Free Burma: International Bloggers Day on October 4th

10 years ago

Free Burma

Free Burma! International Bloggers' Day is on the 4th of October

International bloggers are preparing an Internet action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. They want to set a sign for freedom and show support for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons.  Bloggers are planning to refrain
from posting to their blogs on October 4 and will just put up one graphic with the words "Free Burma" and link to the siteAnyone can join the list of participants.  Also remember that it takes a lot more than putting up one blog post to make a difference.  Take action - sign a petition or follow any of these links to more information.

Why is Sopheap wearing a red shirt?

On Thursday evening, I noticed a photo of Sopheap Chak in Cambodian blogger Tharum's Facebook profile.   I learned that she was wearing a red shirt as part of a peace vigil outside the Burma embassy in Phnom Penh.  She wrote about her experience in her blog and shared some photographs

Preetaim Rai, the Southeast Asia Editor for Global Voices, offers a roundup of protests and prayer vigils in neighboring countries and plenty of red t-shirts.  He points over to a post from Mean Lux in Cambodia and his flickr set.

Mean Lux shared an excellent post that summarizes the all the online support in addition to the Facebook activity.

Now the online channel has breathed new life into this surging wave and brought with it Facebook events, Myspace groups, Razoo causes, BBC News feeds updated real-time, Twitter posts about Wear A Red Shirt This Friday For Burma and countless IMs’ from friends telling friends telling friends. Someone sneezed and it spread across the whole internet; you’ll find 72 results found by Google desktop, 9,494 Google news results, 2,283 blog posts in the last 12 hours according to Google blog search, 3,498 videos found in Google video (#1 is Jim Carrey), 22,978 blog posts about Burma in Technorati and 275 groups in Facebook.

The post gives us a screen capture from Google Trends, but it doesn't mention what has been happening in Second Life - for example virtual red t-shirts, and human chain protests or some of the flickr photo pools (here and here). There is also a roundup of links to Burma causes (not just Facebook that's just one channel) and events.

The conclusion: This data goes to show just how much online marketing share matters and how well this medium works for global messages and movements. Burma may not be in your backyard, but if you stop and think for a second the online world is all around us; you just need to choose how and where you’ll receive it.

It also shows that the power of combining many Internet channels as well as mainstream media channels and a compelling event.

My Red T-Shirt

Nancy White's Red T-Shirt

Justin Kownacki warns that wearing red t-shirts and not taking action is social media fluff.   On Friday, I wore my red t-shirt to the gym.  I used it as a conversation starter to tell people about what was happening and what they could do to show support. 

So, if you participate in the Free Burma Blog Day or any other way to support for this cause or others, how will you take action?  What else will you do besides putting a graphic on your blog or wearing a red t-shirt?

Beth Kanter, BlogHer CE for Nonprofits and Social Change, writes Beth's Blog

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