Throughout the ages and around the world people have come together to express a united view on an issue. From the signatories of the Declaration of Independence to the many individuals who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States of America has seem individuals join together and rise up as a group to to give power to their voices. Together people can overcome injustice and change the course of history.
Today – with the advancements in technology – the power of combine voice is even more potent. The internet allows people to more efficiently connect, share ideas, and organize. Ideas that begin in one country can travel across borders and to other continents via social media. I can post a tweet here in Washington DC. An individual down the street or in New York or Vienna can read it and or pass my idea on to others.
The internet has helped people communicate when open conversations and transmissions are dangerous or distance is great. Since the June 2009 elections in Iran the opposition has used Twitter and social media to coordinate their resistance. For issues important to individuals all over the globe, the internet and social media are powerful tools for collaboration and to show solidarity. Social media tools can be incorporated directly into websites – such as the Obama campaign did with My.BarackObama.com during the 2008 United States Presidential election. Or groups of individuals can relay on existing social networks to spread their message or share ideas. To show support or raise awareness about issues individuals often change their profile pictures of post information on Twitter or Facebook. One social media company focuses solely on serving this demand – Twibbon. What this company does is creates graphical overlays representing a wide variety of causes that individuals can post on their Twitter and Facebook profile pictures to raise awareness. There are currently almost 40,000 cause Twibbons. I decided to see how it works and posted an Earth Hour Twibbon on my profile picture.
So, this brings me to Earth Hour...
Earth Hour began three years ago as an effort to raise awareness of global warming. Since then, Earth Hour takes place every March and for one hour people all over the world turn off their lights to make a statement that we must find solutions to climate change. Last year, almost a billion people turned participated in 4,100 different cities in 87 countries on seven continents.
This year Earth Hour is on Saturday March 27th from 8:30-9:30pm local time. Promoted and organized through the social web, the movement will begin in New Zealand and travel around the globe. On Saturday evening people all over the globe will act as one by simply turning off their lights. Together this action will send a loud message to world leaders that the citizens of this planet are concerned about global warming and are demanding progress. This is a wonderful example of individuals around globe using the social media to come together and make a powerful statement. Please join us!
For more information please visit EarthHour.org or MyEarthHour.org.