Activism vs. Slactivism

Tom Steinberg from on Egyptian Revolution

It was a good event. And I do not feel so good after many events nowadays…it was an event really, really worth attending! As a social media marketer and occasionally engaged blogger, I get to attend events that are usually full of sales pitches, marketing slang and other “buzz”. Activism vs. Slactivism debate in Oxford was to the point, and almost most of the time deprived of strong self-promotion. *Sight* Yes, I know, sounds crazy hearing it from me, but real trust and brand loyalty, real respect originates from that particular feeling I had last night – calm, work and useful insights orientated discussion. OK, there were few moments of tension, but on overall I think we had a fruitful discussion. I liked the calm points on social media in the Middle East. I was really impressed with the majority of people knowing Morozov’s points and moving on to the next step – what can we really achieve with the new state of the Internet and various types of users/activist?! What works and what does not? And you know what I really did not miss the event – the usual discussions around terminology. You might think it’s irrelevant, but the amount of time wasted during many social media and Internet related events on the on-going arguments about the usage of “digital”, “social” or “ROI” completely freak me out. They lead nowhere. They mess up the flow of discussion. They are there mainly to showcase various individuals and their oratory skills, not actual solutions. When we heard and later discussed on Twitter social media ROI, stats and social capital in context of current large organisations like Oxfam, we all agreed that the middle ground between the measurable and the most effective but unpredictable or maybe more relationship orientated is extremely important. We are slowly moving away from dry numbers, but we still need to justify costs, maybe we always will have to? I am not sure. But it’s worth pushing the boundaries of traditional reporting and budgeting towards more creative, emotional and people driven engagement. I personally still think that numbers are great, as long as we understand their (in this case) emotional and word of mouth value. I guess it’s nothing new though, but worth repeating for those, who tend to navigate over to the new, the coolest, the buzziest plans or those who still only count clicks and likes;) I love Eric Lee’s summary: “we are all people, we all make mistakes, but we do not kill – we safe people’s lives”. We tend to forget that! So last night I had really great time! Sad to admit that I felt like in a sci-fi movie a bit – I do hope the majority of the nonprofit sector in the UK (and globally too) will share this approach in 5-7-10 years time. I really, really hope so! Tweets here, photos on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.