On February 27 2011 I received Change.org weekly newsletter, pointing me to the organization's 'Top 10 victories' in 2010.
Change.org, a web platform that empowers 'anyone, anywhere to start, join, and win campaigns for social change', allows citizens to campaign about anything. Actions advocated through the platform (mostly petitions) range from a global human rights call for the release of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei to several gay rights campaigns aimed condemning abuses across American and multi-national corporations to tech-specific petitions, as with the case of one against the dog fighting application 'Dog Wars' on Android phones.
Given the native variety and freedom of Change.org's targets, it is up to the San Francisco-based organization to make sense of the wealth of its targets and, most importantly, results. As an early entrant in the world of so-called Web 2.0 advocacy, born in 2007 from the effort of Stanford and LSE graduate Ben Rattray, Change.org has developed several practices to make the most of its users' activity.
Through the newsletter, a classic way to keep any constituency informed, Change.org sends constant updates, focusing on highlighting the best from its network. This is what a meta-organization like Change.org is meant to do: a list of the 10 most inspiring victories was created to highlight the most successful campaigns of 2010 and shed light of its rich ecosystem of participation.
Change.org bloggers choice identified in the top 3 a massive campaign to push the platform Craiglist to shut down its 'adult services' section,
the reinstatement of a gay teacher in Oregon and the ban of UK export of 'execution equipment to US. Although I consider the effort of Change.org to excite its members over the best amongst the 9.132 campaigns of 2010 already one deserving a mention, it is important to note that this practice is a constant for the San Francisco-based organization. The same exercise is repeated for each category of action on the website ('Top 10 Immigrant Rights victories' or 'Top 10 Women's Rights victories' for example) and each victory (or group of victories) is celebrated via a dedicated newsletter, where most active campaigns for each week are also reviewed ('Top actions this week').
However questionable the use of the word 'victory', Change.org commitment to sensing its vast constituency's achievements should be considered a good example of contemporary organizational activity.