April 30, 2010

TakePart: Spurring people to take action

TakePart: Spurring people to take action from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaThe single most difficult issue that those of us in the social change movement confront is: figuring out how to get people to take action. So I’ve been paying close attention over the months to the successful efforts of TakePart, an initiative of Participant Media.

Ric-O'BarryI recently ran into Adriana Dunn, editor of the TakePart blogs, and caught some of her thoughts about the lessons they’ve learned in participatory media. Adriana just wrote an entry about major events related to The Cove, winner of the Oscar for best feature documentary, over the past 18 months. They’ve just passed the 1 million petition mark, but you can sign the petition, write to elected officials or make a donation.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo

Ric O’Barry — the former trainer for Flipper who stars in “The Cove” (and the fellow holding the sign at top right) — appeared on Oprah on April 22, Earth Day, bringing the film’s message to the masses.

TakePart is much more than “The Cove,” however. Check out their beautiful News & Blogs section to see all the worthy causes you can get involved with or learn more about. For example, author Michael Pollan recently did a live chat about the 2009 documentary Food, Inc., in which he appeared.

“We’re not always going to be the one single source of information,” Adriana tells me, “but we do want to be the source where the community can go to find information about nonprofits, social change or whatever issue you’re passionate about.”

Follow @takepart (6,510 followers) on Twitter; Participant Media (SocialActionNow) has not yet taken off there.

Participant Media has either produced or distributed such films as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Kite Runner,” “The Soloist,” “Syriana,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Visitor,” “Food, Inc.,” “North Country” and the new “Oceans” and “Furry Vengeance.” See their full list.


‘The Cove’: Will movies usher in a new era of social change? (interview with Christopher Gebhardt, general manager and executive vice president of TakePart, on Socialbrite)
The Cove site on TakePart

October 26, 2009

Global Voices: Lifting up the powerless & voiceless

Giving international bloggers a global voice from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

International bloggers network offers alternative perspectives on events around the world

JD LasicaSince 2005, the international bloggers network Global Voices has been one of the shining success stories in citizen media: a community of more than 200 bloggers around the world who offer perspectives frequently not heard in the traditional media.

Founded by former CNN Beijing and Tokyo Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon and technologist and Africa expert Ethan Zuckerman while they were both fellows at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University (both are friends), the nonprofit organization with no physical offices offers reports and translations from blogs and citizen media everywhere.

“Where are the most interesting Middle Eastern and African bloggers and what are they talking about? What are Chinese bloggers saying?”
– Rebecca MacKinnon

I caught up with Rebecca several months ago to get an overview of the organization’s efforts. Global Voices’ importance and reach have grown even more pronounced during 2009 with the street demonstrations in Iran. Regular followers of Global Voices have been able to get a first-hand glimpse of events in all corners of the globe, from Africa and Southeast Asia to Oceana and South America. See their Special Coverage section and Top 10 video posts of 2009.

Rebecca, who also teaches journalism at the University of Hong Kong, describes Global Voices as a site where the editors curate the best of what bloggers are saying outside the Western blogosphere. “Where are the most interesting Middle Eastern and African bloggers and what are they talking about? What are Chinese bloggers saying?” The site’s bottom-line goal is to curate the most interesting conversations that will give you a different perspective on what’s happening around the world. Continue reading