Thomas Friedman makes the point that Facebook – and social media in general – has its limitations.
He notes that it can’t substitute for getting “in your face,” something the Occupy folks figured out and pressed home – literally.
The argument is reminiscent of a foundational piece by Malcolm Gladwell that can be found here, on the fact that “strong ties” are needed to drive big change, and that those are forged face to face. (Gladwell is supposed to expand on this in an upcoming book that I’m looking forward to).
At the same time, Ilyse Hogue reports from the U.S. Netroots Nation conference that she’s concerned with the apparent swing back to “Alinsky-style” organizing and says that “There’s no going back to the 90′s.”
I agree with her that there can be artificial distinctions between online and off-line organizing, but as far as Canada is concerned, we’re still way out of balance in NGOs’ relative investment between online and face to face organizing, with almost nobody doing the latter to any serious degree.