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Upcoming: PD+ Call on Women's Online Health Activism and Planned Parenthood

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 27 2012

I'm looking forward to this Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus call with Heather Holdridge and Deanna Zandt for a bunch of reasons. Obviously, the "internet wave" that is lifting all kinds of social activism boats is playing a big role in the politics of women's health care these days. As one of the country's biggest providers of health services to women and families, Planned Parenthood is inevitably in the middle of all of this. A year ago, when pressure in Congress to cut off federal funding to the organization started to hit a boiling point, Planned Parenthood saw a surge in membership, with more than a million new supporters joining. And more recently, in the four-day media firestorm that erupted when the Komen Foundation announced that it was withdrawing its funding of PP's breast-cancer program, the online arena was central to the pushback.

Holdridge and Zandt are ideal people to talk to for insight about these issues; Holdridge is PP's digital director, and comes to that position with years of experience advising and guiding other nonprofit groups navigating the online environment. And Zandt is a quintessential net-activist, who has been steadily perfecting a variety of creative ways of rallying and galvanizing the grassroots around a range of issues. In the most recent instance, the Komen controversy, Holdridge was on the inside at PP helping manage the organization's online response, while Zandt was on the outside, spreading a supportive message using a Tumblr called "Planned Parenthood Saved Me."

On the call, I'm aiming to get into three related areas:
1. How PP understands and navigates its online environment;
2. How grassroots ('free agent'?) activism around women's health issues is growing and using the social web; and
3. To what extent the social media toolkit (everything from Tumblr testimonial sites to Change.org petitions to Twitter hashtags, Facebook walls and viral videos) is becoming understood by organizers and a methodology is arising for how to move rapidly around media moments.

To join in, you should RSVP here to get the call details. It's Thursday at 1pm ET.

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First POST: Waking Up

Hillary Clinton's deleted emails might not be as gone as she thinks; people making decisions about encryption know nothing about encryption; Meerkat is dead (already); finding out that Facebook filters the newsfeed is, to some like waking up in the Matrix; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Clueless

Why boycotting Indiana isn't the greatest idea; but people and companies are still doing it anyway; "Flak for Slack chaps in yak app hack flap"; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Net Effects

Ballooning digital campaign teams; early registration deadlines kept millions of people from voting in 2012; love letters to Obamacare; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Data-Driven

Get to know Clinton's digital team even better; Ted Cruz election announcement-related fundraising offers peak into the coming data-driven campaign arms race; New York City launches online community engagement pilot program called IdeaScale; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Too Much Information

Will Facebook become the Walmart of News?; Hillary Clinton's digital team; how easy it is to get your hands on 4.6 million license plate scans; and much, much more. GO

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