Digital Grassroots Organizing

I define community organizing as tactful steps to bring people together for a common cause or common passion. I realized my potential for organizing while feeling frustration about how content creators on YouTube were treated depending on their view or subscriber metrics.

From that frustration I created and helped manage several events and virtual organizations (even before COVID!) to support and uplift content creators in their creative and business pursuits. Below you’ll read about many of those projects.

Recently I’ve started developing an organization called Louder Than Bombs – a community of politically active fans (called ARMY) of the musical group BTS. Louder Than Bombs aims to mobilize ARMY to make political actions such as calling their representatives, turning out the vote, signing petitions, and other digital organizing efforts around policies that align with the ethos of BTS. Some of the issues include mental health, fine arts advocacy, BLM, the Millennium Development Goals, and human rights.

In the Summer of 2017 I took my community passion into the political realm. I worked with Let America Vote, a voting rights PAC on the Virginia Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections as a field organizer and team lead.

Flushing the Tubes: Flushing the Tubes is a video creator curation scheme. The mission of Flushing the Tubes was to highlight the best of small YouTube, showing that no matter the size, there are excellent, thought provoking, and quality creators out there. Our core was the volunteers, and we’re very thankful to the over 20 volunteers that helped us while FTT’s was active.

To see all of the creators shared on Flushing the Tubes please visit the Facebook and Twitter.

Community Unite: Community Unite commenced in the spring of 2013 as a programming track within the event Playlist Live. Community Unite was a series of workshops, panels, group activities, and showcases run by and for small internet creators. Myself and my co-director founded this event because we saw a lack of support for growing creators within the YouTube event community as a whole. Community Unite concluded as an event in the Spring of 2019.

Community Unite London: While in London for my Masters degree I decided to bring Community Unite over the Atlantic to London. CUL was a one-day event for creators all over the UK. We had people come down from Manchester, and even Scotland to participate in this day full of panels and workshops.

Scroll through the twitter to see the thoughts of those involved, and pictures from the event!

Jon Barker on the event: