About

I write about digital strategies and communications — and their intersection with culture, politics, journalism and social activism.

Wednesday
Sep282016

Reddit as Focus Group?

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has turned to Reddit as one of its feedback channels for consultations on differential pricing. The CRTC is the Canadian administrative body that "regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in the public interest".

It's a slightly controversial move—as is its proposed charging of different prices for different types of data traffic—given the often aggressive and brutal nature of commentary on Reddit, the digital community that wants to help people "discover places where they can be their true selves."

Sometimes these 'true selves" can be not so pretty.

But its worth the risk to try reaching an audience that is sometimes indifferent even to such issues as net neutrality in which it should have an interest. There aren't many ways to reach Millennials and Gen Z when you want to consult on public interest subjects. Telephone surveys are largely ineffectual. Gathering social intelligence through online monitoring works better. Crowdsourced comment on native platforms like Reddit may be one answer, albeit risky and tricky.

We'll see. I hope the CRTC singles out the Reddit probe for detailed analysis in its final public hearings.

Tuesday
Aug162016

Exponential Activism

This is a presentation I made in June to the 6th Annual Social Media and Law Conference in Toronto about something I call 'exponential activism'.

By exponential activism I mean the power of individuals to mobilize around a social issue and to see a rapid growth of support—under certain condiditons—from what Margetts, John, Yale and Yaseri call call 'tiny acts of political participation'.

The presentation challenges those who dismiss online activism as 'slacktivism' using theories about new political turbulence and provides a guide for organizations to identify and manage social web mobilization targeted at them.

It's also available on Slideshare and Linkedin.