Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Organise, Activate, Influence – conference report

October 8th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Blogging, Irish Politics, MSM, Social Media

Myself and over 80 others attended Saturday’s conference on Social Activism Online in Ireland. Hosted by the EU Commission Representation in Ireland staff, the conference was also organised by Cian O’Flaherty from It was well worth a Saturday! Some lovely photos from the day are available here courtesy of Red Mum.

It was a follow up to the Blogging the Election Conference in 2006 and a great follow up it was too. The standard of inputs was excellent. The attendance was very varied – it was great to see some people there from the widest reaches of social activism/blogging and none – those who understood that social activism did not solely mean party political or NGO campaigning and that blogging about business/disability/consumer issues etc. was social activism. There were the usual what’s wrong with Irish blogging (and a bit of what’s ok with it too and more of the latter is needed!) and the annual bloggers versus mainstream journalists barney failed to ignite more than a small fire despite Richard Delevan’s best efforts 😛 Following a conference on twitter whilst there was good fun and added to my enjoyment – there being no other active backchannel (that I knew of) we were all finding each other on the blue bird and following.

A mention must be made of Damian O’Broin’s excellent presentation on the A to Z of Online Ideas which you can see the slides from here. Such a simple idea for dispersing so much interesting material!

The main reason I was there was to hear Zack Exley speak – and he didn’t disappoint. He explored aspects of US politics at grassroots/netroot levels in the last 4-6 years with a fair bit of online activism thrown in and thoughts being poked at the audience to consider the transferability over this side of the pond. I think it’s safe to say that most people didn’t think they would be running out the door to find the Irish Barack Obama or Howard Dean to support and fund online. But there was a lot that those of food for thought in ideas around political and community organising.

Incidentally today Zack published an article on The Huffington Post about his recent visit to Ohio which he spoke about during his talk.

I believe that videos of the day will be online soon so those who missed it will be able to catch up.

News from the day – RTE are going to have some sort of new fangled gadget for playing their output and maybe a chance to embed stuff on other websites (I think!) But other bloggers are much better at explaining those things!

The conference was streamed live and I had a question sent in from someone watching who wanted to know where Michael Lynn was!

Many thanks to the EU Commission office for their hospitality and the programme and I’d love to see more of this happening with bloggers from other countries exchaning views on the ‘craft’ but also on the impact of blogs in the EU, it’s member states and institutions. There will probably be a lot of thought on things European in the next 12 months not only because of Lisbon but also due to the European Parliament elections. There is a bit of anticipation growing for blogging on those matters (yes some of us need our electoral fix to be maintained!)

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