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2 DaTactic: Data with Tactics

2.1 Context and Origin: #DaTactic1 / #LaAyudaImporta

In November 2013, Oxfam Intermo´n[1], in collaboration with the Outliers collective[2], began to explore the digital sphere concerning Cooperation and International Development in Spain. Inspired by Internet research methodologies designed by the Digital Methods Initiative[3] of the University of Amsterdam, the research consisted in identifying social network structures and dynamics, as well as subjects of debate in different social media channels related to the issue. Some of the findings of digital research were significant and the #DaTactic team determined that they could shape a more strategic and tailor-made social network.

The idea to organize a #DaTactic emerged from that scenario, based on the team´s willingness to give back to these communities the processed data and share knowledge on best practices in social media (in the context of “open” philosophy). On April 8, 80 persons coming from different cities joined in Madrid for a face-to-face encounter. The first event was totally experimental but the action #LaAyudaImporta was successful in reaching new audiences, becoming a trending topic in Madrid and Spain[4] and catching the attention of some major politicians. Then, the audience showed interest in participating in a new edition of #DaTactic and the 2014 European Parliament election was targeted as the next scenario.

2.2 Strategy and Tactics: #DaTactic2 / #OccupyEP2014

On May 22 three days before the European Election Day in Spain the second edition of #DaTactic (#DaTactic2) took place simultaneously in Madrid and Barcelona. With over 100 offline participants in the two cities, the overall objective was to increase Spanish citizens´ votes for the European Elections. At that time, the elections surveys indicated a rate of abstention around the 70%. Prior to the event, participants were invited to collaborate in the elaboration of a clear narrative to reach this objective. Two main lines were identified to effectively communicate and convince Spanish citizens about the importance of the election.

First, the team sought to provide information about the importance of the European Parliament (after the Lisbon Treaty) and the impact of European Union decisions in daily life. Many significant decisions (e.g. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) are made at a European level that is distant from citizen control and awareness.

Second, at a more domestic level, the team sought to inform that voting in the European election could change the current and highly criticized twoparty Spanish political rotation. European election formula would reflect political diversity more faithfully than the system established for Spanish general election. In order to achieve this goal, the participants carried out political analyses of the lists of candidates and their political proposals to provide citizens materials and information to help them in their vote decision. The participants

also included images and data visualizations along with this information in order to communicate the potential impact of voting more effectively[5].

Finally, to foresee the network behaviour and define tailor-made digital tactics, the team carried out a series of analysis on Twitter data. Conversations concerning the European Elections were mapped through hashtags such as #EP2014 and some critical ones[6].

#DaTactic2 followed the double objective mentioned above: training and action. On the one hand, the training approach consisted in two sessions focused on management of social media communities, how to carry out real-time monitoring of an online campaign with tools like NetVizz[3] and Gephi[1], and how to evaluate Twitter actions in a strategic way. On the other hand, the action approach was designed to raise awareness on the importance of the European election. Different groups were organized in Barcelona and Madrid with a specific focus on:

1. Disseminating major European issues

2. Bringing European politics closer to Spanish citizens The digital tactics set forth in this edition were:

1. Inviting journalists, media and NGOs to the offline event to generate a cohesive community responsible of diffusing the online campaign.

2. Creating multimedia content (mostly images) as part of a viral strategy in order to reach different audiences and counteract to more technical message.

3. Mentioning and questioning politicians to ask their opinion on key European issues or on their political programs.

  • [1] oxfamintermon.org/
  • [2] outliers.es/en
  • [3] https://digitalmethods.net/Dmi/DmiAbout
  • [4] trendinalia.com/twitter-trending-topics/spain/spain-140408.html
  • [5] Infographic example: pbs.twimg.com/media/Bn8n1B4CAAEMupH.jpg
  • [6] #SalDelBipartidismo, #sinovotasellosserien, #AsaltoUE, #NoVotisInjusticia, #TTIPNoGracias, #StoppTTIP.
 
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