This is the latest post in our series, Twitter Powerhouses, which focuses on the contributions of people who've helped to expand, influence, and redefine how we view social networking.
Throughout history, activists have used a wide range of tools to bring about change -- economic, social, political and otherwise. Letter writing campaigns, marches, boycotts, and hunger strikes are just a few of the things used to make a strong impact. Indeed, Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, and Rock the Vote's Maegan Carberry are just a few names that give vision and voice to the truly dynamic history of world activism.
Marc Parent, one of the most celebrated observers and activists on Twitter today, dedicates his thought-provoking feed to shining a spotlight on that history, and provides great links that are often the subject of great debate. If its happening in the world, it will likely show up on his feed. Parent has maximized his social media presence, allowing him to take full advantage of the huge Twitter stage on which hundreds of millions share their views.
What is a great activist, you ask? I'll tell you: one who informs you of the issues, inspires you to take action, and empowers you to make a difference. And for years now, Marc Parent has been that activist. As you will read below, he is most certainly for real, and absolutely necessary.
How do you see your role as an online activist?
I have been into "activist blogging" for 10 years, and what a great field it is. As I learned the techniques to gather information and motivate readers, I found that many appreciated this service. Handling controversial material brings on loads of criticism and frequently censorship. I have learned the value of a trustworthy and known blogging platform. For me, Twitter has become this and so much more. Frankly, I am pleasantly surprised Twitter hasn't ditched me (Laughs).
Speaking of Twitter, explain how it has helped you connect with both your fans and the issues you are passionate about?
Twitter posts cross the many boundaries between people and reach a much larger audience than on most well-known, social media platforms. Instant and positive reader responses to posts provide the comfort of knowing others are just as passionate about issues. No matter the country or continent, folks are incredibly engaged and hungry for the truth. If you want to create a deep, lasting connection with people, you have to be of value to them, and it's a blessing that many value what I post.
How important is technology to your particular kind of activism?
I am driven and dedicated to providing enlightening commentary on politics, finance, media, society, government, and the internet. Technology gives me a connection to the vast network of media outlets and independent online sources. Armed with great information -- some of which the mainstream media never touches -- I have great hope that I can help change political systems and attitudes for the better. My readers understand this. It is extremely rewarding to see them take action and use all of constructive tools available to them. I can't tell you how much I love being an activist.
How would you describe yourself in 140 characters?
Persuer and sharer of truth that matters.
Author's Note: In case you missed it, here's Part 14 of the series: 16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter.