What it takes to be a movement
: Micah Sifry is looking at what it takes to build a movement online (for a panel this weekend) and he did some great homework. He charted various organizations/movements against (1) Technorati links, (2) Yahoo groups (a so-so proxy for interactivity and community), and (3) MeetUp members. I’ll leave it to better sociological minds than mine to analyze the data. At a glance, I thought that to get a clean sweep across these three columns, one needs a candidate (or perhaps a person — a celebrity; see the Stern post below). But I’m not sure that’s true; a movement can wisely use all these tools. Or perhaps when it comes to movements, it’s a matter of different strokes for different folks; perhaps some movements work best with face-to-face meetings and others just can’t and shouldn’t support that. I think we are at the very genesis of the idea that a movement — whether a Presidential campaign or a lobbying cause or even a government in exile — can be built virtually and we’re only beginning to learn how. Sifry’s analysis is a fascinating view of this.
by Jeff Jarvis