Transforming the World through Social Media, by Carmel Mawle

Uniting for Peace

 Transforming the World through Social Media

By Carmel Mawle

If, like us, you wondered how Facebook’s decision to go public would affect your accounts. Now we know. It’s meant more ads, more data mining, more selling of our private information to governments and corporations, but for those of us who are trying to transform the world through small grass roots efforts, the change has shaken us to the core.

Before the summer of 2012, when Facebook went public, Writing for Peace reached up to 110,000 readers per week. Now, we reach close to 6000.

Two years ago we posted our first Young Writers Contest on Facebook, and were overjoyed to receive entries from all over the U.S. This year, we heard from young writers in 21 different countries. Will this growth continue? I don’t yet know how these new restrictions will translate to practical outreach, but I’m worried.

The bottom line is this: Facebook wants us to pay a minimum of $30 per post in order to “reach an estimated 3,600 – 6,600” people. If we want to splurge, we can choose to reach “an estimated 74,000 – 110,000 out of [our] potential audience of 140,000 people” by paying $600 per post. Facebook is charging for access to the relationships we cultivated over the course of two years through a service they presented as being without cost.

Even if we had the money, I would argue against it on principle. Not a single member of Writing for Peace is paid a dime. Despite the generous donations of friends, family, and the Colgate University Research Council, the website, awards and certificates, postage, and, yes, the full-color printed DoveTales journals are over 90% self-funded. It’s a stretch, but if we were flush, we would want those funds to go toward the young writers, scholarships, workshops, journals, and more journals.

Not Facebook.

Like delicate strands braided into an indestructible rope, we are a powerful force when united. Social media has been lauded as a tool for creative connections and revolutions. This communication tool made possible the Arab Spring and Occupy Movements, and allows the dissemination of information from outside the corporate media – a truth that has governments shaking in their jackboots. The drive to monetize our relationships is reflective of a corporate mentality directly opposed to grassroots efforts like Writing for Peace.

If you’ve read this far, you are already committed to changing the world – and probably wondering what you can do to help. Believe it or not, you can make the greatest impact not by sending money (though we wouldn’t object), but by spending a few minutes every day on behalf of those causes you are committed to. Take the time to check our Facebook page frequently. We will make it worth your while with loads of inspiration and information. Invite your friends to like our page and please subscribe to our blog. If you appreciate a post, hit the like button. Leave a comment. Share our posts on your page. And while you’re at it, mention our Young Writers Contest to your kids’ teachers and email us for free bookmarks to share. These small things make a HUGE difference in our outreach, and we are grateful to each of you who already make a consistent effort on our behalf.

This is a collaboration, and you are essential to this experiment. As the world teeters on the brink of another war, help us spread a culture of peace.

Carmel Mawle is the founder of Writing for Peace and serves as President of the Board of Directors.Carmel Mawle is the founder of Writing for Peace, and serves as president of the Board of Directors. Carmel is a member of the Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her work has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, SPACES Lit Mag, Mountain Scribe Anthology, and upcoming in KNOT Magazine.

 Writing for Peace

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Hit the Streets: Americans Don’t Want A War in Syria—And They’re Working Hard to Prevent One, by Kevin Zeese and Writing for Peace Adviser Margaret Flowers

Congratulations To Our New Young Advisers

Writing for Peace is pleased to introduce two remarkable young peace activists, the founding members of our new panel of Young Advisers. Both have shown an extraordinary commitment to peace. Check their pages and watch our blog for their inspirational posts.

Natan Blanc, Writing for Peace Young AdviserNatan Blanc is an Israeli who refused to serve in the IDF (Israeli army) “because of its actions against the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.” Natan held fast to his convictions, despite being jailed ten times.

Lyla June Johnston, Writing for Peace Young AdviserLyla June Johnston is a Navajo poet and peace activist from Taos, New Mexico, who has found her home in the service of humanity.

Writing for Peace is accepting nominations of young activists, writers, and artists, for our new panel of Young Advisers. Please send nominations by email, along with the reasons for your nomination and contact information to editor@writingforpeace.org, subject heading: Young Adviser Nominations.

2014 Young Writers Contest

Writing for Peace Young Writers' ContestThe Writing for Peace 2014 Young Writers Contest deadline is March 1st, 2014. Our prestigious Judges Panel includes Robin Black, fiction; Dinty W. Moore, nonfiction; and David Mason, poetry. Submission guidelines here.

 DoveTales, a publication of Writing for PeaceDoveTales Call for Submissions

Writing for Peace is accepting submissions for our 2014 Issue of DoveTales, an International Journal of the Arts. The theme of our second journal is contrast. Check out our submission guidelines here.

Support Writing for Peace

DoveTales, an International Journal of the Arts, "Occupied" 2013Help us reach out to schools and young writers by purchasing a copy of DoveTales, an International Journal of the Arts to gift to your local high school or junior high. Let us know you are gifting your copy, and we’ll include extra bookmarks (beautifully designed by artist-in-residence, PdLietz). Purchase our 2013 “Occupied” Issue here.

Copyright © 2013 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.

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5 Responses to Transforming the World through Social Media, by Carmel Mawle

  1. Rebecca says:

    Thank you Carmel.
    I am off FB for the time, to give proper focus to some upcoming deadlines, and to work on another project.
    The direction FB is going is abhorrent to me, and if not for the many many good souls and the incredible access to remarkableness, I would be gone. Somehow we need to build another network of access and media.
    It is not the ads that get me as much as the specter of Stepford and an over-reaching government. Those and how unaware many young people are about … you name it. But our hope also lies with them, too. The young. FB is mostly a Silly Pulpit, but one that drains our souls.
    Thank you for keeping the faith, and the light.
    Rebecca

  2. Vicki Lindner says:

    I’m surprised you’re shocked and miffed.. Did you really think Facebook was designed to be a social media site for the social good? No, it’s ploy was to get ya’ll hooked and then start opening it to advertisers and charging. Personally I always hated Facebook and soon took myself off because of all of the constant messages I got from it as well as people I had “befriended.” So now the question you need to ask is how people formed international bases BEFORE the age of Facebook. They did, you know. The people you “reach” are not necessarily interested participants. If you can discern those who are, you may be able to simply send them emails in batches according to the country they’re in.

  3. Willean says:

    Whose money paid for the Internet in the first place? — Thanks to Al Gore, our taxes did although Al didn’t initiate the Internet. A smart guy named Tim Berners-Lee from Great Britain did and was knighted by the Queen for his global contribution. His statement says it all: “But it’s not the job of an Internet service provider to be, in this case, not just the police, but then also the judge and the jury.” In other words people should be free to say what they believe they need to say. Now Facebook is controlling what people can communicate because of the monetary charge. Yes, Facebook should be free to charge advertisers and make a profit — but not to control what the public wants to share over a net paid for by the public.

  4. Yes, I will pass this along to many folk. Great work. Much needed. Sad that so much comes down to $$$$.

  5. somia says:

    I don’t like boundaries. They are the enemy of peace. I don’t like religions as they are the enemies of peace. I haven’t seen any miracle done by any religion yet in my life. there should be only one religion in world. and that should be peace on our earth. nations should not be enemies of each other. we should help each other against natural disasters. we should help poor and hungry. we should utilize resources efficiently that mother earth has provided us. we shouldn’t steal, we shouldn’t kill, we shouldn’t cheat. we should love and love only. How can I sleep peacefully when a single man on earth is sleeping hungry, having pain. so I am not human. animals, birds, streams, plants everything in this world is better than me as they have no boundaries, no religion. they have no enemies, no bombs nothing.

    The world has progress now. we can provide every thirsty with water as we have best transportation system. we can provide food to hungry as we have plenty of food wasting and we have resources to distribute among hungry. we can help diseased by providing medicines. rather than making bombs and chemical devices to destroy world.

    Please join hands to promote cause and save earth and world. already natural disasters are our enemy. lets protect mother earth.

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