Saturday, December 8, 2012

Social Media in Global Governance and International Development

We have talked a lot about the social media in the presidential campaign and non-governmental organizations. Since I have been focusing on the governance and global civil society this semester, I'd like to look at the social media in the transnational non-governmental organizations in this blog. Social media can leverage grassroots NGO because it's more economic way than traditional channels of marketing and advertising for them to promote their brand and raise public awareness. For TNGOs and international networks or advocacy, social media is more efficient way for them to promote their networks worldwide. 

I have been looking at two international organizations, one is the Scholars at Risk (SAR), an international network of universities and colleges which dedicated to promote the academic freedom and defend the human rights of scholars and their communities worldwide. SAR helps the threatened scholars to escape the dangerous situation and to continue their research work in the hosted campuses. While it has done a great job in protecting targeted scholars and defending academic freedom and human rights offline through bridging the scholars and academic institutions worldwide, it hasn’t made the most of social media to better educate the public about its work, which is also one of its main missions. SAR does have a Facebook page and Twitter account, but not very active and not influential at all. And another organization I have been looking at is SAR’s parent organization, the Amnesty International. Contrary to SAR’s lag behind on the social media strategy, the Amnesty International has an excellent social media technical group which is responsible for maintaining, updating and responding on its social media tools daily, or even real-time. And it absolutely has a big success in terms of its social media strategy. Both its Facebook page and Twitter account has enough and real-time information, events, campaigns for audiences to be informed, educated, and more importantly, get involved.

And getting more people involved is another magic that social media can play in promoting the development of global civil society. There is just no reason for TNGOs or any other global civil society players to not use these magic tools in the age of social media.

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