2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Getting S#$! Done: Online Organizers Making Change

#sxsw #orglessons


A lot of the best and most meaningful things that happen on the internet aren't about making something go viral (ew). They're about getting people to genuinely care about a cause, a site, or a product - and build an active community around it. Get some practical tips from seasoned online organizers on how to do just that, with lessons from using data to make veterans' lives better, running social media strategy for Obama 2012, and helping to shape the immigration debate in the U.S.



Aminatou Sow

Dir of Engagement

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Aminatou is the Digital Engagement Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, founder of Tech LadyMafia, and a member of the Advisory Group for Media Ideation and of the Action Advisory Board for WAM!
Her work has appeared in The New York Times, NYMag, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic and KCRW.


Dan McSwain



Dan McSwain is a digital strategist and communications specialist with experience in the public, private, political and nonprofit sectors. McSwain’s portfolio includes online fundraising for Obama for America and Wikipedia; digital strategy for American Bridge 21st Century Super PAC, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition, and Voto Latino during the 2012 election cycle, which included executing digital strategy and operations first-ever National Voter Registration Day. McSwain is a founding partner with GEER.


Laura Olin

Outbound Dir for Social Media

2012 Obama Presidential Campaign

Laura Olin ran national social media strategy for the Obama 2012 campaign—everything from @BarackObama to the Joe Biden Facebook page to the Barack Obama Tumblr. Her team grew the campaign’s social media followings by 40 million, raised millions of dollars over social media, pioneered the use of Spotify, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest on presidential campaigns, and created the most-retweeted and most-liked Twitter and Facebook posts in history. Laura's currently taking a short break from politics at Google Creative Lab.


Merici Vinton

Client Lead @ OI Engine


Merici Vinton is a digital strategist meets government tech meets management consultant type. As an MBA grad with a passion for change, she sees technology as a means to solving problems -- not an end to itself.

After working on the Obama New Media team, Merici moved to DC because she wanted to help bridge the gap between government and people -- and figured websites and citizen-centric technology was a great place to start (nothing like picking an easy battle, eh?). Merici built the web team for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and led the successful and praised launch of consumerfinance.gov.

She's now working at on the OI Engine team at IDEO in London. Her past projects include prototyping a new BBC online experience, launching Gordon and Sarah Brown's global education campaign, and leading digital for Malala Day.

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