CommonDreams-mild activism

Posted: October 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

The organization I selected was CommonDreams.org. It is a national non-profit, nonpartisan citizen’s organizations founded in 1997. The organization described its jobs as a) “We use the latest technology to bring the progressive community together online”, b) “We create political organizing tools and new models for Internet activism”, and c) “We publish breaking news from a progressive perspective. And the latest ideas and opinions of some of the world’s best progressive writers and activists.” CommonDreams.org cares about a wide range of issues, such as healthcare, economy, education, courts, infrastructure, and environment.

Some significant differences in the content of the two websites:

Some basic elements of MoveOn’s website mentioned by Rohlinger and Brown (2009) are membership, donation and intermediary actions (or “current campaigns”). While functions of membership and donation were found on CommonDreams.org, efforts on turning online activism into real world actions were not identified. Besides that, CommonDreams.org provided political news stories written by its staffs and readers. The organization accepts submissions of the readers and provides a writers’ guideline. Also worth noticing is that a privacy policy for members, supporters and visitors of the website has been made clear. It is stated on the website that “information provided voluntarily by you will never be sold, rented, exchanged or otherwise disclosed to any other organization. Period.”       

Membership benefits:

Some benefits that MoveOn has provided to its members were identified through personal interviews by Rohlinger and Brown (2009) as “feel less alone”, “a particular kind of free space, one where they could exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities”, “challenge the status quo and reconnect with political processes”, and making people more interested in “getting out there”. I feel that most of the benefits could be also applied to the members of CommonDream, because the organization encourages people to get together writing and talking about political issues on its online platform. The organization also has its own newswire and RSS feed which can to some extent reconnect people with political processes, or at least raise awareness. However, the website is probably less influential in terms of getting people out of their armchairs, since the organization doesn’t host real life meetings and events for its online members. And the benefit of “a sense of belonging” can be subtler.

Advertisements
Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s