Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Journey Of Action: Connecting The Dots: Social Activism: Social Media

The Journey Of Action siblings Kassidy and Ryan have caught the imagination of many a techie in New York City. What gives? What are they up to?

One, they are on the road. When you spend relentless hours in front of your computer travel of the Ryan and Kassidy Brown kind are fantasy territory. They are doing it. A long time ago I saw a movie about a boat ride from western India to some Arab country. The smart aleck white guy went over to the captain of the ship and said, you know, these days there are airplanes, this journey of yours is just a few hours, the world has become small. To that the captain said, the world has not become small, we have. Saying hello to someone in person is not the same as saying hello over email or Twitter. The world has not become small. Ryan and Kassidy are out there. They are doing it.

Two, the allure of social activism is very real. Changing the world is the most often cited reason as to why a tech entrepreneur wants to do the tech entrepreneur thing. I might flame out but at least I will flame out trying. I might make a lot of money, but at least I will change the world. That seems to be the mantra. And here come along Ryan and Kassidy, and they are like, here, these are people spread across the country and the hemisphere, and they are not plotting to change the world after they raise venture capital money, they are already changing the world in measurable ways. Activism is well and alive with or without tech entrepreneurship. They are doing it and Kassidy and Ryan are reporting on them. It is happening. The revolution will happen with or without the tech entrepreneurs in New York City. That insight brings some humility to the equation. Maybe you are no revolutionary, maybe you are just some geek too afraid to step outside of Manhattan.

Three, social media and social activism are a cocktail. Social media is our realization that reality is more fascinating than fiction. They are using simple tools to tell stories. They are capturing social activism stories on film and turning them into webisodes for the web audience. They are doing it. You could argue all those activists could easily have created little video clips to upload on YouTube on their own, and they perhaps have done that. But I was not aware of any of them before Kassidy and Ryan started shaking up the New York tech scene. They connect the dots for many people like me. Their human presence does what mere technology can not do. A story is best shared through human voice. They provide that human voice.

Their American leg of the tour has been fascinating enough. I can't wait for their Latin American tour.

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