An upcoming event caught my attention as something I thought other Ideas Lab bloggers and readers might be interested in:
Using Social Networking to Marshal the Youth Vote: Online discussion with Rock the Vote director Heather Smith – Tuesday April 7
Very significant elections are coming up in South Africa on April 22, and for the first time in the country’s history, there is relatively strong opposition to the governing party. So each party has to campaign hard, and they’re reaching out to young voters using Facebook, YouTube and other online media. Join us for a global webchat on April 7, at 9 a.m. EDT (13:00 GMT), that will give young political leaders in South Africa and around the world an opportunity to discuss tools and tips for online campaigning with Heather Smith, a consultant and expert on youth voting. Find out more
The topic of this chat also reminded me of an article in this month’s Wired magazine – Cairo Activists Use Facebook to Rattle Regime. In Egypt, activists used Facebook to organize over 70,000 online supporters in solidarity with industrial workers who planned a demonstration for April 6, 2008. Some of the supporters extended their solidarity to the streets, and staged small demonstrations in Cairo, which ran in parallel with the larger workers’ strike in El-Mahalla el-Kobra. The movement has faced numerous challenges, but it thrived particularly in the beginning, when Egyptian authorities underestimated the group’s popularity, the extent to which its message resonated with Egyptian youth, and the power these youth had for out reach using social networking tools.