently due to resources, but work does continue and campaign research and findings have been shared in numerous reports and papers, including London Councils and Consumer Focus. Other CABs and advice organisations have also been inspired and are looking at similar ways to map problems with the benefit cap pilots. The problems faced with benefit changes are not going away in a hurry and a lot of organisations are already applying lessons learned from Hackney CAB Crowdmap. (Facebook: Hackney CAB Crowdmap, Twitter: @HCABCrowdmap)
Holloway Against Debt
In Holloway, workshops were held in the run up to Christmas to help people save or make money. Local people got involved in making Christmas presents and learning how to use eBay to sell their stuff and Freecycle to get free stuff. Since then, a Money Talk was held with David Barclay from London Citizens to find out what older women users of Holloway Neighbourhood Group thought of money and financial institutions in Holloway. More plans are being made to follow this up and link up with other organisations concerned with debt locally.
Leeds: A City for All Ages
In Leeds, older people have been getting involved in capturing their experiences and opinions on the accessibility of Leeds on video through training with the Media Trust’s Adam Perry. And two older people got involved in the council’s Age Audit, adding their voices (through video) into research into accessibility by the council. (Twitter: @LeedsOPF)
Mothers Against Gangs
In September we started working with Mothers Against Gangs, a great group of women in Harrow who are supporting families with children on the cusp of joining gangs or getting involved in gang activities. We’ve been working with them to get a website up and running and looking at how social media and web tools can support get their message wider. (Facebook: Mothers Against Gangs, Twitter: @Mothers_Against)
Shelve It! was launched in September last year and so far it’s had a great response. People in Birmingham and the West Midlands (not to mention Lancashire, Yorkshire, the North East and London to name but a few) have been rating their retailers’ displays of lads’ mags. Do they sell porn or lads’ mags? Are they in view of children? Can children reach them? 58 retailers have been added to the Shelve It! Porn Map and shared on social networking sites so far to name and shame irresponsible retailers and celebrate responsible retailers – which it appears there aren’t that many of. (Facebook: Shelve It! Birmingham, Twitter: @shelve_it)
But it won’t all stop there. While we’re now wrapping up the Digital Activism project, we’re hopeful that our campaigners will continue to campaign on the issues they’ve made great progress with so far. Keep an eye on them and please help them out.