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Citizen Media warriors do it for the cause

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29 October 2009

Last week we wrote about a little media revolution that took place on Twitter in the UK. Trafigura, Jan Moir and Ian-the-Transport-for-London-worker all got a taste of digital mob justice.

Two of the incidents were started in the mainstream press, but another by a lone ranger. This fire starter turned out to be armed and dangerous. Well versed in the language of communications guerrilla tactics you mean?

Well yes, Jonathan Macdonald is a former commercial manager of Ministry of Sound, and founder of this fluid world, a marketing company. Full CV on LinkedIn.

But it turns out he also had a ready-made army following his not-so-narrowcasting. And he had the power of righteous indignation on his side.

Jonathan’s blog entry on the incident.

RAAK wanted to find out why he chose to take action, and how he got the message out.

RAAK: You blog and Tweet? How many Twitter followers do you have? And how many people read your blog?

I have around 1300 followers on twitter and around 100k readers per month on my blog.

RAAK: At what point did you decide to act? Why?

I decided to get my camera out when the guard started shouting in the guys face. I did this because I cannot stand bullying and aggressive behaviour toward other human beings. I like blogging on things that I see.

RAAK: Did you you consciously think that action might be taken by the TFL and the mayor of London, or did you just want to expose this injustice? How premeditated were your actions and what did you want to achieve?

I had no idea what TFL and the Mayor would do – if anything. Its totally separate to anything in my control. All I did was blog and tweet it – the rest was done by the crowd.

RAAK: What information did you want to capture and get to achieve your goal?

The goal was to record what was happening. I am not a reporter searching for a story. Citizen journalism is different to trying to get a ‘scoop’.

RAAK: What camera did you use to record the incident? Did you ever have any camera training?

I have no training. I used a Canon pocket camera but I also use an iPhone 3 to record. The reason I didn’t use my iPhone was that my battery was dead.

RAAK: How long after the incident did you blog about it and upload the video? What else did you do to promote your blog post and video?

I blogged it about 5 hours later. All I then did was tweet it and email a few friends who may have been interested.

RAAK: What blogging platform do you use and why?

I use WordPress. I love it as its easy and free.

RAAK: How did the message spread? What in your view were the key tools and things that made a difference? What did you learn from this?

The key reason it spread was due to the level of injustice. Nothing more. I have blogged thousands of other things that virtually nobody has ever seen or talked about – let alone twitted into the general public eye.

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