Hashtag Activism--or Slackivism?

Laura Vanderkam provides a thoughtful summary of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Twitter campaign. She also analyzes what made the campaign a success (in the short term, at least) and suggests how to develop your own social media campaign. She notes that the hashtag evolved quickly from an "I" to a "We" message, and surmises that the inclusive re-wording helped. The people behind this campaign enlisted lots of people they knew to get the word spreading quickly, and also enlisted famous authors. I found two suggestions Vanderkam made most interesting, especially when working with students on social media. The first was to challenge users to do more than just like or retweet. In this case, people were asked to tweet photos of themselves or their children with signs stating WHY they needed diverse books. They also created Twitter chats to involve people beyond the passive retweeting. Secondly, she suggests tying your social media campaign to a trending news story. In this case, tweets noted that if there were more diverse books, maybe Donald Sterling and others wouldn't be so racist. If students are creating a campaign, whether it's for a contest conducted over social media, or on a social or political issue important to them, these points would help them improve their reach on social media, and perhaps their chances of success.

I run a middle school library, in the golden age of children's and young adult books! There is not enough time in the day to read all of them, but I will share what I can.
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