Social networks can be so much more than a way to find your high school friends or learn what your favorite celebrity had for breakfast. They can be powerful tools for changing the world. With Share This! both regular folks of a progressive bent and committed activists can learn how to go beyond swapping movie reviews and vacation photos (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
At the moment the same kinds of people who dominate the dialog off-line are dominating it online, and things will never change if that doesn’t change. Progressives need to get on social networks and share their stories, join conversations, connect with others—and not just others exactly like themselves. It’s vital to reach out across all those ethnic/gender/preference/class/age lines that exist even within the progressive camp. As Deanna Zandt puts it, “creating a just society is sort of like the evolution of the species—if you have a bunch of the same DNA mixing together the species mutates poorly and eventually dies off.”
But there are definitely dos and don’ts. Zandt delves into exactly what people are and are not looking for in online exchanges. How to be a good guest. What to share. Why authenticity is more important than just about anything, including traditional notions of expertise or authority. She addresses some common fears, like worrying about giving too much about yourself away, blurring the lines between your professional and personal life, or getting buried under a steaming heap of information overload. And she offers detailed, nuts-and bolts “how to get started” advice for both individuals and organizations.
The Internet is upending hierarchies and freeing the flow of information in a way that makes the invention of the printing press seem like an historical footnote. Share This! shows how to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to make marginalized voices heard and support real, fundamental change—and, incidentally, have some fun doing it.