Digital U is an eight-part series that looks at transparency, crowdsourcing, privacy and security – with powerful examples that demonstrate how the internet is changing the way we live, work, play, consume and communicate.
The team, which includes Lisa Campbell Salazar of Mobile Revolutions (featured before on this blog), interviewed a range of digital strategists including Dorothy Engelman, Mitch Joel (president, Twist Image and author of “Six Pixels of Separation”), Ryan Taylor (goldsmith, The Fair Trade Jewellery Co.), Craig Heintzman (development associate, World Wide Web Foundation), Deanna Zandt (media technologist and author of “Share This!”), Ryan Coleman (facilitator & information designer), Donnie Claudino (marketing manager, TechSoup Canada), Meghan Warby (senior consultant, Argyle Comm.), Don Tapscott (chairman of nGenera Insight), Lisa Torjman (associate, SiG@MaRS), Beka Economopoulos (vice oresident, Fission Strategy), Sarah Prevette (founder & CEO, Sprouter), Jason Mogus (CEO, Communicopia), Sacha Chua (enterprise 2.0 consultant, IBM), Christopher Berry (group marketing science director, Critical Mass), Tamera Kremer (founder and chief strategist, Wildfire Strategic Marketing), Phillip Djwa (principal, Agentic Communications), Roz Lemieux (partner, Fission Strategy), Monica Hamburg (writer & social media evangelist), Marco Campana (online capacity, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants), Samer Rabadi (senior campaign manager, Care2.com), Sam Dorman (technology strategist), and Will Pate (social media consultant and host of CommandN).
Episode 1 â€“ Online Activism: An Overview
With social tools like Twitter and Facebook, and thousands of sites devoted to issues and causes â€“â€“ like minded individuals are hooking up about everything â€“ and itâ€™s revolutionizing how activists organize. Individuals can organize large scale events with virtually no cost, to create awareness and engage others for their cause.
Episode 2 â€“ Transparency: Tell No Lies
Controlling and spinning a message has driven public relations for decades. The motto has beenâ€“ itâ€™s better to conceal than to reveal. But the internet has allowed us to access any and all information surrounding institutions and government. Not only can individuals share and discuss products and policies, but concerned citizens can use accountability sites to report neighborhood problems.
Episode 3 â€“ The Power of the Citizen: Politics 2.0
Social media has forever changed democracy. Citizens are now being engaged like never before, as a dialogue in now emerging between politician and voter. People can now actively participate in their society, as governments have begun giving them the opportunity to brainstorm ideas to create change initiatives in their communities. And this concept of active citizenship is only the beginning of this democracy make-over.
Episode 4 â€“ The Power of the Consumers: Consumers Pumping Up the Volume
The power is back in the hands of the consumers. With networking sites, blogs and forums, customers can share their opinions on virtually any purchase. But the conversation isnâ€™t just one ended, consumers have begun to demand a conversation with the companies themselves. The digital space has finally given consumers the power to stand up and be heard.
Episode 5 â€“ Twitter and Micro-messaging
Twitter is the â€œhotâ€ micro-messaging tool, and itâ€™s bringing people together faster than we ever could have imagined. Events like Ho Ho Ho TO proved micro-messagingâ€™s success and its capacity for social change. But micro-messaging doesnâ€™t always need to connect people over serious issues. It has made creating events, and coming together virtually effortless. The world is flattening in not only a geographical way, but a social way too.
Episode 6 â€“ Crowdsourcing: The Wisdom of the Masses
Crowdsourcing is all about taping into the power of your consumers, acknowledging that many customers interested in an organization or a company are also going to be extremely knowledgeable about your products. Crowdsourcing also gives companies the opportunity to test products before they hit the mass market. From designing their own t-shirts, to measuring craters on Mars for NASA, this ability to harness our collective talents all over the world is one of the most powerful tool to bring about social change.
Episode 7 â€“ A Virtual Printing Press
Self-publishing has become easier then ever before, and simple tools like blogs, Youtube and Twitter, your message can reach the over 1.5 billion people online. Anyone can publish online and for free, which means that content is diverse, unique and frequently controversial. Citizen journalism has also taken to the internet, as everyday citizens take to the streets and have begun conducting their own interviews and asking their own questions that havenâ€™t always been addressed by the mainstream media.
Episode 8 â€“ A Loss of Privacy?
The internet has closed the geographical gap and put information right at our fingertips â€“ but its also important for all users to remember that anything they put on the web, can be difficult to remove, and accessible by almost anyone. Any profile or account you create online can be searched by employers, potential spouses, friends, family and strangers â€“ which not only puts your reputation at risk, but also your safety. As a user you need to be aware and beware of the digital crumbs you can leave behind.