We live in an amazing time in the world. Technology has changed so much about the way we live and what we now consider to be basic necessities. But beyond things like cell phones, iPads, text messaging and email, one of the most important ways that technology has impacted our lives is that it has given people all over the world a voice.
As the “new media” revolution continues to evolve, web-based content creators are increasing in numbers and taking full advantage of the many opportunities to connect, share and report on pressing issues that are capturing the attention of the world at large. Online sharing has not only had a huge effect on the messages that get communicated to the masses, but also on the demographic that receives the messages. Issues and stories that were once relegated to short blurbs in the Culture section of the local newspaper, now have the ability to gain viral traction simply by being discussed on a popular blog or podcast.
Michael Jackson’s humanitarian song “We Are the World,” has never been more true than it is today. This is a world where a young girl like Malala Yousafzai can survive a brutal attack by the Taliban and subsequently go on to become the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize. The global sharing of her story and advocacy for girls’ education have made her a worldwide symbol for the importance of standing up for what’s right, no matter the cost.
We’ve also seen the formation of the BlackLivesMatter movement in response to a growing cultural outrage about the tragic slaying of a disproportionate number of ethnic males by law enforcement officials in Florida, Ferguson and other areas of the nation.
This is a world where people sometimes feel frustrated by the status quo, but where they also feel more empowered than ever to take some kind of meaningful action to express that frustration. That’s what Blog Action Day is all about. This blogging “call to arms” has been around since 2007 and it’s goal is to shed light on underrepresented causes around the world. The organizers of the event want to encourage a positive global discussion about important issues that, ultimately, affect us all.
Each year, Blog Action Day focuses on one particular theme and participants can sign up to promote the designated issue by displaying a Blog Action Day badge on their website in the days leading up to event. Then, on event day, everyone is encouraged to write and share a post on their website that centers on the current year’s topic.
This year’s theme is, fittingly, Raise Your Voice. It’s a nod to the freedom and power we have to use the spoken and the written word to create the kind of world we want to see. It’s a celebration of the brave voices, like Malala’s, who have spoken up in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. It is also a rallying cry in support of the oppressed, the battered, the marginalized and the voices that have been silenced.
Change may not happen overnight with Blog Action Day, but the collective voices of bloggers from all around the world sharing their stories of inspiration, hope, sorrow and joy makes a mighty powerful impact. One that lets readers from all walks of life know that a changing world is well on it’s way.
Blog Action Day takes place each year on October 16th. You can register to participate here.