Continuing last week’s theme of digital activism, we’re starting this week off with a guest post from Rob Longert of Peppercom on the success of Blog Action Day and the future of digital publishing platforms. –Diana Kimball, DN intern

On October 15, 2008, 12,800 bloggers came together for Blog Action Day and helped spread the word about the issue of global poverty. From a social media measurement perspective, the day was a success, with blogs ranging from personal journals to big-name news sites such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and other members of the Technorati’s top 100 blogs posting on the subject. According to the Blog Action Day website, the message reached 13,498,280 “readers” on the internet.

Over at PepperDigital, we decided to post for Blog Action Day because it was for a good cause which allowed us to be part of a community working toward a common goal. I shared my view on creating an online homeless database in the United States, while other blogs made additional suggestions and observations such as Teen Ink Magazine’s post about Poverty Awareness Week and children who live in poverty around the world. Blog Action Day gave all its participants a chance to voice their views on global poverty, pose solutions, and push out a common message.

Blog Action Day put the power of mass communication in the hands of the blogosphere, harnessing the power of digital natives who possess the tools and know-how of communication via social networking, video, mobile, micro-blogging, and other digital tools to implement solutions to the problems of today and the future.

The new media environment offers us the potential to transform “existing structures of knowledge and power,” and harness the “collective intelligence” and “ability of the net and the web to facilitate rapid many-to-many communication,” as stated by Henry Jenkins, co-Director of the MIT Program in Comparative Media Studies, in his writing on the topic of “the collective intelligence of media fans.”

From telemedicine projects in Africa such as the Harvard Initiative for Global Health to helping political candidates stay on top of digital tools, we digital natives have a bright future ahead of us filled with opportunity, but communication is the key. We have our traditional forms of media and dialogue like word of mouth, television, phone (dare I say fax?) and the printed word, as well as newer forms of communication like mobile and online video, the 24-hour news cycle, text messaging, IM, e-mail and microblogging. It is our responsibility to channel and grasp these formats so our messaging and calls to action are heard by the right audiences.

My question to you is which medium will reign supreme? Will blogging stay alive and will we still have the success of Blog Action Day 2008 in 2009 and beyond, or will we be broadcasting our thoughts through a different medium that gets our message across just as well? How can we continue to make calls to action such as Blog Action Day successful, and what mediums will be used?


Rob Longert is an account executive at Peppercom, a mid size PR firm with offices in New York, San Francisco, and London. Check out the PepperDigital blog for more commentary from Rob and the PepperDigital team on the current digital landscape.

Be Sociable, Share!