Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

How to Use Facebook for Something Besides Hooking Up and Throwing Sheep

In the old days, way back in 2007, some of us cynical types wondered if Facebook would ever amount to anything beyond a place to throw sheep at your friends. Silly us! While we were really talking about Facebook’s ability to generate revenue, and eventually a profit, Facebook’s users have had more ambitious goals: Changing the world.

That, at least, is the theme of the grandly named “Alliance of Youth Movements Summit,” which kicks off today at Columbia Law School. The two-day event, organized by video start-up Howcast, is supposed help activists brainstorm ways to use Facebook and other social media to organize themselves and garner attention.

This is heady stuff, but there is some real-world grounding there: Organizers of a protest against FARC, the Columbian terrorists, credit Facebook with helping them rally millions of people against the group in February.

The man who organized that movement, Oscar Morales, will appear at the summit, and so will Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz. I’m also interested to hear from members of the Obama campaign’s Internet team, who will appear Friday. And, um, so will I: I’m moderating a panel of media worthies, including MSNBC’s Luke Russert.

A full schedule is here, and if you can’t make the event in person, you should be able to tune in via Webcast at Howcast’s page.

[Image Credit: equinoXio]

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus