Readings for Advocacy & Social Media course @ UTSA

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One of the courses I am teaching this fall at UTSA is COM 4413: Advocacy and Social Media. In this class, I aim to expose students to various scholarly and activist points of view on how social media can serve as tools for advocacy. I also cover “older” online tools, such as email and websites, that are still critical to online campaigns. By the end of the semester, students will be able to develop and execute successful online advocacy campaigns.

Here’s the reading list. As you can see, it is a mixture of scholarly articles and book chapters, in-depth pieces of knowledge journalism, and practice-oriented book chapters and articles that focus on the nuts and bolts of successful online campaigns. As always, I appreciate feedback and suggestions for readings to include in future versions of this course.

WITNESS video advocacy training guide. (2009). WITNESS.  Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

CDC’s guide to writing for social media. (2012). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control. from

The most amazing online organizing guide ever. (2013). Green Memes.  Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

Bennett, W. L., & Segerberg, A. (2012). The logic of connective action. Information, Communication & Society, 15(5), 739-768. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2012.670661

Delany, C. (2009). Learning from Obama: A comprehensive guide to his groundbreaking 2008 online presidential campaign (Kindle ed.):

Delany, C. (2011). Online politics 101: The tools and tactics of online political advocacy.   Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

Delany, C. (2014). How to use the Internet to win in 2014: A comprehensive guide to online politics for campaigns & advocates: Version 2.0 (Kindle ed.):

Diaz-Ortiz, C. (2011). Twitter for good: Change the world one tweet at a time: John Wiley & Sons.

Eaton, M. (2010). Manufacturing community in an online activist organization: The rhetoric of’s e-mails. Information, Communication & Society, 13(2), 174-192. doi: 10.1080/13691180902890125

Gladwell, M. (2010). Small change. The New Yorker, 86, 42.

Greenberg, J., & MacAulay, M. (2009). NPO 2.0? Exploring the Web Presence of Environmental Nonprofit Organizations in Canada. Global Media Journal: Canadian Edition, 2(1).

Greenberger, P. (2010). The Digital Playbook: Can online ads move poll numbers? Google Public Sector & Elections Lab.  Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

Gregory, S. (2006). Transnational storytelling: Human rights, WITNESS, and video advocacy. American Anthropologist, 108(1), 195-204.

Hestres, L. E. (2013). App neutrality: Apple’s app store and freedom of expression online. International Journal of Communication, 7, 1265–1280.

Hestres, L. E. (2014). Preaching to the choir: Internet-mediated advocacy, issue public mobilization, and climate change. New Media & Society, 16(2), 323-339. doi: 10.1177/1461444813480361

Hindman, M. S. (2009). The myth of digital democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Hlinko, J. (2012). Share, Retweet, Repeat: Get Your Message Read and Spread: Penguin

Kapin, A., & Ward, A. S. (2013). Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage Your Community: John Wiley & Sons.

Karpf, D. (2010). Measuring Success of Digital Campaigns. In M. Joyce (Ed.), Digital Activism Decoded : The New Mechanics of Change (pp. xi, 228 p.). New York: International Debate Education Association.

Karpf, D. (2010). Online political mobilization from the advocacy group’s perspective: Looking beyond clicktivism. Policy & Internet, 2(4), 7. doi: 10.2202/1944-2866.1098

Karpf, D. (2012). The MoveOn effect: The unexpected transformation of American political advocacy (Kindle ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kreiss, D. (2012). Taking our country back: The crafting of networked politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama (Kindle ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Lee, T. B. (2014). 40 maos that explain the Internet. Vox. August 17, 2014, from

Lee, T. B. (2014). Everything you need to know about the Internet. Vox. August 17, 2014, from

MacKinnon, R. (2012). Consent of the networked: The worldwide struggle for internet freedom (Kindle ed.). New York: Perseus Books Group.

Madrigal, A. (2014). Email is still the best thing on the Internet. The Atlantic.  Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

Meraz, S., & Papacharissi, Z. (2013). Networked gatekeeping and networked framing on #Egypt. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 138-166. doi: 10.1177/1940161212474472.

Nisbet, M. C. (2009). Communicating climate change: Why frames matter for public engagement. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 51(2), 12-23.

Nitschke, P., Donges, P., & Schade, H. (2014). Political organizations’ use of websites and Facebook. New Media & Society, doi:1461444814546451.

Obar, J., Zube, P., & Lampe, C. (2012). Advocacy 2.0: An analysis of how advocacy groups in the united states perceive and use social media as tools for facilitating civic engagement and collective action. Journal of Information Policy, 2, 1-25.

Rosenblatt, A. (2010). Rules of social media engagement. Frogloop: Care2’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog.  Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

Rosenblatt, A. (2010). Measuring the impact of your social media program. Frogloop: Care2’s Nonprofit Marketing Blog.  Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

Schlough, J.-D., Koster, J., Barr, A., & Davis, T. (2011). Persuasion points online: Helping Harry Reid, one click at a time. Campaigns & Elections.  Retrieved August 17, 2014, from

Sifry, M. L. (2009, November 3, 2009). Critiquing Matthew Hindman’s “The Myth of Digital Democracy”.  Retrieved from

Youmans, W. L., & York, J. C. (2012). Social media and the activist toolkit: User agreements, corporate interests, and the information infrastructure of modern social movements. Journal of Communication, 62(2), 315-329. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01636.x


Luis Hestres


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