Barack Brushes It Off

Mary's DigiActive radio interview

Last week I was interviewed about my digital activism site, on the Australian community radio program The Fourth Estate with Daz Chandler. You can take a listen below by clicking the green arrow:

Topics discussed include my motivation for founding DigiActive, examples of how activists are using Facebook to organize international protests, whether digital activism is elitist, and why it's a good idea to use online commercial tools for activism.

Is MoveOn Taking the Right Position on Iraq?

One of the reasons I am so excited about digital activism is that it gives a very public voice to people with few financial resources (start a free blog and you instantly have a potential audience of millions). In short, digital activism empowers ordinary citizens to have a significant impact on world affairs

But with this privilege comes responsibility. If the Internet allows ordinary citizens to influence world affairs we have to think very carefully about how we use that influence. Case in point: MoveOn's campaign to get American troops out of Iraq. Above is a video they

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A Network Map of the Iranian Blogosphere

iran blog map Network Map of the Iranian Blogosphere: click the image to see a bigger version.

In addition to my master's program and DigiActive, I am also a research assistant for the Internet and Democracy Project at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. For much of this year, John Kelly of Morningside Analytics and Columbia University, and his team, has been studying the Iranian blogosphere for the Internet and Democracy Project. He's used both a network analytics program and human reserch to create the map above.

A little bit of explanation: A dot represents a blog.

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Live-Blogging: Larry Lessig Wants to Change Congress

larry lessig
Larry Lessig, Stanford intellectual extraordinaire and founder of Creative Commons, is here at Harvard Law School to talk about his new campaign Change Congress as part of the Berkman@10 lecture series.

He begins with a quote from Ronald Reagan: "A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy."

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Alternative Media Critical to Malaysian Election

malaysiakini, one of the biggest alternative news blogs in the country.

According to USINFO, a publication of the Department of State, alternative media played a key role in the March 8 parliamentary elections in Malaysia. The ruling Barisan National (BN) party received a surprising blow when it lost 58 seats in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat. Although the BN still holds 63% of seats, it lost its commanding two-thirds majority. The BN has ruled Malaysia for 50 years.

At a forum on April 1, at the University Malaya, columnist Datuk Johan Jaffar noted that alternative media had a crucial effect

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Me, Illustrated

In my political organizing class today I had to give a presentation which included my "story of self" - the events in my life that have made me who I am. I was also asked to make a visual aid to illustrate the story, which ended up being such a beautiful work of art that I just wanted to share it.


Ethan Zuckerman Talks Digital Video Activism

Here's a video from uber-blog BoingBoing in which Global Voices co-founder Ethan Zuckerman talks about video activism in Tunisia:


Why I Love Wikis

A wiki is a web page which users can easily edit and add content to by clicking an “edit” tab on the page. It is a great way to coordinate work within a group, much better than e-mail, and it is for that reason that I create a wiki for every major project that I do. (I have over ten project wikis on For more information on how to use a wiki (including a great instructional video), visit the wiki post on

Thoughts on Joining Twitter

Today I joined Twitter,a service that lets you follow the public SMS dispatches of people you find interesting. I am equally willing to believe that it will be a fabulously useful new social networking medium or a sparkly excuse to distract myself with increasingly hummingbird-like multitasking.  Guess I'll see.  You can follow me at


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