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The Use Of Online Forums To "Rally The Troops"

     There is almost nothing in the world that the rapid development of technology and computing has not made infinitely easier. From learning how to cook to communicating with friends, things that would take weeks and months in the past can now be done in minutes and days. One of the greatest examples of this, both a way to create social change as well as to add a little bit of humor to the world, is how social media allows for people to come together quickly on an issue and to be active in gathering those people while not introducing their information to people they want to keep it hidden from for the time being.

It used to be that when you were creating an event, you would print up fliers and post them around your area and hand them out on street corners. This was a very scattershot approach because you had no idea how many people that you were handing these out to were even interested in what you had to say. It also allowed those who might oppose what you were doing, especially if it was a political rally, to become informed of your activity and work to suppress it. (From a humorous standpoint, try imagining creating a flash mob by using fliers and not having the option of an online forum. It's not funny if they know what's coming.) Direct mail and phone calls would be more effective, but it still required information being returned to a central hub before a decision and an announcement could be made about what was happening.

An online discussion format, using real-time commentary and interactive discussions, changes all of that. It allows for the process to be decentralized and open, so that people can learn directly about the event that you have created and respond to it. It also helps to hone that creativity. By offering your idea up for commentary you will receive feedback that helps to make it more effective. These online discussion formats are also put to use in creating societal change by introducing a person to what they believe is a social injustice and giving them the option to add their name to an online petition that seeks to correct this injustice. Finally, by taking part in real-time commentary sessions, it allows people who may have similar thoughts and ideals that never would have met otherwise come together and build a societal relationship.

There are many reasons for creating an online stir. Some are to address political issues, some are to bring injustices to light and some are to just let everyone they know to show up next Thursday at 4pm in Grand Central Station prepared to recreate the "Thriller" video. Whatever the reason, the open forums that social media provides allows them to make it happen.

Article Source:

Jack Terry is a freelance writer and blogger who is a firm believer that social media and open forums such as could change the world.

Posted on 2014-03-31, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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