Though well intentioned and analytically sound, Fung and Shkabatur seem to ask the wrong questions, making blanket statements without interrogating the hows and whys of “viral engagement”. This is not to discredit the work that is being done, only to suggest that as an “early discussion draft” the piece appears unfinished, focusing too deeply on the “ask” without also addressing the “tell”. The authors continuously refer to askers as political entrepreneurs under the frame of capitalism (marketing, democracy), which I found problematic. What I did find fascinating were the ideas about inclusion (exclusion, gatekeepers etc.) and how those might interplay with Parks’ notions of accessibility. Accessible information becomes valuable information. This isn’t really a developed blog post I realize… but hopefully this is something I’ll flesh out with my final paper.
Last Tuesday, my slacktivist activity found me. A knock at my door revealed a Brown student speaking on behalf of the Divest Coal Program Campaign. The group was apparently looking for students, professors, and alumni to sign a petition against the University’s involvement with coal mining companies in the country. After asking a few harmless questions, I agreed to fill an information form that added my name to the petition list. I received an email from the group recently about getting involved.