Winning the Internet

The Occupy Network

After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.

Our friends at Fission Strategy have cooked up something really special with the developers at CrowdTangle. Ever since Occupy Wall Street first set up camp on September 17, there has been a proliferation of Facebook groups. Some of them are small; some have become very popular.

Whether you’re an activist seeking to make change under the Occupy banner or a blogger or journalist trying to tell the story of the movement, it’s hard to follow everything at once. Well, on Facebook that’s now been changed with this really smart application of technology to social media.

CrowdTangle can be applied to any base with dispersed membership, including universities, nonprofits, sports fans, bands, trade associations, and other interest groups. A single administrator can find all the related Facebook groups and link them together, creating a public space for everyone to see aggregated information. This includes details such as the number of connected people, a map of where these groups are located, links to the individual groups, recommendations for groups based on a user’s location and interests, and recommendations on people a user may know based on location and interests. By encouraging users to add groups and friends to the network, a shared space is created for the interest, organization, movement, or brand.

After seeing the organic development of the Occupy movement around the U.S. and the world, CrowdTangle saw the opportunity to create the Occupy Network, which to this date has connected over 1,669,000 people and 486 separate Occupy groups and pages from the across the country. Beyond simply networking all of the Occupy Facebook groups from Boston to San Diego, users can search by their zip code to find local events and people to meet and get local information on the Occupy movement they might not have been able to discover otherwise.

By linking all of these groups together and creating tools that allow you to do things like see popular posts across all groups, see which friends are interacting and invite friends to join, they’ve really added a new powerful dimension to the movement.

So if you’re looking to plug in here or follow trending developments to write about them then you should add the Occupy Network app right away. I don’t know if this will truly have power beyond working with this unique movement yet, but the folks at CrowdTangle are hard at work on making sure it does.

About Raven Brooks

Executive director of Netroots Foundation and Netroots Nation.

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