Following the thread of my previous post I read this article on Z Net in which Paul Rogat Loeb discusses the benefits and risks of online social and political activism. Loeb argues that online activism has politically empowered many people, but there are plenty of traps.
"If we assume that people will jump on our favorite cause just because they receive our communiqués and agree with us in principle, we underestimate the degree of inertia in our culture. For most people who are contemplating taking their initial steps into social involvement, a more intimate approach is often required, one that will put them at ease one question at a time, take their hesitations and uncertainties into account, and reassure them that the barriers they face are hardly unique. This more personal reach is key to enlisting new allies and to ensuring our political actions are visible enough to create a genuine public impact. That doesn't mean abandoning the astounding communicative tools we now have. But if we want to realize their potential, we're going to have to sooner or later step away from our screens"