We’re not activists; give us our cute cats!

Summary: set aside half an hour to read Ethan Zuckerman’s article, watch the videos he includes and follow the links he offers. It’s important.

Via Camden Kiwi: Virtual Beachcombing:

…, a serious, if light-hearted, take on the use of web 2.0 technologies by political activists, and why it may not be such a bad thing that so many people use so much technology just to swap pictures of cute cats.

… I was led to Ethan Zuckerman’s notes on his Cat Theory Talk at ETech.

Web 1.0 was invented to allow physicists to share research papers.

Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats.

In brief, he explains why the technologies that start out enabling us to share cute photos of our cats are actually the ones that eventually may lead to social change, thanks to activists:

Zuckerman cute cats slide. … With web 2.0, we’ve embarced the idea that people are going to share pictures of their cats, and now we build sophisticated tools to make that easier to do. as a result, we’re creating a wealth of tech that’s extremely helpful for activists. There are twin revolutions going on – the ease of creating content and the ease of sharing it with local and global audiences.

[The image here is from Zuckerman’s article.]

Read his article to find out why repressive regimes that block the tools activists use eventually have to give way to people who want pictures of cute cats.