PJEP and Social Networking

September 28, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: Activism, PJEP, Web

We’re two and a half years into a project that should have its first stage completed by about July1, 2009.  The Peace, Justice and Environment Project (PJEP) began with a single network of organizations in Illinois. Sixty-six organizations voted to participate in the Illinois Coalition for Peace and Justice (later to become the Illinois Coalition for Justice, Peace and the Environment) on April 1, 2006.  It was at that event that the Actions Options Tool (actionsoptions.org) web application was introduced.  At that time, it was just the Actions Grid (see http://icjpe.org/actions), a petition function and a communications message center.

Over the last two years, four online actions centers have been enhanced or added.  Participating organizations can now create online petitions, boycotts, eletters and fundraisers.  A robust resources library holds hundreds of documents.  The calendar reveals actions, events, meetings and projects across a state.

At this time, 32 states have been integrated into a national network of networks, with almost 1,000 participating organizations.  The national site, http://www.pjep.org, is being developed to present an overview of actions, petitions, boycotts, eletters and fundraisers across the country that are searchable by speed, depth, breadth and geographic span.  Activists seeking to view the position of their projects within a larger picture or desiring information on actions and online campaigns sorted by issue, effectiveness, degree of support, speed of growth, etc., can visit PJEP.org for a unique, panoramic perspective of Left/Progressive activity across the country.

PJEP has applied for nonprofit 501(c) 3 status.  PJEP is an all-volunteer organization with the exception of the programmers, who accept minimal pay.  Programmers Rod Homor and David Larson have been instrumental in the design of this extraordinarily unique, creative, powerful and flexible application.  David Larson continues to invest the project with nothing less than extraordinary capabilities.

Social networking specialized to encourage political action went live on November 11, 2007, in a satellite site, NSPIpeace.org.  When the PJEP upgrade was engaged this last May, social networking was integrated into the online campaigns for all the state networks.  We’ve called this tool Social Networking and Political Action Propagation (SNAPAP).  SNAPAP has several unique features.

SNAPAP offers what other social networking applications offer, such as file storage and sharing, a communications system and friends display.  SNAPAP, as a political action tool, offers an ability to store the phone numbers of friends for text message blasts to drive activists to events.  Unique to SNAPAP is the ability for individuals to refer friends to online campaigns and then trace their own direct and indirect influence on activists and individuals brought into the campaigns through their friends, out to several degrees of separation.  Lineage charts offer a detailed display of several generations or degrees of separation that an individual has had an effect upon, out past the people the individual knows directly.

Visit PJEP.org and go exploring.  View the lineage of online campaigns and the depth (degrees of separation) that an online action inspires.

We are seeking to create opportunities for activists to feel empowered.  We are providing high quality information that reveals the effect of an individual on the members of his or her community and that reveals how interconnecting, concentric circles of influence naturally emanate from the choices that we make.  Seeing these connections provides us the opportunity to experience that we are all connected.  Noting the connections, we are empowered.  Empowered, we can engage in the process to transform society.

PJEP programmers and volunteers continue to load the programming with ways to enhance the experience of activists and organizers to provide them with ways to be creative while creating change.


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