For the focus of my most recent video, I opted to analyse a civil liberty that is becoming increasingly crucial in a progressively volatile world, online activism. The video conducts an examination into some of the challenges and possibilities that a virtual platform presents to those driving social change.

My journey began amid the vast shelves of Deakin University’s online library. A simple search turned over hundreds of resources on various aspects of digital activism, briefly skimming through the titles, I chose my favorites. The remainder of my day was then spent lounging outside in the afternoon sun, highlighting, note-taking and sipping on icy cold beverages (water only).

For the next stage I took to social media, tweeting out to peers, eager to hear any examples of online activism they’d come across in their studies. Receiving a tentative response, I continued on with my research, finding various materials, TedTalks, discussion panels and even some past student videos covering the topic. After days of collating information on the pros and cons of online activism, it was now time for me to condense my findings into four concise points;

  • Accessible Audiences
  • The Corporate Internet
  • Like-minded Collaboration
  • Superficial Engagement

Happily, filming went off without a hitch. Taking only half a day to complete, I was relieved to be so far ahead of schedule. This was shaping up to be the most straight forward assessment yet! (Famous last words anyone?)

That night as I was falling asleep I began to feel unsatisfied. At that point I only had me talking at the camera and I knew, no matter how charismatic my mother told me I was, I needed something more. An interview with an activist! That, my friends, is a bingo.

Naomi Hogan, throughout her lifetime, has advocated for various organisations seeking to bring change to environmental, social and human rights issues. Currently residing in the Northern Territory, Ms Hogan works as a coordinator for the Lock the Gate Alliance. I was fortunate to chat with Naomi, who shared first hand the benefits and downfalls online media has presented in her line of work. The anecdotal evidence she provided, further enriched the content of the video and my own grasp upon the subject. But in every great story the hero must also face their fair share of adversity. Thus far, my journey to completion of assessment two had been virtually unhindered. That was until we reached the editing stage.

Now for some reason, despite having efficiently made various videos using a skillful combination of iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, for some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to try my hand at editing with Adobe Premiere Pro with only three days to spare. Never before have I encountered a program more user un-friendly than Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Right about now you may be shaking your head or laughing at my foolhardiness (don’t worry, I laughed too…after I finished crying).

16522542_10210938019262864_1871368435_n
‘Midnight Crisis’ by Alcy Meehan

On the eve of the submission day I conceded my time was being wasted on Premiere Pro. I packed my bags, exported all the work I had done and headed back over to the familiar interface of Movie Maker. In a moment of sleep deprived ingenuity, I realised I could easily animate an opening title on the ever-reliable PowerPoint. It took 5 minutes of minimal effort to create a video that put my hours of Premiere Pro attempts to more shame…as if it were possible.

The road to completion was one fraught with challenges. Whilst I may now be able to boast a more informed understanding of the nuances of online activism, I cannot however do the same for Premiere Pro. I suppose then the moral of this piece is, sometimes it’s ill-advised to choose the path less traveled and if in doubt, trust Microsoft PowerPoint and Windows Movie Maker.

Unless anyone else has some suggestions on an editing program?

 

References

ABC News 2017, Netherlands government launches global abortion fun to counter Trump cuts, ABC, 19 Jan 2017, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-26/netherlands-government-launches-global-abortion-fund/8213744>.

Carty, V 2015, Social movements and new technology, Westview Press, retrieved 19 Jan 2017, Deakin University Library’s Catalog.

Dordevic, J & Zezelj, I 2016, ‘Civic activism online: Making young people dormant or more active in real life?’ Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 70, pp. 113-118, retrieved 19 Jan 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.070

Erkman, M 2014, ‘The dark side of online activism: Swedish right-wing extremist video activism on YouTube’, MedieKultur: Journal of Media & Communication Research, vol. 70, no. 56, pp. 79-99, retrieved on 19 Jan 2017, Communication & Mass Media Complete.

‘Film’ by Douglas Arruda avaliable here under a Creative Commons Attribution.

How social media creates a better world: Jan Rezab at TEDxSSE 2014, YouTube, TedX Talks, 5 May, retrieved on 2 Feb 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcBBHxlH7-w>.

Kimmorley, S 2015, ‘In good company: How Thankyou water got the attention of Australia’s biggest retailers’, Business Insider Australia, 5 May, retrieved 19 Jan 2017, <http://www.businessinsider.com.au/in-good-company-how-thankyou-water-got-the-attention-of-australias-biggest-retailers-2015-5>.

Techopedia, 2017, Cyberactivism, Techopedia inc., retrieved on 3 Feb 2017, <https://www.techopedia.com/definition/27973/cyberactivism>.

Terzis, G 2015, ‘Death trends’, Kill your darlings, vol. 22, pp. 9-24, retrieved 19 Jan 2017,

The Stream – Is social media killing online activism? 2016, YouTube, Al Jazeera English, 11 Jan, retrieved 20 Jan 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVagsYL9AsQ>.

MUSIC
Morning Sun
by Nicolai Heidlas Music (CC BY 3.0)
(https://www.soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/morning-sun-free-happy-background-music)

Back in Summer – Upbeat Ukulele Background Music
by Nicolai Heidlas Music (CC BY 3.0)

(https://www.soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/95-bpm-back-in-summer-upbeat-ukulele-background-music)

Swingin’ Jazz – Happy Background Music – Ukulele and Guitar – Jazz / Blues
by Nicolai Heidlas Music (CC BY 3.0)
(https://www.soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/jazz-blues-background-music)

Into The Clouds – Background Music
by Nicolai Heidlas Music (CC BY 3.0)
(https://www.soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/into-the-clouds-background)

SOUND FX
Smile Ding
by Alex Potter Sound Design (CC BY 3.0)
(https://www.soundcloud.com/alex-potter-sound/smile-ding)

Wrong Buzzer Sound Effect
by Jonas Abelsen (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
(https://www.soundcloud.com/jonas-abelsen/wrong-buzzer-sound-effect)

Large Group Applause
by RinaldiSound (CC BY-SA 3.0)
(https://www.soundcloud.com/rinaldisound)

Broader Online Activity 

Please see Tiffit Tally.

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