Vadym Hudyma is a member of the team behind EuroMaydan – a facebook page currently counting over 280,000 followers and growing. Starting as a way to keep people informed, the page has interestingly evolved into something of a platform-on-the-platform – – spinning off and accelerating countless subgroups as the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve.
So what changed? More to the point, did people change? What’s next for the page?
The success of EuroMaydan arguably lies in the fact that it treats web2.0 as web2.0. Most disappointment voiced about social media in civil society seems to stem from a stubborn belief that new medias can be treated like a newspaper – – a unidirectional broadcast system. Social media is designed for contribution, and the generations who increasingly rely on it for their information expect something more. They expect to contribute, find their niche, express and lead.
Hats off to EuroMaydan which, intentionally or not, grew by empowering those whose voices were aligned with their own. It is nice to see a ‘2.0’ campaign living up to the promise of social media at a time when folks still seem quick to critique and question the efficacy of such campaigns through a thick lens of ‘how social change is supposed to work.’
As Vadym says, the page may not be sustainable – they’re pretty worn out by something that went far beyond their initial idea. It probably won’t be getting any grants to validate it’s existence. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is a tool, worked by some inspiring people but it is still a tool, not a community. And as a tool it does has been invaluable in catalyzing the offline collaborative efforts which are shaping and saving lives in Ukraine’s crisis.