The BoBs 2015: The Best of Online Activism

I am one of the appointed jury members choosing the “Best of Blogs”. The Bobs awards honor bloggers, activists and journalists in 14 languages that champion the open exchange of ideas, freedom of expression and human rights on the Internet.

The Bobs are the only global, international award honoring creative and brave projects online that cross language and cultural barriers and thereby showcases the best of what the ever-expanding World Wide Web has to offer. I was the one choosing the Spanish category and my three nominated platforms were the following:

 Social Change: Contratados

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A Website informing temporary workers in the US about their rights, about reliable contractors and “fixers” and answers specific questions in order to prevent abuse. It also offers low tech options. Someone with a regular mobile phone can receive a voice message answering her questions.

Privacy & Security: Rancho Electronico

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A hackerspace in the outskirts of Mexico city is my choice for the Privacy and Security category, because it nails it: instead of focusing on privacy and security tools, they are building an engaged community of young activists, women and men deeply engaged in fully understanding how technology works, from hardware to software to content and design a privacy and security approach, adequate to the local challenges in Mexico.

For Arts & Media category, Revista Traviesa

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Magazine Traviesa is an amusement park for readers, writers, and snoops interested in contemporary literature written in Spanish. It offers the most sophisticated and neatly curated list and content from Latin American writers and highly capable literary translators. The selection offers a window the most beautiful letters written in Spanish.

Past winners of The Bobs include: Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia), Ushahidi(Kenya), the Sunlight Foundation (USA), Li Chengpeng (China), und Alaa Abd El-Fattah (Egypt) for Manal and Alaa’s bit bucket.

Former jury members of The Bobs include: Michael AntiIsaac Mao, Rustem AdagamovErik HersmanRosana HermannLoïc Le MeurMuzi MeiAmmar AbdulhamidBudi PutraMustafa NayyemShahidul AlamAndrew Baron, und Ai Weiwei.


Filming my first video ever was fun. It took me two hours to film 5 minutes. I did it.  By myself. With my computer. That is a screenshot of it.

It was exciting to learn a different skill, creative, exploring unknown areas and tools. I was surprised about the available tools. Friendly, easy to use…

But sadly “easy” is not necessary encouraging innovation, as usually “easy” comes with the “closed” or “proprietary” tag attached. Open and free video tools lack the financial capacity to support usability research and development, in most of the cases.

But not all is negative. At least “easy” is bringing a whole group of creators in. And those are creating value for expression, for access to knowledge, for activism, for intangible social value. Adding. More and more. Day after day.

And all creations together are powerful.

What are we going to do with such power? Just surround and give it away to corporations?

We can do more. But it will not be easy.