"It's very much still the beginning of the curve for digital advocacy and digital democratic participation in Canada," said digital public affairs strategist Mark Blevis. Blevis referenced the Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Facebook group, now at more than 220, 000 members, as an example of growing digital advocacy.
Blevis added that while, now, "face-time" is more effective in causing governmental change, online advocacy is rapidly gaining currency and will eventually be on par with strategies like letter-writing.
According to Internet scholar Michael Geist, digital advocacy is effective for ten reasons, which he discussed at a Google event in 2008:
- Organizing power
- Online and offline (arranging offline advocacy online)
- Mainstream media (getting coverage)
- Action (lets people know what they can do)
- Digital tools (overcoming web surveillance)
- Localized (local branches of large groups)
- Government 2.0 (e.g. e-petitions)
- General purpose sites (greater usage, harder to block)
"It's exciting to see how this is all evolving," said Blevis.