Around the Institute

The Changing Days of Our Lives…Thanks to Social Media

December 7, 2012

So You Failed…

Cue the sad music. And the rain clouds. But once you’ve gone through all those post-failure emotions, what’s next? Sarika Bansal’s “The Power of Failure” has a few apt suggestions: regroup, learn and strategize. When it comes to conducting (and funding) advocacy, learning from failures is critically important ’cause—let’s face it—many campaigns will simply not succeed. Smart advocates use their “failures” to build their capacity to do things better next time.

Framing the Issue

As part of our evaluation work for several clients, we often study the media’s “framing” of a particular issue. Take the representation of women and girls. Scholars at the University of Southern California recently released a study of gender in TV and film…and, as expected, the results ain’t pretty. Not only are there fewer female roles than male roles, but these are also typically stereotyped and over-sexualized. One thing is clear: the media rarely exposes us to powerful, articulate and independent women.

Like Pokes on Facebook, so are the Days of our Lives

From Twitter and the so-called “Arab Spring” to texting and our worsening ability to truly connect with one another, there is a growing body of evidence that social media is indeed changing our lives. The latest on this front comes from the recent debate over same-sex marriage in Minnesota and Washington. Knowing that one-on-one conversations are more likely to be effective, advocates tapped into the social networks of supporters to facilitate these (digital) talks. Friends influencing friends. Through Facebook and Tweets. Yep, the new norm.