By Joyce Yin
New Organizing Project blogger
Photo Credit: prwatch.org
This coming weekend, I have the fortunate opportunity to be attending a conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota called Netroots Nation. What is Netroots Nation, you may ask?:
Netroots Nation amplifies progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. Within that campus, we strengthen community, inspire action and serve as an incubator for progressive ideas that challenge the status quo and ultimately affect change in the public sphere.
Sounds pretty great, right? NAKASEC is sending me as a New Organizing Project blogger representative and I will be live-blogging and tweeting the conference while I’m there. Some things I’m looking forward to these next few days:
- Meeting other progressive-minded bloggers from all around the country. I’m excited to be able to connect with hundreds of other social media junkies who come from all parts of the country. As still relatively new to the blogging-for-change scene, I’ll be honest, my network of bloggers is pretty small. I can’t wait to discover more about the issues other people are talking about, how they are using the internet as part of their organizing plans and to exchange ideas about how to be strategic in engaging in online conversations around social justice.
- Gaining a better understanding of how to use the internet, technology and social media as a means to influence the public debate. As someone who has been blogging on-and-off for the last six or seven years, I’ve always had a passion for blogging but never quite had the time or monetary resources to go to a conference quite like Netroots Nation. I always knew there was more to the internet than just updating my status on Facebook or posting a new blog entry but I was never quite sure how I could utilize this interest in social media into social change. I’m psyched to be able to develop more insight into how bloggers can more efficiently reach a wider audience, rally communities around certain issues and in the larger picture, influence changes in thinking and policy. As most of us are well aware, the internet can be a powerful organizing tool; it’s just a matter of productively tapping into this important resource and how to successfully use it in the work we do on a day-to-day basis.
- Representing NAKASEC. As the blogosphere/social media continues to develop at an almost-alarming rate, it is more crucial than ever that we ensure that Asian Americans are also heard and fairly represented within this growing movement. This kind of relatively accessible media for the masses means that just about anyone [with a certain degree of privilege] can voice their opinion on any topic they please. That being said, it can become easy for certain voices to go unheard and for there to be a good deal of information overload. By going to Netroots, I hope to learn more about what it takes to ensure that Asian Americans are not rendered invisible while also effectively organizing and building solidarity with other communities and movements – all through the internet realm.
It’s going to be a crazy next few days but if you couldn’t tell already, I’m definitely looking forward to it! Please be sure to follow me at @zombie_penguins for updates throughout the conference [I’ll be using the #nn11 hashtag] and to check NAKASEC for some live-blogging!