Share |

Facebook discriminates against the fictitious


Share |

NetSquared, year 2 begins

As I write this, Irene Weiser from Stop Family Violence is on stage at NetSquared, telling t

Share |

NetSquared Innovation Fund: Want to nominate a project? Share expertise? Vote?

This just in from our friends at NetSquared:

1. 9 Days Left to Nominate a Project for the NetSquared Innovation Fund Award

There are just nine days left to nominate innovative projects that are using the social web for social change. Please encourage web innovators in your community to submit their projects for a chance to win cash and other resources from the NetSquared Innovation Fund. Project nominations can be submitted and refined until April 6.

For more info go here.

2. Share Your Expertise with Net2 Innovation Fund Nominees

You can help innovators who have nominated projects for the NetSquared Innovation Fund Awards by browsing through the nominees here. Let them know what you like about their proposals, and offer suggestions for how they can improve them. Nominees can revise their projects as many times as they like until the deadline,
April 6th.

3. Join the NetSquared Innovation Fund Award Gabbly Chat 3/31 &

Have you been thinking about nominating a project for a NetSquared Innovation Fund Award, but aren't sure if it is a fit? Or did you already submit a project proposal and want to know how to make it better?

You can get answers to all of your questions during a NetSquared Innovation Fund Award Gabbly Chat with Billy Bicket, Director of Strategic Development, Knowledge Services at TechSoup, and Marnie Webb, Vice-President of Knowledge Services of CompuMentor on Saturday, March 31st at Noon PST and Monday, April 2nd at Noon PST.

Just go to this page during one of the chat times, type in your name and ask away.

Share |

Looking for Oberlin alumni in social media/nonprofit technology

I've just started a facebook group for Oberlin Alumni in Social Technology" -- either nonprofit technology specifically, or social media more generally. I have this theory that the nptech scene must include a fair number of Obies, and I'd love to connect with them. So I'm starting the hunt, and hoping I might even surface some fellow alums who will be at the upcoming NTEN conference in DC. If you're an Obie and you're reading this, please join the Facebook group or post a comment here.
Share |

Got a cool non-profit tech project? NetSquared wants to fund it

This year's NetSquared conference is shaping up to top last year's inaugural confab of non-profit leaders, tech types and funders. And high on the agenda is the new Technology Innovation Fund.

At least $100,000 is on the table. The process for awarding it has begun on the NetSquared site itself, where community members will nominate projects and vote for their favourites:

Nominations will be accepted from March 1 - 31, 2007. Voting will be held April 2 - 7, 2007. The top 20 vote getters will receive an all-expense paid invitation to NetSquared Conference for two project representatives.

They're looking for projects that:

  • Use the power of community and social networks to create change
  • Use existing, or newly developed technology tools for social impact
  • Have a plausible financial model
  • Have a clear way to measure success
  • Exhibit extraordinary leadership, passion and resourcefulness
  • Exhibit a passion of social change

The 20 projects selected for presentation at NetSquared (or "N2Y2", as the folks at Compumentor have dubbed it) will be announced on April 16. Conference participants will hear the presentations, then decide who gets how much funding. And cash isn't all that's up for grabs; Yahoo! is making technological resources available, and other assistance is expected.

Learn more here... and once you have your project teed up, apply (or nominate someone else) here.

Share |

Turning Words into Deeds: A response to Knight Foundation's 21st Century News Challenge

Exploring widgets as lightweight website gateways to connection and real-world participation

What makes for a transformative media moment: a moment when an individual reads, watches or hears a news story and is galvanized to take action on an issue? Social Signal hopes to offer a new answer to that question with the WIDget, a tool that will turn words into deeds by marrying web-savvy media outlets with the latest nonprofit volunteer and donation opportunities.

Share |

Trick, treat... or giving

Giving smarter and more to your cause, through mashing a holiday tradition with online fundraising tools

Share |

A sense of place at Social Tech Brewing

Last night's Social Tech Brewing meetup (when are we going to start calling them brew-hahas?) profiled three very different projects with one powerful thing in common: a sense of place.

(Speaking of a sense of place: WorkSpace in Gastown was the perfect venue for the event. I loved it for BarCamp, and for this kind of meeting it's ideal. Consider them for your next event... or for your nomadic workplace of choice.) 

Up first: James Sherrett and, a place for people from the Pacific Northwest to "celebrate salmon’s contribution to our communities, and share their salmon experiences, stories, and thoughts." The site's backers (the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Fraser Basin Council) are hoping that, when you think about salmon, you'll think about more than just beauty shots of intrepid fish swimming upstream; you'll think about how we can work together to ensure the wild BC salmon survives and thrives.

"If you don't have salmon in a watershed, you don't have all the other things that rely on salmon," James pointed out, including bears, birds and even the trees themselves. He said that even some Okanagan wines are made from grapes containing phosphates that can be traced back to salmon.

The site is already seeded with video, photos and text, but it will come alive as more and more visitors begin participating. And that's where place comes into play: each story that users share can be geocoded; the site then draws on the Google Maps API to plot maps of stories.

Kylie Turner, the site's lead copywriter and editor, spoke about needing to lower barriers to entry. "When you think of stories, some people think they have to have perfect grammar and be this wonderful, beautiful textual thing," she said. "We need to show them they can just submit a picture or a child's poem."

Next up on the seat of heat: Vancity's Kate Dugas, presenting (Why, yes, we did build that site. Thanks for asking.) She explained that the credit union wanted to launch an online community related, not to Vancity products and services, but to the changes important to people in the communities Vancity serves.

After going live in July, the site officially launched in September. Kate said there are now hundreds of users on the site, and the tone of conversation is great: no need yet to delete content or put out fires, and plenty of mutually supportive comments.

Several audience members suggested being even clearer on the front page that the site is not tied to product and service marketing, and that no information is being passed on to the folks in sales. And asked how to bring in new features without seriously disrupting the community, Kate answered, "by involving the community in shaping those features."

Finally, it was Rochelle Grayson and Jennifer Ouano from Elastic Entertainment, talking about their new project, MadeInVAN. They describe it as a "participative cultural urban guide", where Vancouver residents upload stories tied to specific places (called "stops" in MadeInVANese). Users can then compile the various stories from several "stops" into an itinerary for a tour.

Working with, MadeInVAN aims to target mobile devices – mainly with text at first – so users can find out about locations on the fly and get an insider's take on how the city really lives. It's based on an existing site, MadeinMtl, but will extend that site's static platform with social networking and location-aware functions, built in Ruby on Rails.

There's a business model to the project, with sponsorship and contextual advertising but also possibly (and most interestingly) with various local venues kicking in to host their own communities.

Thinking about each of these projects, it's a little funny: back in the distant mists of time (that is, a decade or so), the Internet was going to erase the influence of geography. Instead, we're finding an increasingly powerful – and exciting – potential for mutually reinforcing interactions between physical and online community.

Thanks to everyone who presented, and everyone who came – it was an inspiring, enjoyable evening. And check back soon for details on the next one!

Share |

Rewarding public-interest programmers

Via Jason at Communicopia, news of a new award for those who create open-source software that helps make the world a better place. It's the $10,000 Antonio Pizzigati prize for software in the public interest:

The new Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest will honor individuals who, in the spirit of open source computing, develop outstanding applications that help nonprofits become more effective in their ongoing efforts for social change.

”Within the world of public interest computing, no significant prize has up to now existed,” said Tides Foundation Director of Philanthropic Services Tod Hill. “The Pizzigati Prize aims to honor people working in the field and help create real solutions for activists working for positive social change.”

The prize is named for Tony Pizzigati, a promising young activist and software consultant who was killed in a car accident in the spring of 1995.

An announcement of the first winner is slated for later this month, and it will be worth checking out. The advisory panel for the award includes the brilliant Katrin Verclas (newly of N-TEN), Network for Good’s Joseph Mouzon and the E-volve Foundation’s Allison Fine.

Share |

NetSquared: Online tools changing offline politics

There's a panel on right now with three fascinating thinkers and doers in online political activism: Joan Blades, Amy Goodman and – facilitating – Micah Sifry. Here are my very rough notes.

Social Signal on...

RSS feedTwitterFacebookGoogle+

Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.