"For most of history, Anonymous was a woman." Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Third Wave and the Electronic Medium

For the last few days, I have been having a conversation with a professor about the the pros and cons of using Myspace, Facebook, Blogger, and Yahoo!Groups to promote and rely information about my university's feminist group. ..and what finds its way onto the Feministing blog today but how young feminists are connecting through the internet.

Myspace and Facebook are the trendiest of the group and probably what most 18-22 year old collegiate women are using these days. Blogger is not as socially driven and Yahoo!Groups is less suited to casual glances and scanning and to be effective, the people on the list must regularly contribute and read what others contribute. Myspace and Facebook take less effort by integrating social networking, flexible (though imperfect) design, video clips, and music into easily scannable profiles. They are much more interactive than other electronic communication options.

The downside to all of these options is, of course, that it requires an internet connection and access to a computer. For some of the students that attend my university, that is not a viable option. Access to computers and the internet has expanded dramatically over the last ten years and will continue to do so, but it cannot be expected that every latent or active feminist out there has regular internet access. Confining our communication to the internet or relying so heavily on it might result in a certain elitism, certainly less exclusive than previous generations, but it's definitely still out there.

The internet is becoming a defining utility and community of this generation. It is impossible to escape it. So what do we do about the people who are left out of it that still have a lot of themselves to give to this movement? How can we keep up with each other if our means of communications are so separate?

1 comment:

Gordo said...

You can do quick mobilization and mass voice messages via telephone. You'll need to have some sort of call center service to record a message and have it call a list of numbers. I did it for a guy running for congress last year... I had it setup so he could call in, pick an area, and record a message. It'd then turn around and call people in that area with his message. It worked great since the messages were targetted and they felt connected personally with him as a congressman.

I suppose it could be setup to work the other way around too though to be somewhat of a voice message board. I dunno... Just throwing out ideas that don't involve internet connections.

Speaking of phones... There's SMS too... We used that a lot at Camp Casey.

I guess this is all more along the lines of one way communication to organize a protest or let everyone know what's going on verses a communal type system...

The internet is one of many mediums... It shouldn't be the sole mode of communication though... When it all comes down to it, it's the group gatherings and one on one discussions that gets things done.