Calling for action.com

How can people and computers be connected so that— collectively— they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?

(Thomas W. Malone, Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence1)

Looking around, on internet, on TV, on what is happening around the world… people are definitely getting new forms of, together, take action as a group for a purpose, event, cause, belief or even competition.

Filmmakers and media production people for example, are exploring and experimenting new forms of producing and exploring the world, collaborating online with each others. Life in a day proves that. A collaborative documentary film about a single day on earth. “On July 24, thousands of people around the world uploaded videos of their lives to Youtube to take part in Life in a Day”. Kevin Macdonald, the director, got 80.000 clips, which ended up in 90 minute film that seems to give a wide inspiring trace of what is happening around our world. All these different amateur or professional directors from all over the continents have credits on the same film, and all of them went to Sundance Film Festival. A full table with 20 directors of Life in a Day in Sundance festival. The public release will be still this year 2011. I’m pretty curious…

But other people are out there using these tools to act as an active group. The recent events in the Middle East, starting in Egypt, going to Lybia and around the Arab world, where people organized major street gatherings to protest against the government and their freedom. That is a impressive prove of the power of social media as an active tool. By youtube they would show the world what is happening, as the censorship is high in these counties, through facebook and twitter the word and the revolt would spread and the protests would be organized by just a few indivduals bringing thousands of people to the streets, united, fighting for the same goal. The protests became viral and the government can not control them. The online democracy is being dragged to the streets, by social media tools.


Egyptians protest in central Cairo. Photograph: Khaled El Fiqi/EPA, in guardian.co.uk

The potential of social media in organizing major gathering events has motivated other people around the world, even in the west European countries. Yesterday in my country, Portugal, took place the biggest public protest since the freedom revolution of the country from the dictatorial regime in 1974.
Geração à rasca” meaning “generation in despair” is the mot and the name of the event, which started on facebook less than 2 weeks ago by 4 single individuals with a blog and a facebook page. On the 12th of March, more than 300.000 people, of all ages, met in the streets of Lisbon and Porto, to protest together. On facebook more than 60.000 people were confirmed on the event of this “Nonpartisan, secular and pacific” manifesto and spreading the word of protest. This generation is fighting to the right of employment, the right of education, to the improvements of working conditions, to the end of precariousness, the recognition of qualifications, competences and experience, reflected on worthy wages and contracts.



By Alberto Frias, newspaper photographer in Expresso

So are there more purposes for calling for action online? Who else is taking opportunity of these new tools of reaching the mass in a short time and in a wide space? The BRANDS. They were probably the first ones trying to explore and to be in this social media world in an active way. Giving information about the new products is overpass, or it is the basic for a brand in the social media arena. People like to comment, to “like” to tag and to be active… So brands now are asking people’s action and in return they will offer or do something.
I will be exploring more this topic as it is so wide and so many good examples lie around the web. Here one of the interesting ones by its efficiency and its simplicity. A new IKEA store had to create a campaign for its launch in Malmo, and they used a famous tool of facebook “tagging” to create awareness and some people’s action with the brand…

Call for action online – I see it as a trend and as a reflect of the interesting times, of new communication forms, we are living these days…

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