In the spring of 2011, Americans joined theglobal call for social change as hundreds posted #OccupyWallStreet to social media and camped in public parks across the nation. Using the communication infrastructure of the Occupy Movement as my object of analysis, I show how protesters connected with one another, collaborated on national projects, and organized a largescale disaster relief effort after superstorm Sandy. By layering older technologies with the new, networked social movements mature into virtual organizations by leveraging the connective capacity of the internet to organize a hyper commons—the tethering and distribution of affiliations, ideas, and resources for a collective purpose.
Joan Donovan is a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics. She earned a PhD in Sociology & Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Arts in Sociology at Concordia University, Montreal. Her most recent academic
publication is titled “Can you hear me now? Phreaking the Party Line from Operators to Occupy,” Information, Communication & Society 19(5):601-617. Dr. Donovan is working on a book manuscript titled “Governing the Hypercommons: Networked Social Movements and
Technologies of Social Change.”