A Critical Last-Post Perspective

This is my final post today guys… I know, you’re all as sad (grateful) as I am.  All I can hope after these last 6 or 7 weeks is that I’ve provided you all with lots of new or differently explored information, and potentially even persuaded you to believe that maybe online activism has its place.  I’m even more hopeful when I try to believe some of you have maybe sought out some of the ways I’ve listed in your attempts to do some good in this world.  And I’m at my hope-iest that some of you have maybe spread the love that I’m putting out into the world by just having a chat with those around you.

What I’ve wanted all along is to create my own critical periphery.  A periphery of you all on the outer edges of a movement I’ve been trying to start, a periphery that gives me momentum, shape and size.  All you need to do is talk about it.  Hashtag it.  Listen to what others have said.  And most importantly you must not feel bad about contributing to a cause online when its something that really resonates with you.

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Photo by Yolanda Sun.

To recap, we’ve talked about incredibly important campaigns like #HeForShe, #BlackLivesMatter, #PledgeAPlate, #FreeTheNipple, and the #IceBucketChallenge.  And our tips and tricks posts have hopefully illuminated for you the ways in which you can be a great online activist.  We’ve talked about content creation, telling stories, knowing your resources, and research.  And hopefully, you can look at my campaign through the same eyes and figure out what was successful and what was not so successful about it.  Not only did I want to create my own critical periphery, but I wanted to get all of you involved in creating effective change, and one of the skills needed for that is to be just bloody brilliant at the sort of work I’ve been hoping to showcase.

Finally, I wanted to give a huge shout out to everyone who has been a part of this journey.  You have all told helped me adjust my style, and approach things in different ways even if you weren’t aware you were doing so.

Here’s hoping I’ve made a difference!

-AD

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Case Study: #HeForShe

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Barack Obama is #HeForShe, by Elena Duggan.

Getting close to the end of our campaigning here at Your Slacktivity Feed, and we’ve looked at some really amazing on and offline activism in the lead up to this weeks case study on #HeForShe.

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Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, by Elena Duggan.

This one was saved til the end because it is one of the most well-executed strategies I have found, and includes easily accessible ways to contribute in multiple ways.  In terms of commitments, it’s also had a crazy amount of support from its followers.

On social media, there have been about 1.3 billion conversations started with the hashtag.  Committing oneself has garnered 1.1 million signatures of which 966926 were from those that identified as men.  They have held 1.1K events around the world.

What started as the first campaign of its kind about gender equality run by the UN, has blown up.  How, you might ask?

I’m sure you’ve all seen it, but know-it-all (this is a compliment, I love her) Hermione Granger, aka empowered and empowering woman, Emma Watson gave an incredibly moving speech to kick it off.  If you haven’t, you should watch it now.  It’s 11 minutes of your life, but after you’ll understand no matter how you felt to begin with, that gender equality needs to happen to free us all of the shackles that bind and dictate our emotional responses to the world.

I am often told I’m too aggressive, too passionate.  I have often punished and subordinated myself by saying things like, “Yeah, I know… I’m a bitch.”  That’s a habit I need to kick.  I’m honest, and I don’t have time for BS.  I know you all have stories like this, and I’d love to hear them.  As I’ve stated early and often here, sharing stories is the beginning of change!

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Tom Hiddleston is He for She, by Elena Duggan.

If you search #HeForShe on Twitter you will immediately be taken with the widespread contributions from the world over.  Regardless of legislation, there is social change happening.  People’s beliefs are changing.  All of a sudden activism isn’t such a difficult or extreme behaviour.  This campaigns success is that it offers so many ways for people to be involved and all of these contributions are considered equal.

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Eddie Redmayne, by Elena Duggan.

As much as it can be problematic for celebrities to function as the voice of a generation I am continuously grateful for those with reach who put themselves on the line and stand up for what they believe in.  Not just Emma, but men everywhere.

Sign up here.
Read more here.
Get involved here.

 

Takeaways:

  1. If you’re going to have ambassadors, they need to connect with your message on a personal level and be able to speak about it on your level.
  2. Have a call to action: get people to sign up, get people to show up. Invite them.
  3. Always document your goals, and your achievements.
  4. Give people multiple ways to be and feel involved.
  5. Move people over and over again.
  6. You should comment with your own experiences of gender inequality!

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Benedict Cumberbatch, by Elena Duggan.

Tips and Tricks #5

Content Creation and Assemblage!

Not everyone starts off being as big as the #IceBucketChallenge, where their content ends up being delivered on a silver platter by the biggest names in pop culture when they contribute.  But we all have to start somewhere.  Imagine your audience.  And then imagine you sitting with your audience in a lecture.  Some people are highly focused and engaged. Others are fidgeting with their phones, doodling in their margins, checking the likes on their latest ‘grams.  You might be zoning in and out.

What could the lecturer possibly do to keep everyone engaged the entire time?  I mean the things that are outside the lecturers oration skills.

How much does what they have to say keep your focus?
How much of it is based on the words on their visual aids?
Is it how they break up their content with different features?

I know that the best lectures I’ve attended have been rich in visual content and don’t require much reading… which is why this blog will be short.

A combination of video, photos, infographics, words and style all come into play.  When all of these things are utilised, it’s impossible to not grab a wide ranging audience even if just for a moment.

Make some of it funny, and you’ve won!

Unsplash is my favourite site for free images in case you need a photographic boost to your content but aren’t as skilled as the guys who upload their work over there!

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-AD

Food Waste Interview: Elena Duggan

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Elena Duggan, superstar chef, and me chillin’ in some beautiful leafy nest.

In yesterday’s Case Study of Pledge a Plate and OzHarvest I may have name-dropped a little about Elena Duggan, and I’m about to do so again! For those of you who don’t know, the 2016 Masterchef Australia winner is my sister, and she has graciously given me a quick interview.  Over the years, she’s made me millions of meals, and given my poor-student status continues to takes breaks in her busy schedule to give me food tips and tricks to make my low-budget meals last for days without losing any of their tastiness.  Rather, with her tips, they gain tastiness!

So, with that in mind, I asked her to give us an inside peek into her kitchen, find out what she always keeps in her pantry, and share some expert leftover reuse ideas!

AD: What leftovers do you have in your fridge right now?
Elena: Homemade fried chicken, a bunch of wilting vegetables, roast vegetables, olives, a punnet of grape tomatoes, two avocados, green herb oil, spice poached rhubarb, wild boar salami, 1/4 packet of grated cheddar, 1/2 a lemon.

AD: What would you create out of them?
Elena: I’d need to refresh the veggies in some iced water and create a fine dice of them and the roast leftovers, sauté them with some diced salami and smother in cheese. Fanciest bubble and squeak ever! The chicken, tomatoes, avo, and olives is a super simple, satisfying and low GI salad screaming to be tossed through the green oil and lemon juice as a dressing!

AD: What are some of your favourite ingredients to purchase that have a long life stored in the fridge or cupboard?
Elena: Tinned tuna, tinned tomatoes, tinned chickpeas, buckwheat flour, sweet potatoes, pickled onions, gherkins, CHEESE, anchovies, olive oil, garlic, crispy shallots, quinoa, rice, nuts and seeds, spices and stock powder.

AD: What condiments do you always have in your kitchen?
Elena: Dijon mustard, whole egg mayonnaise, tomato sauce, bbq sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, ketjap manis, samba oelek, siracha, kewpie, mirin, sesame oil, chilli garlic sauce, needless to say I have a sauce obsession.

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Getting super excited to walk through Monet’s Garden in Giverny a couple years ago!

AD: I’m going to give you a list of dinner meals or ingredients that would usually be eaten by uni students or be in their fridges. Please list 1 or more ways you could use the leftovers of each.

Spaghetti Bolognese:
Umm… Jaffle! Duh! You could put the Bolognese in spoonfuls on a pizza base too, then add extra cheese, always extra cheese…

Charcoal or roast chicken:
Tear all the flesh away from the bone and toss it through a pasta with mushrooms and spring onions, or throw it into a super salad with grains and plenty of fresh veggies. I actually really lovely doing a fine dice, almost mash of leftover flesh, mixing through some fresh herbs, spanish onions, lemon zest, pepper and salt and mayo for a yummy sandwich filling.

Eggs:
I loved cold boiled eggs as they are with a little salt. But, you could also blend them with lemon juice and honey for a tangy, sweet and creamy salad dressing. I love eggs, tuna, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, the French weren’t wrong when they made the Nicoise Salad official. If they’re fresh, you could put together a quick Spanish omelette with potato slices and some chill to wake you up!

Potatoes:
What can’t you do with potatoes?!? Cold boiled or steamed potatoes make the best crunchy roasted tatos or crunchy chips, if you have the time and inclination. They recook, refry super well, put them with your favourite flavours and chow down! Pan fried potatoes and chorizo. Potato and rosemary pizza. Roasted, split and filled with your fave slaw.

Mince meat:
I love flavouring chicken mince with turmeric, ginger, cayenne and lemon grass, it is super flavoursome and good for you, and a little goes a really long way when you mix it with shredded kale or spinach, bulk it up with some quinoa or Doongara brown rice for long lasting energy and add seeds, nuts, other veggies to your desire. This is an awesome student salad that you can put in containers to last the week! Lamb mince= koftas, yum! Beef and pork mince= taco Tuesday, double yum!

Soup:
Soup can get boring if eaten repeatedly, (just ask my sister, who dreaded my love of soup convenience) so think of quick ways to change the experience of eating it to avoid boredom. For regular pumpkin soup on day one, make parmesan croutons for it day two, sprinkle with spiced dukkah day three, sprinkle with fresh spring onions and coriander day four, roast a head of garlic until tender and blitz it through for day five.

Rice:
Day old rice makes the best fried rice, heat some sesame oil, add chilli sauce and sliced spring onions, fry rice until toasted and fragrant, stir through one egg until cooked and drizzle over your favourite soy sauce- this is a super comfort food and can be pimped to your desire- add some bacon, chicken, prawns, coriander for example! Or… for a little decadence and a comfort dessert, get one part milk, one part cream and cinnamon to your desire, bring to the boil with your rice and reduce until thickened- sweeten with maple, honey or sugar (if you must).

2 Minute Noodles:
Make them seem less budget and more delicious by adding a tbsp of peanut butter, tsp of soy, tsp of garlic chilli sauce to create a super quick satay, then sprinkle over some crispy shallots and fresh coriander! If the tomato flavour still existed mixing through some grated cheese is a super satisfying snack, but chicken may have to do. If you’ve got some veggies, you could whip up a simple stir fry.

Leftover Thai:
Make it go further by boiling some rice or quinoa and quickly stirring through leftovers. Eat it cold with some extra salad ingredients.

Cereal:
Boost the nutritional value by adding some fruit (frozen berries are in prime condition and more often more affordable than fresh and you don’t have to worry about them going off in the freezer), yoghurt, nuts and seeds, while they may be an initial financial investment, they go a long way and make the meal extra satiating, providing extra study power and focus …and if your budget allows, add some of my favourite cinnamon and maple syrup! Depending on what kind of cereal you have, many lend themselves to a super delicious and crunchy crumb to fried foods- calamari and chicken are delicious, a little flour, then egg wash then coat in coral crumbs- corn flakes, weetbix- yum!

Canned Tuna:
In a toastie! Toss through pasta with cheese! Atop a simple salad! Mix through some sour cream and chopped chives for an easy dip! Tuna is a super simple and versatile protein boost!

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Elena Duggan with the team at OzHarvest.

Thanks Elena! Helpful and fun and cheesy as always.  Follow her on Instagram for more amazing food snaps!

-AD

Case Study: Pledge A Plate

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Maeve O’Meara and OzHarvest Ambassadors, by Elena Duggan.

Pledge a Plate is a social media campaign developed by amazing food waste company OzHarvest.  The whole premise is that you make a tasty meal out of leftovers, share it on one of your social platforms with the hashtag #PledgeAPlate, nominate someone to do the same, and then donate.

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You could make Elena’s Apple, Cheese, and Bickies with me, by Elena Duggan.

As a passionate foodie, but also a tertiary student for like the last seven and half years, I love this campaign.  Combining my love of food and cooking with my entire lack of dollarydoos, I can feel great about being creative with my leftover food stuffs and donating a very small amount that I would otherwise probably spend on the crazy expensive Sydney transport system.  Shout out to #Opal.

Two of my first experiences with OzHarvest were actually through my deep fan commitment to MasterChef Australia, and my annual three weeks of every possible meal spent at the Sydney Night Noodle Markets in October.  MasterChef Australia has done a really good job the last few seasons of really emphasising the food philosophy of tail to snout, root to stem by having contestants challenged to be creative with all food scraps.

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Poor little shells, by Elena Duggan.

If you were a fan of this most recent season you would have seen dishes like Elena Duggan’s Cool as a Cucumber which made use of one ingredient in a million possible ways which really helps people consider different ways to utilise ingredients in creative styles when they have leftovers.  I’d say I’m plugging most recent Masterchef winner Elena Duggan here but let’s be real, she doesn’t need the help.  She’s helping a sister out… thanks for all the rad sketches!

Anyway, my love of MasterchefAU led me to wondering where all the excess food goes.  They actually partner with organisations like OzHarvest and Food Bank.

At the NNM (Night Noodle Markets guys, come on!) a lovely volunteer for OzHarvest approached me and my friends to see if we’d wish to purchase some fortune cookies.  The proceeds were going towards feeding those in need.  I had such a lovely conversation with this woman, and she was a wealth of knowledge on something she was obviously so passionate about.

Now you might be thinking, “…oooh how timely!  She’s talking about food waste the same day the NNM kick off!”  Well, I just can’t get anything past you guys, can I?  I wouldn’t do you guys like that… except that I totally would and totally did. 
*See upcoming Tips and Tricks post about scheduling and planning out your calendar in a social media campaign! 😉

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Berry Smoothies for me, by Elena Duggan.

More recently, what’s making them successful?  Sarah Wilson is the woman who quit sugar, and mind you not only still lives to tell the tale, but has lived on to become an entrepreneur, writer, health conscious individual, and someone who has changed a lot of peoples’ lives.  She is also a woman who pledges plates.

Big names like her and their LONG list of celebrity official ambassadors, plus their endless commitment to nourishing the country have kept their name at the forefront of this initiative for social change.  Within a year of starting OzHarvest, founder Ronni Kahn and a group of lawyers worked tirelessly to achieve a legislative change that removed restriction of repurposing surplus food.

Lots of stuff to take in obviously, and you can tell it’s close to my heart… You can donate here but regardless, I’d highly recommend reading up and following these organisations so you can lead a more aware existence on these matters.  (I say this knowing my readers are probably all over leading aware existences… Love y’all!)

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Here’s a *toast* to all the cranky bread out there, by Elena Duggan.

Takeaways:

  1. The Night Noodle Markets in Sydney is a food mecca we should all attend every year.
  2. Creative and easy ways to get people to contribute to a cause are essential.
  3. Keeping your followers and contributors up to date with the amazing impacts they’re having is key to maintaining their dedication to your cause.
  4. Consider the roles of ambassadors, and approach people you’d love to have on board.
  5. One visit to their website or social platforms shows a very clear and memorable branding.  Their logo and colour scheme is etched in my mind, and I know that if I see people in those shirts, I know what they’re doing immediately.
  6. Finally, taking things offline in activism is not only important but necessary for social change.  We here are not ignoring or pretending that’s not true.  Online activism is a good start, and essential but should work in conjunction with offline work.

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There’s so much you can do with my skin and rind too, ya know? By Elena Duggan.

Tips and Tricks #4

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Activist Essentials, photo by Vadim Sherbakov.

Listening.

Listening is honestly going to be not only the most important part of any successful campaign for social change that uses online digital tools, but also the biggest timesuck.

No lie, it’s like 80% of the gig.  And if you’re anything like me, bighearted, fiery and passionate, the problems you’ll be spending 80% of your time reading about will probably really impact upon how you feel about the world.  These last couple weeks reading about Black Lives Matter, equality, people suffering from debilitating diseases… Safe to say it’s been hard at times.  And it’s really hard for me to believe that these things haven’t changed the more time we spend listening, so just be prepared for all of the feels.

What makes listening easier though?  Emotionally, not much is there to support you except having really good conversations with people talking about the same issues… But in terms of social media tools, this is the cool part, there are HEAPS of sites, people, tools already created to help you get the most out of these platforms.

The internet really is pretty phenomenal, and with a campaign for social change it is one of your best friends.

If you’re using Twitter, I can’t recommend HootSuite, My Top Tweet, and Sprout Social enough.  HootSuite is a dashboard for you to essentially see every page of Twitter you want to monitor all at once.  You can dedicate a section to whatever #hashtag you’d like to watch play out, and this is honestly a great way to get in touch with people who care about your topic.

My Top Tweet allows you to see the most liked, retweeted tweets from people’s handles, and is therefore great at allowing you to see what hashtag networks from your identified hubs get seen by loads of people.

Sprout Social is a tool that helps you measure your Twitter engagement.  I won’t go into them all in depth but logging on is enough to give you reason to stay.

Handy thing about Facebook pages is that they’ve built most if not all the analytics you could want right into their Insights page.  It gives you reach, engagement, page visits, likes, and the list goes on.  One thing I’ve noticed about listening on Facebook though is that searching for hashtags and people don’t necessarily give you the goods when it comes to how they preferentially deliver search results to you.  So for this one, make sure you already know your hubs and you spend significant time on their pages to read comments and share their info.

Once you’ve listened to what the rest of the internet has to say, deeply consider what the internet around you says with regards to your content.  The things that have the most views and engagement, the posts that have generated the engagement you’re looking for, the times of day people spend looking at your data, etc. and then adjust your strategy accordingly.  If you believe it to be content-based engagement, keep pumping that kind of content out! It’s not difficult, but it does require a lot of focus, energy and time.

Happy listening all!

Links to other cool listening tools:
1. Google AdWords
2. AllInTitle
3. Market Samurai
4. Google Alerts

#BlackLivesMatter: Case Study

So our last Tips and Tricks post was all about Telling Your Story, and in it I mentioned the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

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Kobe Bryant wearing his I Can’t Breathe tee in warm up, by Elena Duggan.

Before we get started, there are a few things I want to mention.  I need to identify and position myself truthfully and accurately with regards to this movement by stating that I am a white cis female Australian and therefore cannot possibly feel or experience the things that people fighting for this movement are going through.  I say this so that if any of my language could possibly be construed any way other than my intention, please know that my intent will never be to hurt.  I would call myself an ally except that I have seen numerous people online say that do not think allies either can really exist or should have their opinion heard in any way that subordinates that of someone experiencing the same situation as someone who identifies as black.

Another thing I want to address is that this blog in particular is dedicated to analysis of different acts of activism, and what’s involved in making successful or not successful online activist campaigns for social change.  #BlackLivesMatter is representative of centuries of race relations and anguish and murder, systemic racism that proliferates all industries including those that think they are more open like Hollywood, and more recently the despicable, horrifying and tragic events involving people like Michael Brown in Ferguson and Terrence Crutcher and the Charlotte riots… How could any singular blog post tackle or even attempt to negotiate these incredibly deep and highly emotional concepts?  I don’t think it can, what I do think though is that talking about these problems is the first step in effecting positive social change.

And that right there, is the crux of what this blog is all about.  Story telling, and how important it is.

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Tyga, by Elena Duggan.

What we all need to understand is that all problems we have as a group of people have been created entirely by us.  Therefore the only way these issues can be corrected is through people.  How do you get someone to change a belief, attitude, behaviour?  Get them to care.  Get them to care about their own future, the future their children will have.  Get them to care about the people they love, get them to care about their country.  You need to appeal to their senses of justice, morality, fairness, humanity.  If you know anything about advertising, you know that the story is what will sell your product.  Watch any Apple ad

Another thing I need to state is that while I’m talking about #BlackLivesMatter as a campaign for social change and I’m using words like success, I am well aware that this campaign will be in progress as long as necessary for systemic change to be in place.  #BlackLivesMatter is not something that’s over.  It’s not finished and everything is perfect.  I’m talking about it because it is very much something we should be talking about every single day.  Everyone.  In the whole planet.  No matter where you belong or where you call home.

The thing that draws me to talking about it is actually because of how powerful it is as a movement.  It is one of the most discussed topics on all social media platforms.  Millions of people are contributing.  Thankfully we live in a time where social media and smart phones exist.  Crimes like the ones we are seeing in videos uploaded to these platforms used to be hidden away in the shadows and not discussed.  I remember the way my stomach dropped as a kid when I saw the Rodney King footage.  I remember it so viscerally because it’s the way I feel on the verge of physical illness with each new image and hashtag dedicated to another black person killed in the streets.

These videos are stories.

And they are hard to watch, but even harder to ignore.

Stories are important to get people onside, but they are equally important in the education of the people reading them.  The messages encoded translate as important because of how much a story makes us care.  And we remember those messages.  We share those messages.

For a better description of this, you must watch or read Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards this year.

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Jesse Williams at the BET Awards, by Elena Duggan.

And if you’re sitting there reading this thinking this doesn’t all apply to you, you’re wrong.  If you need convincing just have a look at the mass outpouring of solidarity expressed in recent protests held in Melbourne and Sydney.

Or if you think you can watch and love Beyoncé’s Lemonade for just the musical content, you’re wrong.  She’s telling you the stories of millions of lived experiences, you just need to listen.

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Beyoncé, Lenny Kravitz, Queen Latifah, Kevin Hart, Janelle Monáe, Chris Rock, Jennifer Hudson, Pharrell, Alicia Keys and Rihanna talk about 23 Ways you could be killed if you are black in America, by Elena Duggan.

Takeaways:

  1. Even when it’s the hardest thing to do, tell your story.
  2. Even when it’s the hardest thing to watch, watch the videos shared.
  3. Even when it’s the hardest thing to say, call out racism.
  4. Even when it’s the hardest thing to own, own and acknowledge your own prejudices and do your best to change them by educating yourself.
  5. Even when it’s the hardest thing to believe, believe that change is possible.