Activist Blogs: Blogging For Societal Change

    November 27, 2005

Activist blogs are becoming a more important feature of the blogosphere. With the acknowledged power of blogging for business and for non-profit organization, it’s reasonable to expect that blogs would become a powerful tool for changing the world.

You’ll know the activist blogs when you see them. While your first thought might run to the various political blogs, I am referring more to the blogs that are issue related. For example, an activist blogger might write about the environment, abortion, legalizing drugs, or missing children, just to name a few controversial and emotion packed issues.

Activist blogs usually are single issue, and for good reason. The blogger wishes to concentrate the entire blog’s efforts toward a single and often highly controversial goal. Along with those various hot button issues, there will be controversy and negative feedback, as part of the overall package.

A blogger for the cause will learn from experience the highs, and unfortunate lows, that go along with activist blogging. Not every day will be pleasant, as opposition to the viewpoint will be frequent and not afraid to be heard. Blogging for change will result in negative feedback. That is part and parcel with the blogging genre, and should be expected. As a result, planning for problems is essential.

Blog comments for an activist blog will be busy, lively, and very often filled with personal attacks and worse. It’s important to maintain a balance of comments, and to avoid the temptation to delete opposing viewpoints. Comments must be left open, as free and open discussion and debate are essential for an activist blog. Comments might be even more important on an issue oriented blog than on any other type.

I would suggest that the only comments to delete are obvious spam, and remarks devoid of any value. That would include comments that were racist, sexist, lewd and profane, threatening of violence. Care must be taken to avoid the tendency to over moderate the comments. Let opposing viewpoints stand to encourage more comments and debate on the issues.

A blog certainly provides some very powerful techniques for aiding your chosen cause, and working toward those important goals. The blog will enable your voice to be heard in a crowd of other worthwhile organizations. The search engine visibility alone, makes the exercise a powerful one indeed.

Daily posts on your cause will keep readers returning for more information, either through bookmark, link, or site feed. Other people working to achieve the same societal changes will also link to your blog. Don’t be afraid to post contoversial issues, as they often invite the most attention to your cause. Be aware that a wider reading audience will also include some very vocal opposition to your position on the matter.

The mainstream media is constantly searching for spokespeople on various issues. A blogger is an ideal person to fill that role. With daily postings, and the necessary research to fill them, the blogger is very well informed on the topic. As an activist blogger, with a rising public profile, you may be called upon to speak or comment on your blogging issue. During a crisis or major event involving your issue, you may be called upon to comment on a moments notice.

As such, you will need to have contact information on your blog. Be aware of the risks involved, and provide a non-personal, issue only e-mail address. Keep your blog e-mail address separate from your personal ones at all times. A single address, dedicated to the blog is the best option to prevent personal attacks. If they do occur, you are able to change addresses very quickly as well.

Whether you are tying to change the world, or just your own little corner of it, activist blogs might provide the ideal outlet for your goals. Changes in ideas and attitudes happen one person at a time. It only takes one person to get the ball rolling, and to take a stand. Others will follow your lead, and perhaps join your cause. It won’t always be easy, and often discouraging, but your issues blog will be an important step toward achieving your goal.

Start your activist blog today.

You might even change the world.

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.