From Canva..to Publisher …PDF..Word…PDF

As you know, I created my poster on a  website called Canva and I had difficulties trying to find the right format to print it in a poster size. However, Canva does let you download your poster as an image or a PDF file.  I decided to go to the resource centre to print the posters out as they had A3 size posters and different colours of card. Card was the best option at the time as I wanted something harder than paper.

I decided to go to the resource centre  to print the posters out as they had A3 size posters and different colours of card. Card was the best option at the time as I wanted something harder than paper.  I printed out the poster, but I wanted it in the centre of the paper. To do that, I asked for help and was advised to bring my laptop into the centre to download the poster as a PDF file instead. I transferred the file (poster) onto the staff USB stick and then the lovely staff at the resource centre fixed all the properties required to print the poster in A3 size on card.

It took a long time for the transfer to take place and I am glad it has as the poster is now on display at the University.  The poster will be shown in the next blog post.

Evaluate a campaign on change.org

As part of our communication activism and social change unit, we were asked to evaluate a campaign on change.org.

I decided to look at  ‘Stop taxing periods. Period’ campaign as it seemed interesting and has over 200,000 supporters.  The central idea behind the campaign was that essential items should not be taxed. Sanitary towels are essential to a women’s life as without them women would not be able to control and manage menstruation and it will lead to women jeopardising their health. Taxing essential items can reduce accessibility and lead to fewer people affording them, thus reducing access to health care and vital items that will be necessities for decades.

The campaign used various digital forms of communication and raising awareness in the form of a Facebook Page and a Twitter hashtag. The hashtag created was #endtampontax  and the Facebook page is named ‘Stop taxing our periods. Period’  was created to spread the message and provide the latest news and events on the Tampon tax.

The campaign has received huge amounts media attention from news outlets such as the BBC, The Guardian, ITV news and The independent. The campaign also featured in a glamour magazine and The Cosmopolitan. The petition has also received over 200,000 supporters and has gone to parliament and received a treasury response which shows that the raising awareness part of the campaign has been successful. The creators of the campaign decided to demo outside downing street to show how passionate they were about their campaign. They created a Facebook event and 80 women joined. Because of the petitions, hashtags and media coverage,  the treasury responded to the petition and stated that it was not possible to change as it had never been done before. That aspect of the campaign failed as they wanted to make a change and have not done so yet. However, if you were to measure the success on a campaign based on raising awareness then you could argue that they have been successful, as many have got involved using the hashtag mentioned above and with 3,472 likes you could argue that it has raised awareness and that was the main aim to begin with.

The only criticism I have of the campaign is that there is no Youtube video to accompany the campaign. I am not saying every campaign should have a video but it would be nice for people to see the side effects of taxing sanitary towels rather than merely reading about it.

For those interested, the link is provided below:

https://www.change.org/p/george-osborne-stop-taxing-periods-period

Feminista.org

UK Feminista is a non-profit organisation that campaigns to end equalities between men and women. They were founded in 2010 and rapidly became one of the leading voices nationally of feminism and have prompted social change. Additionally, the organisation provides training and resources to activists and groups to aid their campaign and events and offer passionate voices for feminism. 

There have been many advances between men and women, particularly since the 20th century. Giving women the right to vote,  the introduction of new divorce laws which made it easier for women to have a divorce. However,  the organisation still believes that women are unequal in a political, economic and social equality sense.

 The UK Feminista group decided to take a stand and created a Youtube video to raise awareness about the qualms they have on the inequality between men and women.

The group also have a Twitter page with a good followingof 26.1 K followers showing that the page is popular and that they’re tweets are seen by thousands.

The website is very organised and has many tabs named ‘school and colleges’, toolkit, regional training, local groups and resources. The fact that the campaign applies to schools and colleges suggests that the group want to recruit teenagers/young adults suggesting that they want a  long term future for the campaign.

Why is it important?

I believe that UK Feminista is important as they give women a voice and use many digital communication tools such as Twitter, Facebook and email. Additionally, the group provide resources and training for activists to conduct their own campaigns. I think this is very important as activists need a platform and to voice their opinions. I wish other organisations did this too. They provide a 3 day training course to build the confidence and improve the skills needed to make social change within communities. The course is free and there is a bursary provided.

UK Feminista show  statistics of women across the world:

  • In every society on earth, women and girls have less access to resources, opportunities and political power than men.
  • Women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property.
  • Just 16 of the world’s 188 directly elected leaders are women, and less than 19% of the world’s MPs are women.

The fact that women perform 66% of the world’s work and only earn 10% of the income is astonishing. Something needs to change and UK Feminista is trying to do that. The fact that there are only 16 leaders that are women shows how much change is required. Additionally, less than 19% of the world’s MPs are women, the statistics shown shows the importance of UK Feministas campaign as they try and create social change.

What digital communication tools have you used this year?

Here is a list:

Twitter

I use Twitter to check the latest news and to what is currently trending. I have my twitter trending setting on worldwide rather than the United Kingdom as I want to see what is going on around the world. It is also a good tool to use to raise awareness. An example of this is the Baltimore riots (#Baltimoreriots). News organisations are not covering the riots so individuals are tweeting videos using the hashtag to tell people across the word about the reality of the situation

Snapchat

My friends convinced me to download Snapchat and the rest is history. I have used Snapchat for almost 2 years and I thoroughly enjoy using it. You add friends via usernames, which I find safe as it gives the user an option on whether they want to accept the request or not. Additionally,  Some celebrities have given their Snapchat usernames so fans can add them which is a really nice touch for those who are interested in their lives.

One user I particularly enjoy watching on Snapchat Stories is ‘The Verge’. The Verge keeps users updated on the new and upcoming technology. They ‘Snap-chatted’ the new technologies that are found in fridges and freezers, advancements in 3D printers and new laptops.

Instagram

I use Instagram on a daily basis, I enjoy using it and I think it’s a great tool to form many networks with other individuals, businesses and artists.  To elaborate on the businesses and artists point, I use Instagram to contact cupcake companies and make-up artists. A simple direct message can solve my problems.

Instagram also gives the opportunity to share special moments with friends and family. I keep Instagram as a personal timeline of events, it’s nice to look back on videos and photos from a year or two ago.

Facebook

My Facebook usage hasn’t been very high this year as I keep activating and deactivating. I feel like I am missing out on something by not being on Facebook and seeing what the latest ‘gossip’ is and seeing what people are up to. In my opinion, Facebook is mainly about satisfying one’s curiosity and is one of the main reasons why some individuals can’t let go of it. However, I deleted my Facebook as I did not want to keep activating and deactivating neither did I want to keep my Facebook. I don’t think I will make another Facebook account in the future.

YikYak

I installed YikYak a month ago to see why it was becoming popular and to see why people use it. After downloading it, I scrolled through the ‘yaks’ in my area and it was interesting to see what people were Yakking. There were yaks about different people. One user yakked about how one student is always falling asleep and another user yakked about the speeds of the Wi-fi. However, some individuals take advantage of the anonymity and decided to slate other individuals. I guess that’s one of the negative sides of the internet unfortunately.

Periscope

Periscope is a new live streaming Twitter application and it provides individuals the opportunity to broadcast live streams. 1  million users have already signed up to Periscope in the first 10 days.

I decided to try Periscope as there were many sports journalists on my Twitter timeline posting streaming links. So I downloaded the application and I connected to the live streams and it was nice to see behind the scenes footage of press conferences and to hear the discussions that took place. I think it’s a good app to have and you can use it for many things such as sports, technology, and live events. I recommend Twitter Users to try it out!

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging service that provides a platform for users to send instant messages without having to pay for a text message or an ‘SMS’. I use WhatsApp on a daily basis as I need to communicate with my friends and family.

WhatsApp is a very good tool to use when communicating with individuals as it not only provides an instant messaging service,  but it also enables individuals to communicate via WiFi or a cellular data connection. So if there was a crisis, weddings etc.. individuals can be informed within a minute.

The introduction of WhatsApp web is a very good addition as people who may not have their phones present with them can access their laptop and still send messages. For WhatsApp to provide that option shows you where communication is at and how it’s evolving all the time. However, with so many mechanisms of communication you do not have an excuse for ignoring someone!

Youtube 

As time has passed, my use of Youtube has decreased. This could be due to University and being in my 3rd year. I use Youtube mainly for technological purposes involving phone, laptop and electronic car releases. I have a passion for technology and I love looking at the specifications of phones and laptops and comparing them with others. I love looking and testing new software and Wi-Fi speeds. It may not matter to some people but it matters to me and I enjoy watching videos on this. When I am in town, I always make sure that I pop into a phone store to check out the latest phones and advise people on which one is the best to buy. Recently, I went to the PC World store and I spent approximately 2 hours in there as there were many technological devices to mess with. I love it! When my assignments are handed in I plan to catch up on the tech world and to try out new technology in stores.

Forum

As part of our campaign for student loneliness, we decided to create a forum to try and encourage students to join and tell us their stories on being lonely at university and see if we could help. The reasons  for creating a forum was that it would be easy for students to use  and forums are popular amongst students as shown on ‘The Student Room’  forum and thought it would be best to create one ourselves.  So we conducted a simple search on Google with the words ‘create a forum’  and found a  website which enabled us to create a forum for free. So we signed up and created the forum and edited the headings and took the URL generated and decided to put it on our Facebook Page, Poster and Youtube video.

The link to the forum – http://www.preventingloneliness.boards.net/

Upon reflection, we  have decided not to go ahead with promoting the forum because it would be very difficult to maintain if students were to sign up. Furthermore, we have enough tools to promote our campaign and to prompt social change. The tools involved are Twitter and the hashtag (saynottostudentloneliness), a Facebook Page, two posters and a Youtube video.  It is a shame that the forum will no longer be included in the campaign as it could have been a great tool for students to express themselves and seek advice from students rather than turning to counselling or a psychologist. However, it’s better to realise the problems  now as opposed to when the campaign was done and realising the mistakes after.