Modeling Activist Networks

Lately I’ve become interested in the idea of building a platform for crowdsourcing information about activist affiliations that could be used to generate an open access database that would a) be available for research and b) also power web-based visualizations. So more concretely, I work on AIDS activism, and I know that a lot of people I’ve encountered in the archive participated in different organizations in different capacities. I want to model these relationships, but I would also like to have others contribute to the database, so that it’s not just based on what’s available in archives. As a group, maybe we could think about some of the technical database and visualization issues, as well as concerns about privacy and legality, or more theoretical concerns that I haven’t thought of.


Categories: Crowdsourcing, Data Mining, Mapping, Research Methods, Session Proposals, Visualization |

About droyles

I'm a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. My research examines the political culture of African American AIDS activism. As part of that work, I'm conducting an oral history project ( and an Omeka site ( to help capture the voices of people who have been involved in HIV prevention in African American communities over the past three decades.

5 Responses to Modeling Activist Networks

  1. Dan! This sounds like a great idea as I’d love to think about how to visualize user input and social networks around artifacts like zines.

    This also seems really interesting considering that so much AIDS activism can be centered around issues of representation–representing loss (generationally and personally), representing sickness/health/ability, representing a multiplicity of communities. There seems to be so much potential around a robust, informative, and yet emotionally powerful “archive” that would be capable of representing a diversity of activist experiences.

  2. I am on the board of the Young Women’s Caucus, part of the Women’s Caucus for Art (a 40 year women’s art activist community created in 1972). We stage shows all over the U.S. and internationally. I am interested in creating an exhibition as part of my time at THATCamp.

  3. droyles says:

    Hi Bonnie! You might want to put your comment up as its own post so that people can see it from the main page. Just click “+ New” at the top of the screen.

  4. I was responding to chronicling activism through artistic channels.

  5. droyles says:

    Okay, I just wasn’t sure if you wanted to propose this as a separate session, or as part of modelling activist networks. Sounds great!

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