"This fall, in New York’s Zucotti Park, occupiers have developed new tools and appropriated existing ones. An early example of the latter was their use of the blogging platform Tumblr, which first gained popularity through New York’s fashion and photography scene. But Occupy Wall Street’s use of Tumblr has transformed the tool itself into one more amenable to advocacy. With every new tag, note and reblog that corresponds to activism, the platform becomes more valuable for organizers."
"Occupiers are also the most recent activists to take a stab at creating a “mesh network,” or a localized, independent version of the Internet. (It doesn’t use central hubs that can be shut down by governments.) During the Egyptian uprising in early 2011, mesh networks garnered interest as a viable workaround for future Internet blackouts, like the one instated by Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian experience inspired projects called Open Mesh and Apps for the Apocalypse. And now Occupy has ignited The Free Network Foundation which, like its precursors, aims to harness the momentum of today’s protests to create technological solutions that will serve actions of tomorrow."
"The new tools that have emerged from Occupy protests are direct responses to user needs. For example, when it became clear that cellphone microphones were insufficient for disseminating information across Zucotti Park, technologists joined with activists to create a phone-powered tool for real-time information sharing. The People’s Skype turns many phones into distributed PA systems, provided the devices have speakerphone capability and their users know the dial-in and pin number. The tool also allows for real-time voting using mobile keypads."
"A new application for Facebook called the Occupy Network provides a simple but important fix for online organizing. Rather than sifting through the various groups, pages and events related to occupations, anyone can use this app to search by location and see which of his Facebook friends are involved."
"Technology and social networks haven’t yet been able to accurately anticipate the needs of would-be users. Only enhanced communication between technology developers and users will foster advancement. Until then, major movements are taking the reins."
"Once upon a time, when major news events were chronicled strictly by professionals and printed on paper or transmitted through the air by the few for the masses, protesters were prime makers of history. Back then, when citizen multitudes took to the streets without weapons to declare themselves opposed, it was the very definition of news — vivid, important, often consequential. In the 1960s in America they marched for civil rights and against the Vietnam War; in the '70s, they rose up in Iran and Portugal; in the '80s, they spoke out against nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Europe, against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, against communist tyranny in Tiananmen Square and Eastern Europe. Protest was the natural continuation of politics by other means."