Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hooking Up Online Against the Death Penalty

Inside Higher Ed, "the online source for news, opinion and jobs for all of higher education", recently ran a piece on online organizing on Facebook called "Hooking Up, Politically". The article mentioned Hooman Hedayati of Texas Students Against the Death Penalty and TSADP's Anti-Death Penalty Alternative Spring Break. "Facebook is becoming a key resource for student leaders who mine the site for users with similar interests and world views. Politicians and nonprofit groups have discovered the power of grassroots online organizing, and college leaders, who are even more used to the networking functions, are staking out their Web presence, as well", says the article.

There is a global group on Facebook called Students Against the Death Penalty (you must be logged on to Facebook to see the page) that has students from all over the nation expressing interest in a national anti-death penalty student organization. Any student in the nation can join a Facebook global group, as opposed to the usual Facebook groups, which are limited to individual campuses. There are already almost 1,500 members of the global SADP group. And Hooman has come up with an organizing contest aimed at doubling those numbers rather quickly. Read about the contest on the TSADP blog. We hope it works out. There is a real need for a national student anti-death penalty organization and it is heartening that there seems to be a national student group growing up organically from the grassroots.

Last Fall, TSADP placed an online ad on Facebook advertising the 6th Annual March to Stop Executions. At the march, we were chatting with a young woman who was attending the march with her mother. We asked them how they had heard about the march and they said the daughter had seen the ad on Facebook. That shows you how valuable online organizing is. TMN is also looking for ways to increase use of the new generation of online “Web 2.0” social networking tools. One of our members, Crystal, has started a Texas Moratorium Network site on MySpace. Take a look at it and leave her a message or add TMN as one of your MySpace friends.

There is also an article on Texas Moratorium network in Wikipedia. Anybody can edit any article on Wikipedia, including the article on TMN or the article on Capital Punishment in the United States. If you have something to say, go ahead and make changes to the articles on Wikipedia. There are also Wiki articles on individual people, such as Frances Newton.

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