Web2.0 Mobilization and Institutional Inertia

A flyer at Netsquared for the Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) caught my eye, because the front page listed spaces on Flickr and MySpace tagged with 'genocideintervention'.

GI-netGI-net

GI-Net is a formal organisation rather than an informal network, so how come they're so quick to embrace the social web? I think it's because their constituency is students, and they're naturally going where the students are (MySpace , Facebook and so on). So it was interesting to talk to Heddy Nam at Netsquared because she's got a foot in both camps; by day, she works on operational stuff in Amnesty-USA, but outside of work she's part of an international youth network called Never Again which aims to prevent a repeat of a genocide like Rwanda. As Britt Bravo already pointed out, the Never Again network are using almost every social web tool available e.g. wikis, blogs, tagging & webchats. Like Heddy, I've also had experience of both large organisations and activist networks, and it makes me wonder whether big human rights organisations can really be agile enough to take full advantage of social web tools, or whether they'll be prevented by their own institutional inertia. Maye big organisations should stay out of the social web and just let the kids and the activists get on with it.