Technology: a Tool for Positive Change in Communities
Communities are everything. People coming together to help one another out, to provide firm safeguards that make families, business, institutions, and people safe, productive, and happy. Communities who work together thrive. No matter what they are working toward, it’s often the simple act of coming together and working together that builds powerful communities.
Positive change used to be achieved through a simple but slow set of tools: flyers, in-person gatherings, rallies, etc. Communities would spread their messages and gather new members by pounding the pavement and making their causes visible in the everyday world, where as many passersby could see their works.
Things are a lot different now. It’s a digital world, and technology has revolutionized the game. Community leaders are bringing about positive change by turning to the new gadgetry provided by the internet, smartphones, and other technologies. Here are some of the ways in which technology can be a tool for positive change in communities.
Online petitions are a simple, easy way to get the world out on for a cause, and it’s a great way to let politicians and other community leaders know just how widespread the voices for that cause can be. A quick look around various movement webpages will show easy it is add a “Sign the Petition” button to prominent place of the site.
The internet makes petitions breezy, powerful, and effective. You can preload pointed messages and send wave after wave of articulate commentary to the politician or company boss of your choice. Send a link to the petition to various well-placed members of your community and you’ve got a mobilized group of activists who don’t even need to get off the couch to raise their voices.
Connecting with people has never been easier. In the old days, if you wanted to spread the word about a cause you’d need to spend hours, days, even weeks in order to design flyers, hit up the copy show, and walk around neighborhoods stapling your messages to bulletin boards and telephones poles, and half of your flyers would be torn down by bored pranksters.
Nowadays, you can easily send group invites via Facebook, Twitter, or other social media to thousands of people. And once people see the things your movement is offering, they’ll start doing the work themselves.
Technology also helps you once you’re out doing what you do. If your group is out demonstrating, for instance, you can change plans quickly in case something comes up. You can even cancel an event with the push of a button. Technology makes everything easier, including community organizing.
Sometimes all it takes to convince people to join your side is to make a powerful ad. Video technology is powerful these days, and anyone can produce professional quality videos with a little time spent learning. Check your local library, or an e-learning site like Lynda.com, to brush up on your video and sound editing skills. Once that three-minute video goes viral, you can raise a ton of money for your cause.