Facebook, Web 2.0 and protesting

Last week a story emerged that involved people using Facebook to organize a protest about increasing petrol prices.

The story is not related to work, but it seems reasonable to assume that what works in on respect will probably work in another.

More specifically the article from The Times concerns Facebook users organizing a 'no fuel day', or as it was put the writer of the article - Rhys Blakely:

In a digital rerun of the fuel protests of 2000, members of Facebook, the social network website, are planning a massive boycott of petrol stations next week.

I have no ideas of whether the protest worked in any shape or fashion, yet to me, the case in question marks an increasingly creative application of Web 2.0 communication technology for ends that it probably wasn't initially designed for.

I believe such creative initiatives also indicate what appear to be an increasingly common social phenomenon, that of polyphonic organization.

The question for someone with similar interests to myself is whether organizing many Internet-based voices around a grievance is a worthwhile strategy.

The only clear example I can think of where it did work was in the case of Liverpool Dockers in the late 1990s - and Web 2.0 hadn't even got off the ground at that time!

I expect we will not hear the last of such campaigns whether they work well or not.

I'd say there is plenty of research mileage in this subject.

See Facebook's fuel protesters target BP for more details of the case in question.

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