Here’s Jim Moore, reflecting on the Iraq/Dean/Sudan campaigns he’s been involved in for the past few years:
“My hypothesis today is that we succeeded at establishing new memes and
new meme-based worldwide communities–and that to the extent our memes
were picked up and ‘established’ as topics in the major worldwide
media, as well as continuously supported in the blogosphere, we
actually made successful social change.
We did not make social change to the extent we hoped, but we did establish important beachheads that can now be built upon.
Perhaps change takes at least these stages: 1. create
shared awareness of the problem, and pressure for action, 2.
demonstrate the lack of responsiveness in established institutions,
3. create such shared awareness of the lack of responsiveness in
established institutions that there is pressure for institutional
change, 4. support true reform movements, as well as creative
competition, and start to change the status quo, 5. build shared
support–super buzz–for the new developments planted in #4, such that
these become realities on the world stage.
Perhaps a major value of the blog campaigns for Iraq, Dean, and Sudan
was to put problems on the table The stop-the-invasion-of-Iraq
campaign, the Dean for America campaign, and the stop the Sudanese
Genocide campaign all took issues that had a constituency but little
voice, and created a larger, activated at-critical-mass-constituency,
and lots of VOICE.”
I look forward to testing out this and other hypotheses at the Internet & Society conference in a few weeks.