[O]n Jan. 28, as Mr. Pycroft watched animal rights demonstrators in Oxford marching to protest the planned testing facility. He tucked in behind them chanting, "Build the lab!"It's fascinating to think of one person, suddenly inspired to dash off a sign, starting a movement. You know, kind of...
"They got quite hostile," he said. So he went to a stationery store and bought a large square of cardboard and a pen and wrote: "Support Progress. Build the Oxford Lab." When he started waving the sign on the street, someone compared him to excrement. Another person tore the sign apart, he said. He went home and shared his experience on his blog. The result was a new movement, called Pro-Test.
In this case, blogging is what makes instant-sign move effective. It's not that he does the sign, but that he goes home and blogs about it. The article doesn't describe the process from first blog post to significant movement, but here's the blog. You can trace the process yourself.
I love the idea of one guy, alone on the other side of a big, active demonstration, and, instead of being outnumbered, using a blog to draw out the numbers on his side that exist, out there, dispersed in the general population. It must often be the case that a person encounters activists and thinks: Yes, these people are passionate and out on the streets, but I'll bet that most people disagree, but they, being more rational, are out living their lives and not inclined to take to the streets. By blogging, you don't need anyone else to be there to respond to your sign -- like the already-assembled workers in the movie "Norma Rae." Your little one-person demonstration comes alive through the description of it on your blog, which also gives you a place to detail your arguments, open a forum for discussion, and touch off debates elsewhere that can link back to you.