Determined to inform, inspire, and act, the website www.takepart.com is an independent online community that unites users who wish to engage with others, contribute content, and learn how to take action regarding politics, human rights, and environmental concerns. The website believes in storytelling and provides news on relevant topics. Furthermore, this global community consists of citizens, activists, and non-profit organizations guided by connectedness, hope for an impact, participation, activism, and power of information.
Immediately dispersing in a positive light, the front page of TakePart displays success stories, like those of Sierra Leone survivors, and ads that promote simple engagement, like ways to support a cause physically or monetarily. The main tabs include Issues, Actions, Community, News & Blogs, and Create. Under Issues, there are topics – environment, animal welfare, global affairs, government & politics, science & technology, energy, health, human & civil rights, business & trade, arts & culture, food, education, crime & corrections, poverty & social welfare. Under each subtopic like ozone layer depletion or landmines, users can view “what you can do”, view multimedia, tweet facts and statistics, and read headlines posted by TakePart or the community members. In addition, members are able to express themselves via Community and News & Blogs. A member can join “a conversation” on Facebook and/or Twitter or start one of their own. To be even more interactive and engaging, members can create and share videos, articles, photos, audio clips, groups, and actions.
TakePart allows its members to freely express their views on a plethora of important global issues. Moreover, the website employs editors who officially present articles on behalf of TakePart. On each webpage dedicated to a specific issue, there are tabs from left to right – TakePart picks, Community picks, and Action. It can be interpreted that the TakePart articles are placed beforehand because they are more official and significant than the community articles. However, perhaps it can be interpreted that the TakePart articles introduces and elaborates on a topic and then, allows members to view what other members’ opinions. From there, members can add their own articles, engage in discussions, and/or be encouraged to take action.
As an online community that serves as a forum for discussion and activism, I am not surprised that TakePart.com provides so many ways to express viewpoints via words, pictures, videos, and action. Once a person joins the community, he or she possesses the freedom to do those things limitlessly. Although the presence of TakePart articles and community articles co-exist, one does not appear to dominate the other quantitatively or qualitatively. The freedom of expression and passionate concern of TakePart and its members enables the presentation of political information and political discussion.