Guest post by Maritza Schafer on behalf of Exgage
Free speech is one of the most basic rights we hold dear in the United States. Historically there have been many instances of debate regarding whether hate speech should be protected, or what constitutes free speech if the aim is to injure or harm another party. I would like to add another element to the discussion, which is access to a platform of free expression, especially in online environments. If I have something to say and I don’t have a venue through which I can reach others, then for all practical purposes I am being silenced.
What happens in this era of online communications is that the virtual platforms we use to express ourselves have a big impact on whether or not our voice is heard. They are the final frontier of free speech. Expression comes in all kinds of packages: video, documents, online discussion, polls, photos. We need a way to effectively express ourselves about our passions in a place where not only can we use any of the modes of expression available online, but also be sure that people who are interested in what we have to say can find us – and where we can find them. Having a place where our respective topics of interest will have a residence online, where we can come back to time-and-time again to keep the ball rolling and deepen the interaction, and add more types of content about the issues we care about, helps us exercise our right to free speech.
Exgage is a brand new online platform that gives power to the people when it comes to online expression. At Exgage people can become members of communities built around the passions, interests and ideas that bring them together. They can participate in discussion forums, in online polls, they can share media of all types including video, photos, documents…and they can do all this with the ability to keep returning to the topics of their choice since the entire site is organized around topics, not around different types of media.
The amount of information online can feel overwhelming. No matter what topic you’re interested in, you can do a Google search and find lots of websites on the topic, you can go to YouTube to find related videos, or even Flickr to find what photos are available. You are pointed to many different places, but locating the most recent discussions with real people’s opinions on the issue becomes a challenge. We are hoping that Exgage will bring forth a community meeting place around all of the passions, ideas, causes, activities and brands that people want to talk about the most.
We are very excited about our partnership with CiviliNation, one of the first communities on Exgage.