Significant Events in 2006 (Part 2)
Part II: The FairSay 2006-7 Campaigning Review2006-7 Review Contents: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Significant Events in 2006
2006 was a busy year. Climate change was the issue of the year globally, but the continued deterioration of the situation in Iraq, the stagnation of the Israel-Palestine peace process and the Israel-Lebanon conflict were all catalysing events for some campaigners.
The Control Arms campaign had a key win in October when the UN voted in favour of a resolution to start work on a global Arms Trade Treaty. In the US the Save The Internet coalition prevented anti-'network neutrality' legislation from passing that could have resulted in Internet censorship. In Australia, GetUp had a number of wins on environmental protection, climate change shifts and refugee rights and is playing a key role uniting opponents to the current Liberal majority government - up for re-election in 2007.
The use of direct fundraising as a campaigning action was also on the rise in 2006, with GetUp, MoveOn, TrueMajority, The Democratic Party and many others appealing directly for funds for either general campaigning or for specific actions (e.g. GetUp's billboard fund, MoveOn's funding of political TV ads). In the UK, the dominant campaigning organisations are highly reluctant to ask for funds from campaigners, but judging from the success of these types of initiatives in the US and Australia, 2007 might be when people's minds change on this issue.
Politically, the US Elections were obviously a big thing not just for the US, but for US activities in many parts of the world. However since foreign policy is the responsibility of the Presidency, not everything will change. In the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair was forced to give a rough timeline for retiring and this put more focus on the policies of Gordon Brown, who many assume will become the next Prime Minister.
2006 saw climate change become the issue of the year. A combination of political events, media coverage, research findings, climate disasters and campaigning coalitions converged to keep this key issue in the headlines for the whole year. While the climate change movement seems stronger than ever, a global coalition doesn't seem to exist - unlike GCAP (the parent coalition of Make Poverty History and the One Campaign).
Timeline: Campaigning Related Events
I'm sure I've missed significant campaigning related events here - so let me know what they are so the timeline can be improved.
New Media Events
If you work with the Internet and New Media, nothing here will be new. But for those of you who are active in campaigning but don't have much connection to the Internet and New Media, here are some of the popular new media related topics of the year.
- The widely anticipated book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson was published and is one of the new hot criteria for establishing an Internet venture.
- Hot terms of the year were Web 2.0, social networking, mashups (mixing different content together into a new service) and netroots (grassroots supporters connected online) and probably a few I've missed. The key thing is that they represent a more person-to-person use of the Internet than the previous dominant paradigm of organisation-to-person (Web 1.0) - also know as the 'broadcast model'.
- Hot Internet services of the year: YouTube, MySpace, Wikipedia, Digg, Delicious, Facebook and that is just scratching the surface. Read more about 2006 Web Technology Trends.