Blogging for Good Governance
This week I was in Kampala and had the opportunity to meet a friend-of-a-friend, John Gattorn, a super-cool dude who does human rights and democracy work. As I’m obsessed with finding practical ways to use technology for social change, I told him about Global Voices Advocacy and their guide to blogging anonymously. Two days later, my friend Zach Everson sent me this Economist article: Blog standard: Authoritarian governments can lock up bloggers. It is harder to outwit them. (Zach has the best habit of occasionally sending me Economist articles that might interest me. I love him for that.)
The article gives a great overview, but it does not provide any practical links. So here they are:
- Anonymous Blogging Guide: A step-by-step way to protecting your privacy and your safety
- Blog for a Cause: How to use blogs as advocacy tools for political and social change (in English, Spanish, Arabic)
Beyond using blogs, people are also using cell phones (see FrontlineSMS and Mobile Active) and Twitter for similar types of work (see Andy Carvin’s Can Twitter Save Lives?, Ethan Zuckerman’s Never thought of using it that way…, and the KM4Dev’s community’s Twitter knowledgebase).
Let me know if you come across any other ideas or resources. These technologies can also be used in other sectors. Environmental activists, for example, can use them to alert authorities and mobilize people to combat illegal logging or poaching.
PS. You can also use Twitter to take care of your plants while you’re away saving the world. Check out Botanicalls.com.