Community & Current Events

Blogging and Twitter: How to help people through social media

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Blogging and Twitter: How to help people through social media

Become an activist blogger
Sprinkled amongst taco recipes and family outing ideas, Andrea Tompkins's blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, tackles thorny community issues in her Westboro neighbourhood in Ottawa.

Back in 1999, Andrea began documenting her daily life as a young mother online. But, in 2007, the blog became her soapbox as well. A 1930s convent near her home was slated for removal to make way for monster homes that she feared would destroy the heritage and harmony of her 'hood.

So Andrea took to her blog, posting updates on council meetings, breaking news and impassioned pleas to city councillors and locals to save the building. Pretty soon, journalists turned to her blog for the latest on the issue. By the time the dust settled (and her husband was sick of the subject), her online and in-person activism helped secure the convent a heritage designation.

Voice issues through social media
This is the Internet's greatest gift to the world: a more democratic place to engage with ideas, people and events. But it's up to us to use that power. Pick an issue and own it. Feed your passion with daily posts, tweets and Facebook events. Connect with an online community of like-minded supporters (this will bolster your efforts and remind you that you are not alone).

Whether we're tweeting live coverage of the Toronto G20 protests or the earthquake in Haiti, we get back inspiration and information from our fellow Tweeters, Facebook friends and readers. The tools for social change are just at our �ngertips and keyboards.

Tips for using Facebook and Twitter
• Attending an awareness-raising event? Post it on your Facebook wall, tweet it and invite like-minded friends. If others can't make it, tweet the event live.

• Create a group page for your upcoming event so that attendees can engage with one another long after the event ends.

• When building your readership, Andrea of a peek inside the fishbowl recommends leaving comments on like-minded blogs. This leads the blogger back to your blog. It could gain you one more reader and the attention of that blogger's readers as well.

• Follow change-makers on Twitter and get the latest news right from the horse's mouth. Our favourites include the great humanitarian Mia Farrow as well as New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

• Go online at metowe.com to post your action and share your thoughts with other like-minded individuals.

Excerpted from the book Living Me to We: The Guide for Socially Conscious Canadians © 2012 by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger, published by Me to We. Reprinted with permission from the publisher. Illustration by TurnStyle Imaging.

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Blogging and Twitter: How to help people through social media

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