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Presenting the moral imperative: effective storytelling strategies by online campaigning organisations

There has been an international growth in online campaigning organizations that engage in public policy debate and mobilize citizens. Ariadne Vromen (University of Sydney), co-author with William Coleman of the paper Online Campaigning Organizations and Storytelling Strategies: GetUp! in Australia published in Policy and Internet, analyses how these organizations promote an innovative approach to storytelling and discursive politics, and how these stories are used to help citizens and decision makers identify with an issue, build community, and act in recognition of the moral urgency for political change.

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Investigating the structure and connectivity of online global protest networks

The rise of social networking tools, accompanied by the mass adoption of mobile devices, has strengthened the impact and broadened the reach of today’s political protests. OII researchers Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon and Ning Wang discuss their paper, ‘The Bridges and Brokers of Global Campaigns in the context of Social Media’, which investigates whether the ‘fluidity, horizontality and connectivity’ often claimed for online protest networks stands up to empirical scrutiny.

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Why do (some) political protest mobilisations succeed?

Social media are helping researchers gain insights into how people self-organize, and how bottom-up dynamics facilitate or hinder the emergence of large political mobilisations. OII Research Fellow Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon discusses how the dynamics of message propagation and recruitment help explain why some mobilisations succeed, but most fail. This post draws on her article “From Chiapas to Tahrir: Networks and the Diffusion of Protest” (World Politics Review, 16 April 2013).

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Online collective action and policy change: shifting contentious politics in policy processes

Internet mediated communication facilitates new forms of involvement in policy making processes for social movements, but also generates contentious politics as such. This is the central issue explored in this article by Andrea Calderaro, Guest Editor (with Anastasia Kavada from the University of Westminster) of the Special issue on “Online Collective action and Policy Change”, and researcher at the European University Institute / Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

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Did Libyan crisis mapping create usable military intelligence?

Policy and Internet author Steve Stottlemyre discusses how users of online social networks took the initiative in collecting and processing data for use in the rebellion against the Qadhafi regime during the Libyan civil war of February-October 2011. He describes how some of the information crowd-sourced by crisis mappers – whether they knew it or not – met the minimum requirements to be considered tactical military intelligence, in accordance with U.S. joint military intelligence doctrine.

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Preserving the digital record of major natural disasters: the CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive project

We talk to Paul Millar, project leader of the CEISMIC Canterbury Earthquakes Digital Archive project about the role of digital humanities in preserving the digital record of the impact of the earthquake that struck Canterbury, NZ, in February 2011. Huge amounts of important information are lost in the chaos following a major disaster: Paul is leading efforts to record and preserve it as a unique resource for future scholarship.

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Slicing digital data: methodological challenges in computational social science

It is easy to drown in digital data and not know what to do with it. OII Research Fellow Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon discusses some of the methodological challenges faced by social scientists when they try to make sense of the immense wealth of digital data available today. This is a talk given at the conference on new media and the social sciences, organised by the National Centre for Research Methods (29 May 2012).

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