It seems that there are ever more people coming around to the reality that the piecemeal approach to digital activism isn’t working and that we need to begin more rigorous and comprehensive analysis. One of these people is Lucy Bernholz: founder of Blueprint Research + Design for Philanthropy, blogger at Philanthropy 2173, and fellow at the New America Foundation. In a recent post on her blog, Lucy lays out a strong argument against anecdote and for rigorous analysis of what works (and what doesn’t):
…for too long, we’ve been arguing about the power of the internet to change politics mostly with anecdotes (I’ll take your “#iranelection” and raise you one “One Million Voices Against the FARC”) and snippets of data. We need a more rigorous level of research into what works and what doesn’t work.
I’m not saying that all of online (or offline) organizing can be boiled down to a science, but now that social media is nearly ubiquitous it’s time we took this seriously as a field and tried to develop a real research agenda to measure its impact.
H/T: Tech President and Tom Glaisyer