Margaret Shkimba, founder of menrvaSofia , writer and blogger extraordinaire, and social media wizard, popped by last week to show SACHA where it’s at. Two very involved TBTN bloggers – Amelia and Jenn – share their thoughts on the workshop and SACHA’s place in the feminist blogosphere.
Between lots of laughs, articles for our consideration and a interactive, challenging group activity, SACHA staff members and volunteers had the chance to better understand the social networking and media trend that, whether we like it or not, has become and ingrained part of the ways we communicate.
Though I’ve become heavily submersed into the realm of online social media since seeing the wonders it was able to do for community support post-G20, this workshop provided me with the chance to branch out. Basecamp was something I hadn’t even heard about before. As a grassroots community organiser, I’m excited to investigate and try it out and get friends interested as well. Basecamp allows you to work on projects together, even if and when meetings in the physical realm — “Fleshspace” as I’d eloquently dubbed it during Friday’s seminar — may be nigh impossible (due to various time restrictions of participants, for example). Tools like this could work wonders for coming up with a Comments Policy for this blog; for composing group-written letters; or for working on group assignments.
Many many thanks to the amazing Margaret Shkimba for sharing her social media savvy and smarts with us last Friday at the SACHA social media workshop! Not only did I learn about SM platforms that I’d never heard of or knew little about (Basecamp, LinkedIn), but I also had the chance to participate in a creative and fun brainstorming process where we all worked together on a collective vision of what a robust social media policy and approach might look like for SACHA. A great day full of good ideas, good humour, good food, and good company! But I can’t say that I have always been so enthusiastic about the world of social media…
You see, social media and I were never what I would call fast and easy friends. I’m thinking in particular of that Facebook character. I was aloof. I was critical. I kept my distance, thinking we didn’t have a lot to offer each other. I guess some relationships take more time than others, and admittedly, sometimes I can be a little slow on the uptake. To adapt a well-known phrase: when the going gets good, well, sometimes I neglect to get going with the rest of them. It was the eventual combination of a move from a much loved city, endless attempts by thoroughly smitten friends to woo me, and not just a wee bit of curiosity, that helped me succumb to its pervasive and network-y charms. This new relationship proved a resounding success, and it wasn’t long before I was also happily wandering through the wonderful world of the feminist blogosphere—an inspiring, informative, and sometimes infuriating place to be.
Sure, I do still think that social media offers our already hyper-individualist culture yet another medium for narcissistic, navel-gazing type activities, but it also holds an unprecedented power to connect people—to share stories, ideas, passions and politics—across vast regions, cultures, time zones and languages.
I’m not sure that I can properly fathom the full potential of social media—platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the like—when it comes to social justice activism, as I’m no social media maven yet, but the political power it holds as an organizing and consciousness raising tool has already proven itself many times over. It really is a revolutionary tool.
So yeah–I’m pretty new to this, and I’m still learning. But the going has definitely gotten good, and I’m happy to say that I finally got going too.
You can read about Margaret’s experience working with us on one of her blogs: http://inthesisterhood.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/social-media-sisters/
We spent the day exploring the potentials of social media and how it can be used to advance the SACHA mission of eradicating violence against women (vaw). Despite the seriousness of the work, the commitment to anti-oppressive and anti-racist process that they bring to their social justice work was inspiring and a reminder of the importance of respectful consideration in building and maintaining relationships.