Let's see if we can write a post about social media and activism without mentioning M_____ G______.
Whoops! OK, nope.
But that'll be the only one in this article because other researchers are exploring distinctly different aspects of online organizing. Dave Karpf, a Rutgers assistant professor, studies how organizations are changing as the Internet becomes the primary means by which they reach and solicit their members.
The Berkman Center is a leading institution for important research into the uses and impacts of digital technologies. We'll be previewing their regular brownbag lunches here on The Atlantic Technology Channel.
"Internet-mediated organizations like MoveOn, Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Organizing for America differ from the older organizations that have typified American politics over the last few decades," Karpf said. "We have underlying shifts in how organizations view members and how they raise money."
He'll be describing these shifts in a talk at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard today. And, as he sees it, a similar shift has already occurred once before in the rise of direct mail during the 1970s.
"Membership went from I show up to the meeting and I'm an Elk to I write a check and send money. That changed the types of groups that we had and the new fundraising scheme led to the single-issue advocacy groups," Karpf said.