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Google LatLong: YouTube-style Embeddable Maps

OK. ...10 ways having maps will be useful to advocacy groups.....

1. Where do you have people setting up canvas events? So people can push their friends to converge on areas they can be recruited?
2. Show your monthly meetings and favorite hangouts of your staff and volunteers.
3. Show better maps of your walks, runs, etc. with rally points for volunteers
4. Map streets your group canvasing today.
5. Map Polling places for GOTV.
6. Map distributed collection points for goods and volunteers.
7. Map the walk that demonstrates your point on city blight, crime, etc.
8. Map favorite nature spots, swimming holes, trees, etc.
9. Viral map passing with the little bit of Google code.
10. Map photos to specific places and timestamps to tell a story of a river spill , etc.


Link: Google LatLong: YouTube-style Embeddable Maps.

And once you embed the map, it has all the same functionality of the Google Maps you know and love; it's clickable, draggable, and zoomable.

Adding a map to your website or blog is now as easy as embedding a YouTube video. No programming skills are required, and there's no need to sign up for a Maps API key. All it takes is three simple steps:

1. Go to Google Maps and pull up the map you want to embed. It can be a location, a business, a set of driving directions, search results, or a map you've created using our map-making tools.

See you at my lunch spots....


View Larger Map


Food Fight from the Makers of Ham Solo

Gotta love this one...

It will be nice to see how many folks are recruited.

Link: Ag Matters!.

A simple letter, fax or phone call from a constituent can wield enormous power. Your calls and letters are essential to our efforts to reform food and farm policy to better serve rural communities and to achieve a more sustainable agriculture. Be a farm bill hero by following the 2007 Farm Bill debate along with us and by responding to opportunities to shape the outcome of the debate.

We’ll help you keep abreast of Farm Bill developments by sending weekly Farm Bill reports that track National Campaign priorities for the 2007 Farm Bill. And we’ll send you timely and well targeted action alerts to give you an opportunity to personally shape the next Farm Bill.



Speed Geeking gets to Japan: Pecha Kucha

Link: Seth's Blog.

I love this idea to pieces. I also love the translation on the site (Japanese for "the sound of conversation.")

If you are really and truly having a meeting to discuss something, then the Pecha Kucha approach is brilliant. 20 slides, 20 seconds each. Then the PPT gets turned off.

Tell me a problem that can't be outlined in six minutes and I'll show you a problem it's probably not worth having a meeting about.

Ahh. Gunner and open source folks have been doing this for years... SpeedGeeking and Instructions

Link: Facilitation:SpeedGeeking - Facilitation.aspirationtech.org.

SpeedGeeking first saw the light of day at the AdvocacyDev I SpeedGeeking Session.

A tongue-in-cheek rip off of the speed dating concept, SpeedGeeking offers a fully immersive, invigorating and hilarious approach to meeting people ... and learning about the cool projects, software tools and crazy ideas that they have been working on. At a SpeedGeek, one group of participants sets up at stations around a room to give 5 minute presentations while the rest of the group migrates in a circle around the room to hear these high-speed raps. The result is an obscene amount of fun, all tied up with a good dose of learning about how technology is being used for social change.


What is Scarce in Advocacy and Campaigns?

Seth dug up an old post about Scarcity. As usual his advise focuses on blogs and widgets, minivans, modern snake oil to feed consumerism etc. However, Seth understands what grabs peoples attention better than almost anyone and he has laser insight on why advertising fails. Seth is a good guy and works lots of issues (I have seen him speak (excellent speaker ..at Npower NYC and PDF.)

His riff on scarcity is "on the money." What is unique about your issue? Is the way you approach your audience provide them with value and a connection? How do you treat people that engage with you? Even Wal-Mart has greeters and says thank you. Is giving people a "click here" for our issue 12 times a year and then ask them for money unique? Are the dire conditions of the poor, children, animals, rivers, etc unique or is it really in the big picture a "knock off" of another campaign?


What can you do to be unique in building a constituency?
What scarce community can you bring to the people that want to do something on an issue that makes you unique and valuable?

Ways for Campaigns to be unique and offer something scarce... (things you have that others don't in a mass marketing world)...

1. Real stories.
2. Genuine passion.
3. A base of real people that care about the issue.
4. Staff that have insights on the science, politics, policies and dynamics at play that keep an issue form being solved.
5. The ability to convene people that care.
6. Clarity and purpose in a world of shallow consumerism
7. No need to make money while solving a problem ( can do things that solve problems and loose money by design)
8. you have fun working on an issue most people would burn out on.
9. maybe truth and science to support your claims.
10. faith and confidence in your work.

How does your strategy play with those things that you have which are scarce to provide the most communications value in today's world? Do you leverage those things or do you try to compete with the same brand strategy and PR tactics that could also be used by toothpaste?

Link: Seth's Blog: The Scarcity Shortage.

So what's scarce now? Respect. Honesty. Good judgment. Long-term relationships that lead to trust. None of these things guarantee loyalty in the face of cut-rate competition, though. So to that list I'll add this: an insanely low-cost structure based on outsourcing everything except your company's insight into what your customers really want to buy. If the work is boring, let someone else do it, faster and cheaper than you ever could. If your products are boring, kill them before your competition does.

Ultimately, what's scarce is that kind of courage--which is exactly what you can bring to the market.



DSCC | Bump Up Our Majority

A little user generated creativity from the Dems at the DSCC -- Bump Up Our Majority.

It is interesting they don't show users more and more of the stickers to vote on (acceptable vs unacceptable) to help with the filtering. Then look at all of the slogans and maybe plot them over a Google map to see where all the slogans come from as pin-ups.

Then group a bunch of them in major cities and offer to take out an ad in the local paper. Raise money to place the ad.

Link: href="http://www.dscc.org/slogan_taf?key=4825562">DSCC | Bump Up Our Majority.

Now we hope you'll invite friends and family to weigh in on our slogan. Tell them their ideas are in demand, and the words they write could be the DSCC's nationwide slogan. Your votes and your fresh ideas will ultimately decide which catchphrase is splashed across the DSCC website, stuck on cars and plastered on office cubicles across the country. We'll let you know how the votes shake out in a few weeks.


Study suggests 100% mobile phone penetration in the US by 2013 - Engadget Mobile

Hmmm... You think we should be using these in campaigns and advocacy work? Maybe at least running some pilot projects or testing how to move campaign messages in this new medium?

Link: Study suggests 100% mobile phone penetration in the US by 2013 - Engadget Mobile.

We know, that "100-percent" figure may be a bit tough to wrap your mind around, but let's give it a try, shall we? Current estimates reportedly suggest that "nearly 84-percent of the US population will have mobile phones by the end of 2007," and according to SNL Kagen, that figure should shoot to 100-percent in just six years. Notably, 100-percent penetration does not mean that every single American will own a phone, as it's estimated that some 18 to 20-percent of us will be using multiple mobiles. Additionally, it was noted that data usage / revenue could become increasingly important as newcomers to the wireless world grow fewer, but that tidbit certainly isn't taking anyone by surprise, now is it?


CitizenPost: New Study Says that Diversity May Hurt Civic Life

The press is going to eat this up.. "Putnam negative on diversity."

My sense is that the measures are off and measuring the wrong things (lust like formal bowling leagues and baseball in his great work on social capital. I look forward to looking at the "X" factors his peers pushed him on at Harvard.

I would push X = mobility new diversity is moved into new areas of town (reduced trust) Diverse communities (stable for a long time) suffer from history of sanctioned oppression and poor race relations.

X = big cities suffer from both these conditions and are more homogeneous politically (Going to think you vote in DC matters? )

Finally, if high trust and civic engagement were the pinnacles of human happiness and human achievement why do those sub-cultures continue to loose members (I am thinking Amish, Quaker, backwater USA... ). Diverse and robust interactive and densely places like NYC, LA,Houston, Phoenix and San Diego continue to boom. People vote with their feet more than what they respond to in a survey. Human beings have always liked to push their limits. They don't like the stress that is associated with that but they continue to do it anyway. The article ends talking about the right thing... diversity is key to our success and happiness. We trade "social comfort" for lots of things but social comfort is not social capital.

America has jumped up connected in new ways. America is on the move with economy, culture, race and mobility. The antiquated limits Putnam places on social networks don't seem to mesh with today's culture. Putnam can say life in diverse cities sucks but that kind of hides the fact that big diverse cities are attracting more people and are more productive than homogeneous "high trust" contexts that might be ideal in Putnam's view of the world. But people continue to vote with their feet and dollars. Reaching toward cities to interact with the bounty of gifts diversity brings.


The article concludes that there is a trade and a balance that diversity, social capital and civic engagement play with each other but as I have been singing for years our civic engagement has not caught up with the culture. Putnam's work likely measures membership, joining and "face time" as the be all and end all of community social capital. Putnam's model will never account for the way today's distributed networks connected by modern culture participate in small bits. Putnam could not predict the immediate and overwhelming national response to 9/11, Katrina, Tsunami,etc. The community capital exist on sale and tempo that doesn't mesh with modern social dynamics.

I wonder if danah boyd has a take on this article and his research.

Link: CitizenPost: New Study Says that Diversity May Hurt Civic Life.

Scott Page, a University of Michigan political scientist and author of Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, has found that in high-skill workplaces, different ways of thinking among people from different cultures can push new ways of doing things. “Diverse teams tend to be more productive,” he asserts. As the Globe puts it, “those in more diverse communities may do more bowling alone, but the creative tensions unleashed by those differences in the workplace may vault those same places to the cutting edge of the economy and of creative culture.”


Noonhat: Self-Organizing at the edge.

Self-organizing lunch in a community.

World Changing found this little cool service. (highlight a part of DC (you have to drag the map across the country.) It is a very interesting experiment. I could see campaigns, churches, support groups and issue advocacy groups really making use of these in branded version on websites to also facilitate lunch with organizers, staff, preachers, experts, key supporters, etc.

Noonhat assumes the choir all knows each other. I am interested in connecting different parts of my choir together over lunch. would be great at events like WTO protest or at national conferences for setting up quick ad hoc groups. (Or in Katrina response )

If it could be a simple widget people could ad them to all kinds of site to create lunches of community of interest.

Link: WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Building Community Through Lunch.

NoonHat is a simple website. All it contains is a map, a little circle, and a box where you can enter your email , and a calendar. You choose a location by moving the circle, which can be re-sized, to an appropriate place on the map, pick a date, and enter your email. Voila, on the date of interest, you get an email in the morning telling you who is also available (I believe the minimum is three) and you make mutually convenient arrangements.

Why is this so important? As Brian demonstrates so well in any talk on NoonHat, we are not talking to each other. We spend our time with our peers and people who think like us and do many of the same things we do. While the web provides us a wonderful medium to meet like minded people on the other end of the world, NoonHat demonstrates that we can leverage the web at the local level. We can change the world.



Traffic Networks

This story made me think not only about the roads but about the network effects created by the abundance of communications and preparations.

Do people feel comfortable talking about "the clog"? Did a common story and common language emerge? Did community norms develop? Is ok to avoid driving because of "the clog"? Did the shared resources of mass transit and community pathway use go up? Did lots of people car pool (social ties)?

The network of Seattle commuters responded. Did they increase transit throughput efficiency by avoiding traditional behavior better than centralized planners could have imagined? How are we learning lessons not only about the congestion but the network infrastructure that enabled the response? Where are the other places we have society "traffic jams" like in the policy arena, human services, education programs, etc. How are we giving the network of "drivers" in those contexts the same tools to behave as an efficient network?

Link: WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Congestion as Incentive.

Traffic Jam 2007 failed to materialize. (Actual headline on day two of "The Clog": "No Clog Just Yet.") Not only that, but many commuters described the drive as smoother than ever.

What happened? Media and government efforts to sow collective panic can't, on their own, explain the startling reduction in traffic on I-5. According to the state Department of Transportation, of 120,000 cars that normally use northbound I-5 daily, about half simply disappeared. The explanation: Drivers are adaptable. When faced with the prospect of gridlock—and given ample warning and time to prepare—people found alternate routes, rode transit, worked from home, and avoided unnecessary trips.

There's nothing counterintuitive about this. It is, in fact, exactly what happened in San Francisco after the Embarcadero was badly damaged in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989; city leaders closed the double-decker freeway down and forced people to find new ways through the city. In the immediate aftermath of that freeway-closing earthquake, city officials predicted massive gridlock for miles in every direction. Instead, people adapted--taking transit, finding alternate routes, changing their schedules--and the gridlock never materialized. Eventually, the city's mayor and city council decided to remove the elevated highway permanently.


open source intelligence is frequently undervalued and underutilized.

Somehow the defense department gets this and our campaigns can not? Where are you tapping and organizing the open source networks of intelligence on the issues that matter to you and your campaigns?

Link: CSIS - About CSIS.

Publicly available open source intelligence is frequently undervalued and underutilized. Yet there is now scarcely a subject where it doesn’t provide significant context and a baseline of knowledge. Open source information thus plays a key role in intelligence work by cueing valuable collection and analysis resources and in bringing into sharper focus the problem at hand.

The director of national intelligence (DNI), beginning with John Negroponte and continuing with Admiral Michael McConnell, has given top priority to open sources in the nation’s "rebalancing collection" intelligence effort.

The current U.S. National Intelligence Strategy outlines five mission objectives and ten enterprise objectives to help transform intelligence work. One of the mission objectives is to "develop innovative ways to penetrate and analyze the most difficult targets." One of the enterprise objectives is to "strengthen analytic expertise, methods, and practices; tap expertise wherever it resides; and explore alternative analytic views."



The end game of networks

Is it possible that the end game of decentralized terror strategy demands counter terrorist activities pursue peace, coalition work and better disaster planning? To elimate terrorism nations must abandon war, war machines and unilateral action? Would the world be brave enough to try that as the logical response?

It is a crazy position catch-22 that terror may best be combated with peace, disengagement and stability BUT disengagement is the demand of the terror operatives meaning that as we "combat terrorism" we give them their demands and therefore likely inspire more terrorism.

This is not crazy talk of a peace activist. This is in the Armed Forces Journal by a Lt. Col in the Army and retired Special Forces Officer.

We must have the courage and the bravery to fight terrorism not with extra power to the state to kill and torture but with the wisdom to deescalate fighting and police work.

Link: ARMED FORCES JOURNAL - What if there is no terrorist network? - August 2007.

a superficial or simplistic understanding of the intricately complex global Islamic extremist revolution arguably lies at the heart of our uneven performance thus far in the war on terrorism. Sun Tzu's warning about knowing one's enemy rings ominously as we continue to appear grotesquely unfamiliar with the nature of our adversaries and their ongoing metamorphosis while simultaneously demonstrating confusion about our own roles and optimal organizational configuration.


Protection and Empowerment: Themes that work

Rockridge has been working hard on cooking the overall frames and themes that can tie the community together. I am not sure if they have the working and exact language nailed yet but I feel like this is as close as they have come.

It is nice to see them converge a bit with another leader in this space : The Opportunity Agenda which also moved into this space of supporting empowerment by thinking about the systems that support it...education, justice, environment, democracy, etc.

My sense is that more and more groups and issue campaigns can start to hang message work and policy agendas off these frames in the future.

Link: No Center, No Centrists — Rockridge Institute.

he progressive view of government is simple. Progressive government has two aspects: protection and empowerment. Protection is far more than the military, police, and fire departments. It includes consumer protection, worker protection, environmental protection, public health, food and drug safety; social security, and other safety nets. It also includes protection from the government itself, and hence a balance of powers, openness, fundamental rights, and so on.

Empowerment include roads and bridges; public education; government-developed communications like the internet and satellite communications systems; the banking system; the SEC and institutions that make a stock market possible, and the court system, mostly about contracts and corporate law. Progressive government makes business possible. No one makes any money in this country without the progressive empowerment by government. A progressive foreign policy is not based solely, or even mainly, on the state — about the "national interest" defined as our military strength and GDP. Progressive foreign policy focuses on individual people's interests as well as national interests: on poverty, disease, refugees, education, women's and children's issues, public health, and so on.

I disagree with the bashing on all business and industry that goes on in Rockridge presentation of the idea. Industries are not part of a mono culture and there are plenty of good leaders that get and work toward creating consistent security, empowerment and opportunity.


Connectivity is Productivity:

Here is a line I will use again and again. "connectivity is productivity" from Iqbal Quadir. We are focues

I have been thinking a lot lately about the reasons to do a network diagnostics of coalitions and advocacy movements. Social network analysis of large distributed movements and using the analysis to guide strategic projects to power the movement.

I know that building redundant layers of layers of connections (social trust, communications lines, common language, shred resources, etc) makes sense for a political or issue base but in the past my thinking and language focued on the way that ideas and communications campaigns spread messages with only slight focus on productivity.

Just as I was slow to jump the linguistic gaps waiting for Gideon to say "movement as network" in a way I danced around for 2 years. I now see "connectivity is productivity" as a new bold statement for issue and political networks.

Link: TED | Talks | Iqbal Quadir: The power of the mobile phone to end poverty (video).

Iqbal Quadir explains why "aid does damages: because it empowers authorities instead of people," and advocates a new approach to development from below, "by the people for the people." His own experience as a child in Bangladesh and later a banker in New York brought him to realize that "connectivity is productivity" -- and that a simple cell phone has enormous power.


The best Seller vs. the knock off campaign

My sense is that this ratio plays out exactly the same with campaigns and campaign ideas. We have to many copycat campaigns all of them "are trying to sell a solution to people who no longer have the problem". They don't realize it but to many of the advocacy tactics are no longer focused on creating new markets. They don't try to create new in roads to new demographics, they don't organize in new ways, they are not aiming for new conversations with new people. In a campaing world, I think of Dean netroots, Bush Pinoneers and MoveOn. All the efforts created "new markets that lastsfor a long time."

Link: Seth's Blog: The 80:1 Freakonomics Paradox.

My guess is that the original has outsold its competitors by about 80 to 1.

That's not surprising if you talk to people. A good friend of mine who never ever reads books about business or economics just picked up a copy last week. She said, "I think it's time I read this, right?" When a product becomes a hit, an entirely new class of people become interested in it, largely because it's a hit.

Which leads to the paradox. The easiest products in the world to develop, option, license and get to market are copycat products. They are beyond reproach. They feel safe. In actuality, though, most markets aren't big enough for two blockbusters. The first one dominates the little market, which allows it to break through and capture the attention of the big market. The bestseller creates the problem (I haven't read that/tasted that/been there) and then solves that problem. The second (and third and fourth and fifth) are trying to sell a solution to people who no longer have the problem.



Google crowdsourcing Indian maps: good idea to copy at Stephenson blogs on homeland security 2.0 et al.

This is cool. I have been saying the same thing around www.mediavolunteer.org on other data (wish I could get the million users..hint hint google.) Link: Google crowdsourcing Indian maps: good idea to copy at Stephenson blogs on homeland security 2.0 et al..

…. the local people are the local experts. They’re not surveyors so you can’t really trust their locations, but what’s interesting when you have a few million users, you can do statistical analysis of contributed data. You can get the same thing from different IP addresses over a long period of time, with a high correlation, you can start to believe in it. You can show that with a tentative colour, and have people click on whether they believe it or not and have confirmatory comments. You can actually converge to pretty good data and it has the advantage of, when the road is closed, you can click on that road and say it’s closed today.