Waging my reputation: Tiananmen Square Protest vs. 2AM lockout

In my latest post over at Marketing Magazine, ‘Dear Connex, We hate you.’ I got a response from fellow blogger, Stan Lee (Brand DNA)

He suggested that my Open Letter to Connex was too much and to stop with the whining about the collective power of online.

One remark that he said got me thinking.

“Do you think we would remember Tiananmen Square if that lone student had decided to start a Facebook group rather than stand in front of a tank?”

When I thought about it more, it made sense to me that a Facebook group would have been the communication tool used to call students to action if the protest took form today.

In terms of Tianemen Square massacre it was not just the actions of the one lone student that was protesting but it was the 100,000 students who marched on May 4th for free media reform. These students found out about the protest through student newspapers, university posters and friends.

Today Facebook has taken the role of dispersing information through masses of students. This is evident through the recent response to the 2AM lockout proposed by the Victorian Government. In response to the new ban, two students set up a Facebook group protesting the new ban. They then created a Facebook event that suggested that at 5pm on Friday May 31st, 7,836 people will attend a protest at the steps of Parliament.

Therefore I am willing to put my reputation on it that this will occur!

Therefore if there are not at least 7,836 people at the riot, the title of my next blog for Marketing Magazine will be ‘GUILTY of whining about the collective power of online’

However, I do believe in the collective power of online and I don’t think I am whining about the subject for the simple fact that A) People don’t know about social media and what better way to educate them give them real life example of the power of the medium (Connex) or B) they underestimate the power of this channel.

I cannot think of the last time 7,000+ Gen Yers stood for anything collectively against the Government. Therefore if this actually occurs it will prove to me that Facebook is the tool that is being used to motivate Gen Yers to action and we still do care!


Anonymous said...

"The protest attracted about 5,000 people who have vowed to keep up their fight against the ban until the Government backs down."
- http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/30/2260977.htm


Peter Wagstaff said...

I'm impressed, Jules! Obviously we're awaiting the official count, but it was bloody close, by the sound of things. I honestly believed that there'd only be a few hundred, so even if you didn't quite get to 7,000+, you can't deny the power of online.

Julian Cole said...

I have not heard any reports of over 5,000. As a man of my word I will name my next post as such. I have to agree Peter, it was quite a site to see all the protesters out there and to know that it all started with a Facebook Group was great to see.

User said...

I think "riot" is exactly the wrong word to be using to describe the protest!

The Age: "Police estimated more than 3000 people marched from Treasury Gardens to Parliament last night to voice frustration over the Government's proposal to curb alcohol-fuelled violence."


Julian Cole said...

Oh, 'Riot' was a subconscious slip. I think I will keep it though!

Anonymous said...

An interesting read; we're experiencing the same kind of curfew upset in my hometown of Newcastle. I don't think I've ever seen my group of friends and associates in such an uproar over a common cause.
There have been town meetings and petitions... and this myspace site provides an interesting cross-section of opinion:
But I'd like to stitch your article (this one) to my facebook page. I'll go ahead and try to work out how to do that.. but I'm open to suggestion if there's a quick, hassle-free method :)

My Miracle Baby said...

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Final Year Projects said...

It's amazing to see the awareness and interection that facebook has bought us.Nice blog.