How New Media Can Help Renew Manufacturing
A guest post by AAM intern Whitney Stack:
Supporters of America’s traditional economic engine, manufacturing, must learn to use new media like Twitter, Facebook and blogging, to spread their message, according to experts on “The Past, Present and Future of Progressive Media” panel at Netroots Nation 2010.Changes in mediums of media have coincided with historical political transition, Matthew Kerbel author of “Netroots: Online Progressives and the Transformation of American Politics,” and a professor of Political Science at Villanova University, told the panel attendees.
Through the centuries, as new media emerged, the people who used those emerging technologies defined how they would be used, said Aaron Shaw, a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California at Berkley and a research fellow with the Cooperation Research Group at Berkman Center.
This suggests that if supporters of American manufacturing can master the new media now emerging from the Internet, they may be able to change the politics surrounding manufacturing because, as Mr. Kerbel said, the groups or individuals who figured out how to use the new media forms in the past have been able to define the subsequent political movements.
The Internet gives organizations their own “printing press,” their own media, said Tracy Van Slyke , Director of Media Contortion and co-author of 'Beyond the Echo Chamber.'
But it’s not enough to simply use new media. The communication forms must be mastered to effect change, David Karpf, of the Netactivism Project and co-author of Digital Activism Decoded said. “I don’t care how many Facebook friends you have; I do care what you can get them to do,” he said. “Cultivating a list of contacts is not as important as if you can move them to action.”
Internet-based new media is growing fast. Seven years ago, a “professional blogger” didn’t exist, Chris Bowers, Managing editor of “Open Left,” said. Now, every major news network uses their own blogging.
Effective use of new media – that is, Internet-based social media – will broaden support for American manufacturing and give the movement the power to ensure products will always be made in America.
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