Tag Archives: digital

One disability emoji isn’t enough ♿. So we’ve made 18 to celebrate World Emoji Day

It’s World Emoji Day on Sunday (17 July) and we’re celebrating by releasing a set of 18 emoji designs featuring disabled people and Paralympic sports.

Billions of emojis are sent every day on social media and on messaging services like Whatsapp. Despite ongoing efforts to make emojis more diverse with different skin tones and same sex couples, there is just one to represent disability – a wheelchair-user sign, often used as an accessible toilet sign.

We think this isn’t good enough. So we hope that our 18 new emoji designs will inspire Unicode, the organisation that oversees emojis, to represent disabled people in a positive way.

Check out our emoji designs below. You can download the images on a desktop by right clicking on them and clicking ‘save image as’. You can then share your favourite emojis as an image on social media.

These aren’t proper emojis just yet, but you can still share the Jpegs. Alternatively, just share this blog post. 

Celebrating the Paralympics

The latest emoji release in June included Olympic sports and medals, but no recognition of the Paralympics.

With Rio 2016 fast-approaching, our emojis feature a number of Paralympians, including a wheelchair tennis player, modeled after Jordanne Whiley, Britain’s most decorated tennis player of all time and recent Wimbledon doubles champion, and a swimmer inspired by four-time gold medallist Ellie Simmonds.

An IPC swimmer
An IPC swimmer

Team Paralympics GB’s Jordanne Whiley and her partner, Japan’s Yui Kamiji, were crowned Wimbledon champions in the women’s wheelchair doubles last weekend.

Jordanne, who has brittle bones disease, says that she loves her wheelchair emoji:

 

A wheelchair tennis player
A wheelchair tennis player

“Emojis are so popular – everyone uses them, so everyone should be represented. It’s shocking that there’s only one character to symbolise disability.

When I was growing up, I didn’t see people like me on TV, in magazines or in films.

I want young people to see that it doesn’t matter what shape or size you are; you can still be successful. You don’t have to look a certain way to fit in.

It would be great for disabled people to be reflected in the wide range of emojis.”

Sorry, but one emoji is not enough!

Man signing BSL 'sorry'
Man signing BSL ‘sorry’

We asked more than than 4,000 Twitter users whether they thought that one emoji was enough to properly represent disability: 65% said it wasn’t.

Our campaign manager Rosemary Frazer agrees:

“From crème caramel to two types of camel, emojis offer a colourful array of more than 1,800 characters to help sum up how you’re feeling.

So it’s disappointing that disabled people are represented with just one emoji – the wheelchair user sign.

As a wheelchair user, I’m shocked by the lack of imagination. This one symbol can’t represent me and the disabled people I know.

To truly represent the world we live in, disabled people should be included in a way that reflects the diversity of our lives.”

We hope people will use our emojis to support team ParalympicsGB during this year’s games in Rio and beyond. Too often disabled people aren’t included when we talk about diversity.

Let’s change that.

Paralympic athletes celebrating
Paralympic athletes celebrating

Download and save the emojis above and help us spread the word by using them on Twitter and Facebook. 

You can download the images on a desktop by right clicking on them and clicking ‘save image as’. You’ll then have a Jpeg to share on social media. Alternatively, just share this blog post. 

 

 

 

 

“I didn’t know about web accessibility until I applied to Siteimprove!”

Lola Olson is Digital Marketing and Content Manager at Scope, which means that web accessibility is their primary concern. Lola says “having an accessible website isn’t just nice to have, it’s something we need as a disability charity.” One of the tools Scope uses to ensure our website is accessible is Siteimprove.

For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Lola interviewed Bryn Anderson, Customer Experience Manager from Siteimprove about accessibility.

Lola: What personal interest do you have in accessibility?

Bryn smiling at the camera, wearing a blue shirtBryn: I am a partial albino and very short sighted, which is common for albinos. I can’t drive or read the number on the bus. On the whole, it’s fine but sometimes 2D vision makes heading the ball on a Sunday afternoon an act of God. So I think it’s fair to say I have always been interested in accessibility.

In regards to using a computer, I use a large monitor shifting my upper body from left to right and back again, a bit like a windscreen wiper. But I didn’t even know about web accessibility until I applied for a job at Siteimprove! It’s pretty unbelievable considering I have a degree in Interactive Media Production.

Lola: What part does Siteimprove have to play in web accessibility?

Bryn: On one level, Siteimprove’s Accessibility tool monitors how accessible websites are. But the key aspect of our tool is being able to check websites from conception throughout their entire life.

People mistakenly think that web accessibility is a project – but it’s not. Redesigning your website is a project. Moving content over is a project. But accessibility is an ongoing project that has to be maintained. It’s not just about building layouts that are accessible, but also keeping track of content. And having a quality monitoring tool is integral to web accessibility.

Lola: What difference do you think accessibility makes to people using websites?

Bryn: Responsive designs are key for retaining information and a useable layout when zooming in, which I do a lot of. Sometimes when I zoom in things disappear. And you wouldn’t want that happening if you’re trying to book a flight or buy a train ticket!

And for anyone using a screen reader I can imagine that when people link text like “Read more” instead of “Accessibility blog” it creates a lot of problems. Those kind of links are as useless as a tube map of stops all called ‘station’… no thanks!

Lola: Is Siteimprove doing anything special for Global Accessibility Awareness Day?

Bryn: Yes we are! In collaboration with the Danish Association of the Blind, we’re organising a biking event in Copenhagen for the blind, partially sighted and sighted people alike on May 21. Participants will ride 100 tandem bicycles and afterwards the bikes will be donated to tandem clubs and people with visual impairments.

To learn more about Siteimprove and accessibility, visit Siteimprove’s website.

No phone, no social media and no Google maps. Just real life.

In our last post we introduced you to our brand new event which encourages people to raise money for Scope whilst giving up technology for the weekend – Digital Detox is a good old-fashioned weekend without technology.

In the lead-up to her analogue 48 hours, Alice Wilkie started a blog documenting her fears and panic over losing digital.

5 Days to go

I am going 48 hours without digital in aid of Scope, raising money that could potentially provide assisted technologies to those who need it. As of today, the data on my phone has run out. I have a monthly allowance of 1GB but I ALWAYS run out part way through the month and 9 times out of 10 will top it up. This time however, I thought it would be better to dip my toe in the water and leave it, and guess what? ME NO LIKEY.

I think it’s fair to say I’m feeling pretty anxious. I spoke to my Mum on the phone tonight and she said I can’t possibly go without a phone in London. Love you Mum, but it’s happening.

4 days to go

Running out of data is definitely giving me a taste of what the weekend is going to be like. I went to an event about social entrepreneurship yesterday afternoon. It was at a place I’ve never been to before, and my Google maps was not working due to lack of data allowance. So I literally had to (shock-horror!) use street signs and speak to people!

Talking to strangers was actually rather nice. One man even called up his friend to ask him for directions to the place I was looking for as he was unsure. However, part of me has been thinking it would be nice to top up my data and make the most of my apps and stuffs before the weekend.

3 days to go

Today was focus groups training day! Woo! This is a course I’ve been looking forward to going on. It’s basically all about how to run focus groups and get the best out of them – it was extremely interesting! Overall I had a great day – however, no data plus no WiFi meant I was unable to check Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter, Emails… Nothing! ALL. DAY. And again, I had to ask a stranger for directions. This time I opted for a fruit and veg stall man, and rather embarrassingly I was standing outside the hotel I was looking for. I think this made me realise just how dependent I am on my Google maps… So much so that I’m incapable of just looking around me and using a bit of common sense!

2 days to go

So! Really chuffed with how many donations I’ve got – £73 so far! That’s 152% of my £48 target. So thank you so much to all who have donated! All day today my work colleague, Claudia, has suggested that I buy a board game. Lovely idea Claudia… But no. Plus I’m not going to have anyone to play with at this rate. Oooh, in happier news – my data has been renewed! This means I have spent as much time as possible today listening to Spotify.

Camera and photos
Looking forward to using this for 48 hours instead of Instagram

I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to fill my time this weekend… Most prominent ideas include – getting drunk for 48 hours, reading my book, getting the train somewhere and having a mooch, taking pictures with Rupert’s polaroid camera, going to the gym, going for a long walk, going to see Ellie, sleeping all weekend, or rocking up at my Nan’s house as a surprise.

Wonder whether I’ll do any of the above. Other worries include – what am I going to do without speaking to the boyfriend all weekend?! We must literally exchange about 50 texts/ Facebook messages/ Whatsapps/ Youtube clips/ Snapchats per day. Oh… And speak for around an hour most nights on the phone.

Ah well… You know the saying… Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

15 hours and 28 minutes to go…

I’m going into a digital coma. No phone, no internet, no social media, but most importantly NO GOOGLE MAPS. I think that is what I am freaking out about most…

Notebook and post-it notes
Ready for my digital free weekend with my old school notebook and Facebook message post-it notes!

On the way home from work

My phone died.

Boyfriend writingI was freaking out on the bus. I ALWAYS listen to Spotify when I’m on the bus, and I couldn’t. The 20 minute journey seemed like an hour long. Plus, when I got to my front door, I rang and rang the doorbell and nobody answered. Thankfully my phone decided it would turn back on for a quick burst so that I could call my boyfriend to let me in.

Wow, this weekend is going to be harder than I imagined. I knew it was going to be hard, but I was kind of joking about it and not thinking it through too much, but NOW it’s hit me! Eeek.

My lovely boyfriend wrote me a little note for the weekend 🙂

I’ve had some wine and I’m feeling pretty sad now.

Who’d have thought turning your phone and internet off for 48 hours would be so emotional?!

Only 33 minutes to go…

Saturday 23 November

So, on Saturday I literally woke up with clammy hands from DREAMING about the Internet?! I lay in bed for about an hour resisting the urge to check my phone before getting up like I usually would. After having a coffee and showering, I thought I might as well brave the outdoors and see how I get on.

At 11am I got the tube to Piccadilly Circus and walked to Oxford Street. I had a mooch around and found the camera shop Lomography on Carnaby Street. I’d never been to Carnaby Street before- it’s so cute! I was pretty surprised how easy it was to get around without Google maps. Admittedly it probably took me 5-10 minutes longer than it normally would – but I got there.

I then walked to Regent’s Park to experiment with the camera (Just going started now – I didn’t quite work the camera out over the weekend… You’ll see this from my photos! Out of 20 Polaroids you can only see something resembling a picture in about 4).

I found I was really aware of myself without having my phone or my headphones. Particularly on public transport where I always have my headphones on or am chatting away on my phone. I also noticed that I kept tapping my right coat pocket to check my phone was in there- which I normally do out of habit every 10 mins or so it seemed!

When I got back I called Gaz on the landline. Was so nice to chat, but really strange talking on the phone and not being able to move (old school landline)! Sounds silly but it was really weird putting the phone down and not being able to send a text or anything?! As normally we’d get off the phone and send a text goodnight or something. Gaz said he’d found the day difficult too, particularly not being able to send me funny Youtube clips!

Overall, the day was hard, but I did feel kind of liberated. One day down, one to go.

Sunday 24 November

Felt a bit better on Sunday! Think that’s because I knew I only had 24 hours left!

I woke up, had breakfast, watched a bit of Titchmarsh and then got ready to meet Ellie. I’d written directions to Ellie’s down on Friday so I was looking forward to seeing if I’d be able to find my way there without getting lost!

Got to Ellie’s about 20 minutes early so decided to walk around Vauxhall park and failed to take photos that were any good YET AGAIN. After roaming around for a bit I could hear “ALIIIIIICE!!!” And Ellie was hanging out of her top floor flat like Rapunzel!

Was slightly worried on the way back because I’d told Gaz I’d ring him on the landline around 5pm-ish and it was now nearly 8.30pm. Called him when I got in and he had been a bit worried about where I was! But it was nice to chat and remind ourselves that we’d be back to our obsessive-texting-selves by Monday.

Monday 25 November

Woke up this morning and couldn’t wait to turn on my phone to find:

  • 10 Facebook notifications
  • 5 texts
  • 8 Snapchats
  • 16 emails
  • 3 Instagram likes

Got ready for work in my usual way… Checking my phone in bed, checking it after having a shower, drying my hair and putting my make-up on whilst texting/Facebooking, getting on the bus with my headphones on listening to Spotify (whilst browsing the web) and only taking them off when I stepped into the office. Yay, back to the 21st century!

Despite slipping straight back into my usual ways I think I have learned a lot this weekend. Such as:

  • I CAN find my way from A to B without Google maps
  • I don’t need to be in constant contact with people, and it feels much nicer and more special when the contact is more sparse and deliberate.
  • I can go to the gym without my phone, and I think I will from now on.
  • I feel very self-conscious and more self-aware when I am without my phone and headphones- particularly on public transport.
  • I obsessively tap my right pocket to check my phone’s in there – I CAN sit on my own and not flick through my phone. People are on their phones SO MUCH.
  • I need to learn how to use a Polaroid camera

Polaroid photos

It seems like the weekend had a long-lasting effect on Alice as she soon updated her blog.

Guess what…

I went to the gym this morning WITHOUT my phone. And I traveled to work WITHOUT my headphones on. WHAT’S HAPPENED TO ME!?!”

For your chance to get to grips with using a Polaroid camera, sign up for your own 48 hour detox. Digital Detox will be returning the first weekend in March. To meet previous detoxers find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Can you survive 48 hours without digital?

A whole weekend with no Facebook, no phone, no tablet, nothing with a screen. That is exactly the challenge we set 20 Scope supporters back in November when introducing our brand new fundraising event Digital Detox. The event encourages our supporters to take up the challenge and experience just real analogue life, without the interference of technology.

In need of a detox was John Doree who pledged to go without tech for 48 hours and to re-engage with the offline side of life.

The tech-y way of life

No digital for 48 hours. No smart phones. No internet. Have a good old fashioned weekend.

When I first saw the Digital Detox challenge email I thought I’d give it a go. It’s my first bit of active participation in a Scope event and I was eager to do something and Digital Detox seemed a really good fit. I use my phone quite a bit for internet and a bit of social network stuff, but on the whole my phone usage pales in comparison to my use of other gadgets and gizmos. I listen to my MP3 player almost constantly on headphones, read using a Kindle, play games on a laptop, write music using said laptop and a host of other noise-making bits of hardware.
Despite all those bits of technology, on a personal level I thought just giving up one device wouldn’t be enough. The idea of dropping as much technology as I could for 48 hours was one that I thought would be a real challenge. It turned out to be much harder in reality.

My friends thought it would be a real nightmare for me, they’ve known me as the tech-obsessed geek with a penchant for software development and creating electronic music, so the thought of me ditching it all for a weekend was an amusing one. I think this was reflected in the generous donations that found their way to my Just Giving page and I was all too happy to give people a dread-filled commentary on Facebook in the run-up to the big switch-off. There were some last-ditch efforts to ensure I wouldn’t be completely scuppered over the weekend, I got some money out as I was including Cashpoints as accessible technology, then I just about remembered to switch my alarms off and that was it.

How many times do you check your phone?

The urge to check my phone was overwhelming, it was quite saddening at times to realise how much I instinctively reach for it when I’m doing even the most innocuous things like waiting for the kettle to boil. No Saturday morning TV either. There’s never anything on but there’s usually something recorded from the week on the Sky box, but no, this wasn’t allowed either. No music player or CD player in the living room. Right, OK then.

My other half had left for the day to catch up with her friends so I was left on my own. What was I going to do? I had a bath and hung up the washing. I did the washing up and changed the sheets. I took down the rubbish and recycling. I finished all these things and thought, now what? Read a book? So I read a book and promptly had a nap. The flat was so quiet and even our typically noisy neighbours were evidently also taking the weekend off their favourite activity of banging on the walls. Time just seemed to stretch before me and midnight Sunday evening was now a very distant prospect. Our plan for the evening was to go to a friend’s birthday in Camden and so I was relieved of my self-imposed analogue nightmare.

A virtual power cut

Sunday was a little more difficult, not just for me but for my now-suffering partner. My Digital Detox was now threatening her own activities, she felt guilty about turning the TV on or playing around on her phone and so left them alone in favour of the two of us just sitting around and having a chat. As much as we both wanted to laze around in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon, in the end we found just sitting around nattering away for several hours was just as enjoyable.

By the time I went to bed on the Sunday evening I found I wasn’t missing technology as much as I thought I would. I was certainly looking forward to catching up on emails and continuing reading some trashy novel on the Kindle, but the predicted binge of technology on the Monday evening never came to pass.

So much is taken for granted and I felt that simply giving up my phone alone wasn’t enough.

The Just Giving page set up by the events team included the following bit of text:

“The money raised through Scope’s Digital Detox could help provide an iPad and accessories, so a student with limited verbal communication can interact in a way they have never done before – using equipment they can control themselves.”

This really resonated with me so I thought to draw a parallel between the cause and the challenge itself by trying to severely reduce my access to as much technology as possible. In the end it was fun, and a considerable challenge but it was an event that showed me how immediately accessible a lot of technology is these days.

Digital Detox will be returning for the first weekend in March. Sign up for your own 48 hour detox and pledge to embrace your inner analogue. For more information on how to sign-up to ‘go dark’ for a weekend of good old-fashioned fun check out the website or phone 020 7619 7270. To meet previous detoxers find us on Facebook and Twitter.

What do people want from an online community?

Back in October we announced that Netbuddy was joining Scope. We’ve spent the last few months talking to members of the Netbuddy and Scope communities about what they’d like to see on the new joint community. We’ve done this through an online survey, emails, phone calls, Skype and face to face interviews.

Here are the common things people told us they wanted from the online community:

Shared experiences

Two women talking over coffeePeople spoke about the desire to connect with people in a similar situation, in a variety of different and changing ways. Some people came to the sites looking for emotional support, for others it was about getting practical advice – but the common need was to find people “like them”. We want the new community to help people make these connections.

The ability to help others

It’s not all about receiving support – people also had a strong and genuine desire to help others through their contributions online. We want to make it easy for people to ask for and give help by letting people discover areas of expertise, find people who need support and enable people to acknowledge when content has been useful.

Immediacy and timeliness

Neon sign which says - open 24 hours
(photo by Leo Reynolds)

With sites like Twitter and Facebook, immediacy has become the norm.

The people we spoke to expected immediate responses when they posted online so an online community can’t just run 9am – 5pm, only on weekdays! People expect their posts to be sent out immediately and be notified if anyone responds straight away. We will need to make sure people can access advice from the community whatever the time or the day.

Ownership

People felt strongly about the need to belong to the community. This might mean that staff will occasionally need to take a step back, and give people in the community more control over how it’s run and how it develops. Doing this research and involving people from the community in the process is the first way we’re doing this, and we will involve the community in anyway we can as we progress.

Users of the Netbuddy site told us how much they valued the site champions and experts, so we hope to continue these roles and grow the number of champions supporting people to use the community.

A safe and trusted space

(photo by rightee)
(photo by rightee)

Whilst people wanted ownership and immediacy, they also wanted to be able to use the community to suit their personal situation. This might mean discussing sensitive personal issues, not suitable for sites like Facebook, without fear of abuse or prejudice.

We’ll work closely with the community, champions, experts, and staff to make the community as safe, welcoming and friendly as possible.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the research so far. We’ve learnt so much over the last few months and we will continue going through all the feedback as we build the new community.

We’ll be posting more updates here on the blog and we’ll share any opportunities to get involved. Our focus for the coming months will be on building and moving across the forums from Scope and Netbuddy onto the new Scope community. If you are part of the community – we will be in touch. Later in the year we plan to start moving the tips and events content into the new community.

Thanks also to Sam Menter and Ant Mace for conducting the research with us and providing their fantastic insight and expertise.

If you have any questions, please comment below or you can contact me by emailing community@scope.org.uk.

The controversial top five digital campaigns of all time

These are the best digital campaigns for social change ever. Full stop. No question.

Or are they? Who are we to say which are the best? Well, we have twice been named Third Sector Digital Campaign of the Week in the past year (though er, there must have been 52 claims to that fame!)  Certainly it’s a hard task deciding which campaigns are best, in part because there’s no simple measure of what a good campaign is, especially in digital.

But as we recruit for an exciting new digital campaigning role (apply here!), we thought we’d lay down a few controversial loves of ours to spark the debate about who should and shouldn’t make it into the list. What do you think? We’d love your comments.

1. Abolishing the slave trade… in the 1700s

“Not a digital campaign at all” you cry! Maybe so, but 200 years ago it spawned some of the most popular online campaigning tactics we all know and love (or hate) today.

Would petitions be so popular and the likes of Change.orgAvaaz and 38 Degrees exist if activists hadn’t ridden on horseback round the country collecting signatures and presenting them to Parliament? (Ah, the good old days: Parliament had to stop its business for them to read out the names every time a petition appeared!)

They invented the first well-known infographic — exposing the inhumanly cramped conditions in slave ships. Information was beautiful (or terrifying) back then too.

And much more.  Yah boo to many campaigns of today, digital and otherwise.

Strengths: Many.

Weaknesses: Computers and the internet hadn’t been invented yet, but they didn’t let that stop them. Modern-day slavery is sadly still around today, although they made a massive change at the time.

2. Book burning, anyone?

Have you ever tried inviting people to a ‘book burning party’?  If you do (like these people), you’ll get a pretty strong reaction.

This was the inspired, creative, not-uncontroversial campaign to save a library and raise taxes (maybe we should have made them number one just for getting public support for higher taxes!). Watch the video or read what happened to get the full lowdown.

Strengths: Cheap (a few lawn signs – everything else digital). Creative. Quickly changed public opinion. Clear outcome: a vote.

Weaknesses:  Is it a one-hit wonder? Will these kinds of shock tactics build a longer term movement? 

3. Twitter freedom of speech is brilliant/terrible/dead

Cast your mind back to 2009. Three thousand miles away 30,000 people in Ivory Coast, one of the poorest countries in the world, claim to have been injured by Trafigura, a company dumping toxic sludge. The company’s being hit by one of the biggest lawsuits in history…  But no-one even knows about it, because they go to court and get an injunction and stop the press reporting on it, PLUS a ‘super-injunction’ stopping them even talking about the fact they’re being stopped from reporting on it.

Modern madness, right? So what happened? A combination of a brave MP, journalists – and tweeters. Twitter played a big role in lifting the lid on what was happening, revealing the scandal, injunctions-be-damned, just one example of how valuable a free Twitter is.

But more recently the milk has soured.

The same freedoms meant tweeters felt they were free to virtually tar and feather someone as a paedophile. So surely it’s right to curb this with our libel laws?

Or are we in danger of losing one of the most valuable modern forums for free speech?  And what about the threats to social media after Leveson?

Strengths: A free Twitter means people power can beat legal, corporate and political power. That can be an amazing and wonderful thing.

Weaknesses: The halo of Twitter free speech is looking both tarnished and threatened. Also, exactly which people have the people power on Twitter? It’s still a case of having the skills, education, time and internet access to use them, a challenge for campaigners who want to genuinely empower.  

4. Your knife or your life

The Met are not known for innovative attitude- and behaviour-change campaigning, but they did this – dramatic, engaging, it’s hooked in more than a million people.

The campaign is a series of YouTube videos where you see what’s happening through the eyes of a teenager and you click on-screen to choose what happens next. Every choice you make has a consequence… It’s hard to describe what it feels like being stabbed to death on screen.

A controversial choice because: does it even work? That’s really the question – and we don’t know the answer. And how do you even measure the success of something that’s so ambitiously trying to change attitudes and behaviour change, which are notoriously hard to assess? We love the ambition, creativity and execution though.

Strengths: Like all good communications it’s story-based. It’s also visceral, heart-stopping, simple and original. It goes to where many young people are at: on YouTube.

Weaknesses: We haven’t seen any evaluation of what it actually changed – are fewer young people carrying knives as a result or is this just a cool set of videos? We’d love to know.

5. We Are Spartacus (we are not big charities)

While many disability charities (including us) were struggling to mount big public campaigns to oppose welfare reforms that were unfair to disabled people, an unexpected one took off.

Forget Kirk Douglas (or the remake), We Are Spartacus is a group of disabled people starting a grassroots online campaign, not content with what was happening and intent on getting their views to the Government in a big way. They used free blogs, Freedom of Information requests and crowdsourced responses, they pushed and pushed — and broke through into the Twittersphere, galvanizing many people and helped to influence what was happening in Parliament.

Some disability charities (including us) struggled to know quite how to engage with We Are Spartacus at first and we’re still learning – because although we often have the same goals, at times we work so differently.

But this one is controversial above all because it poses some tough questions for us and every other big charity out there: if they can do this with next to no resources, why aren’t we achieving a whole lot more with our digital campaigning?

Awkwardness and challenges can be good though. Right?!

Strengths: Without money or a traditional organisation, they’ve helped to reshape disabled people’s online campaigning.

Weaknesses: Disabled adults in the UK are three times more likely NOT to have access to the internet as other people, so there’s still a big challenge to engage disabled people in digital campaigning.

Who didn’t make the cut?

Any top five is of course going to miss out some big-hitters. Controversially, here are some that didn’t make it in:

Obama [Yawn, right?] OK yes, we all know the Obama campaigns have done some great things online, including email-marketing-on-heat and got large numbers of people donating and taking part. Hope, yes. But where’s the change we all believed in?

Kony 2012 We also couldn’t bear to include Kony because it so often gets missed that the Kony campaign started in the real world through lots of hard work building support on student campuses, before it went digital. Amongst other criticisms we have, it was the wrong campaign goal (do we really need more military action) and what about the views of the people whose own lives were affected??

Avaaz, 38 Degrees, Change.org… We’re interested in what the big online campaigning sites are doing and hope to work with them more. But the tough part we have to do is start campaigns from scratch, which are often about lots of hard graft and creativity rather than a quick win. So, sorry guys: not for this list.

Thunderclap It’s an interesting idea and we’ve certainly tried it out. We haven’t heard of it actually changing much though, and we’re concerned that campaigning organisations (including us) could use it as a substitute for creating real social media conversations that genuinely get loads of people talking and tweeting. Have you heard different? Check it out here if Thunderclapping’s new to you.

The Arab Spring and many other campaigns elsewhere in the world So much has been written about the role of social media in the Arab Spring but we feel we just don’t know enough to include it here. Also: there are probably many other exciting digital campaigns in parts of the world we’re not well enough connected to to know about.

Britain Cares It’s our current campaign, so we have to give it a plug! Check out our film with Stephen Fry and exciting/zany photos people are sending in.

And more… Hope you enjoyed our (hopefully) thought-provoking list. What would you add?! And if you’re interested enough to read this far, would you like to apply for our exciting digital campaigning role or could you share it with your networks?  Thanks! 🙂