On February 10, 2012, Citizen Lab Post-Doctoral Fellow Stefania Milan will guest lecture at Ryerson University’s Infoscape Research Centre for the Study of Social Media. The lecture is titled Cloud protesting. On mobilization in times of social media. It will take place in room RCC 202 at Ryerson University (350 Victoria Street Toronto, ON M5B 2K3). Please email gelmer@ryerson.ca for details.


“Social media are changing the way people organize, mobilize, and protest. Organizational patterns have transformed, as individuals and networked collective action become more prominent at the expense of traditional movement organizations. Organizing is easier and quicker, and protest tends to be elusive. The narrative of the action is no longer centralized and controlled by social movement organizations, but any activist can contribute, by producing, selecting, punctuating, and diffusing material like tweets, posts, and videos. I call this new type of mobilizing “cloud protesting.

“In computing, “cloud” indicates the delivery over the Internet of customized services such as software. Similarly, contemporary mobilizations such as the #occupy protests can be seen as a cloud where a set of “soft resources” coexist: identities, narratives, and know-how, which facilitate mobilization. These resources originate both online and offline, but mostly “live” online. They can be customized by and for individuals, who can in this way tailor their participation. Social media infrastructure and devices, platforms and applications enable this relatively new social dynamic.

“In this talk, I will explore different aspects of the “cloud” seen in relation to the technical properties of social media, including organizational patterns, collective identity building and framing, surveillance and repression, tactics and strategies.”