June 05, 2006

"Google Bombing for Alaa", revisited, and on-line activism analysis

Jon Garfunkel has an extensive article on "Constructive Activism", which discusses the activism techniques used in the case of imprisoned Egyptian blogger Alaa.

Two weeks ago, Alaa Ahmed Seif Al Islam-- an activist, blogger, Cairene, Drupal developer, Egyptian, and fairly good husband to his wife Manal (in alphabetical order)-- was beaten and arrested, along with ten other demonstrators, as part of ongoing protests in Egypt in suppport of an independent judiciary. What followed was a smattering of global protests, online and offline to free Alaa and other hundreds of jailed protestors. These helped in part to generate media stories, and even the U.S. State Department has called the actions of the Egyptian government were a "mistake."

Still, it remains difficult to judge the effectiveness of some of the new online activism tactics, particularly as they are ongoing and have have yet to achieve the ultimate goals, but in some quarters they've already been celebrated without qualification.

I'm late to the party, so I'm just going to use my puny platform to recommend it. Why? Because there's plenty of analysis about Google-bombing problems, Google Ads as activism tools, the consideration of site design, code for "badges", and more.

[Disclaimer: I'm mentioned favorably in the piece]

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on June 05, 2006 01:00 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage


Seth: This piece gave me 2 referrals in 20 hours-- gosh, it ain't like the old days. Maybe some of your readers have started reading me directly. Maybe it's just not that important as pure-media studies.. Dan Gillmor's blurb was good for 30 referrals over the last five days, when previous links from him gave me 100's.

I suppose it's just quite long and doesn't fit into any common narrative. And I don't even know who the gatekeepers of activism strategy are.

Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at June 5, 2006 09:18 PM

jon, IMHO, yeah, you gotta do more legwork these days.

I get asked all the time to blog about XYZ. You know what? I created a community site using Drupal exactly so I wouldn't have to do all the work. Coming to my site and breaking it down for my audience is a huge help. You (or Seth, for that matter), would immediately go to the front page as contributors. No need to even ask. But I honestly can't blog about everything that people send my way, even if it's something as dear to my heart as your stuff or Seth. It's just not humanly possible.

My audience is starving for more tech stuff : netactivism, neutrality issues, censorware. I need desperately people to write for us there. So ... ahem ... take a hint and come on over to culturekitchen and start cross-posting away. the feminist and progressive blogospheres will surely appreciate it.


Posted by: liza at June 7, 2006 01:44 AM