Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blog activism: How it's supposed to work

This Grits post about how Texas state mental hospitals are full in part because of "criminal commitments" (meaning defendants sent there by a judge until they're declared competent to stand trial) provides a fun example of useful blog activism, I think. Consider:
  • On Wednesday, an anonymous attorney left a story about a client in the comments to an unrelated Grits post.
  • I forwarded the comment to another Texas blogger who specializes in health issues to ask her opinion.
  • She sent the comment to someone she knew in the Department of State Health Services, who said she'd look into it.
  • I received an email from the head of the state hospital system inviting me to call him for an explanation, which I did.
  • I wrote a blog post on the topic relaying what I'd learned.
  • A reader forwarded the post to an attorney from Advocacy Inc., a nonprofit legal group that works on these types of cases, who wrote in Grits' comments asking the first attorney to contact her.
  • I learned last night they hooked up by phone on Friday, less than 24 hours after I'd posted on the topic.
That's pretty darn cool - an anonymous blog comment results in advocates taking an issue on they didn't know about before. That's how it's supposed to work. Maybe something positive can come out of the telling of this grim tale.


Unknown said...

Good work. This is how it is supposed to work. Turn over the rocks and let the sun shine in. I cross-posted the entire piece to my blog,


Catonya said...

this is the best part about blogging yeh? :)

Sancho said...

Nice work! I'm fairly familiar with some of the bigger companies that provide this info (back when I was working for The Man in the private sector). Its good to see that there are steps being taken to protect the consumers.

In an interesting note, one of the companies that provides Cell Phone ANI and toll records ALSO provided this public service bulletin to help consumers protect themselves from companies LIKE THEM!

Here is the link: