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version: October 2001

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4. Advocacy

Cell phones, beepers and text messaging are used by a growing number of demonstrators and grass roots activists to stay connected and facilitate activities on-the-spot. Wireless technology can allow widely separated participants to coordinate activities in real time, and communicate emerging information quickly.

The Ruckus Society features Longwire's Communications Manual for Activists on its web site. Although these resources are for activists/demonstrators, a lot of this information can be helpful to a range of non-activist volunteer activities. The manual features an "Assessing Your Needs" checklist, tips for "Organizing Communications and Monitoring", suggestions regarding "Power Resources", and tips for using various hand held devices and avenues-two-way radios, CB radios, cell phones, pagers, satellite communications and more.

Hand held technology must be used with great caution, however. Musician and U.S.A. Green Party activist Jello Biafra noted in an article on Zdnet.Uk: "Be careful of the information gossip you get on the Internet, too. For example, late in 1997 I discovered out on the Internet that I was dead."

Bridges.org has launched a competition to support innovative ground level initiatives in South Africa that want to use handheld devices to improve people's lives.


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