Swarming and the Future of Protesting

There are interesting article here on swarming and a novel system of mobile tracking that is envisaged as a foundation for more effective swarms. As Robin Good notes:

Text messaging has enabled, in the recent past, swarming actions, that have had very major social and cultural impacts. Howard Rheingold’s book, entitled Smart Mobs, explains and describes in much detail how text messaging has enabled groups of several thousands people to move and act rapidly by self-coordinating itself via SMS mobile phone messaging.

When applied to communication scenarios, swarming can indeed provide a uniquely flexible and robust method of rapid communication to both small and large groups of people, which has the powerful advantage of adapting quickly to changing environments and to continue functioning even when individual elements fail.

As I note in an earlier post:

The internet is a tool for communication. Used effectively it can galvanise ideas into action. Used ineffectively, it adds little to processes of democratisation or peace. The issue is not so much that people surf porn, use eBay or live in virtual reality, but how the web and internet can interest these people in social activism.

This hold true for mobile phone facilitated swarming as well – creating the technical networks are easy, sustaining the larger social movement is not. How ICT4Peace can fuel long term social activism through an event based approach such as regular swarms for peace is an area rich for research and practice.

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