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Power Shift 2009 Connected and Twittering

As powershift is in town. They are going to be one of the more connected movements to organize on the Capital that I have seen. Here is just a little summary of the ways these 11,000 activists are going to swarm together. Here is an interesting step-by-step for how people can plug in.

The 140 character updates you will be able to watch on the projection on site or on the Power Shift ’09 website will be coming from observers both at the youth climate summit and remote commentators via the internet. The fast growing service Twitter.com, which should reach 1 million users by March 1, allows for the sharing of observations as well as conversation between users using event tags such as “#powershift09” or by referencing another user such as “@powershift09” in your posts or “tweets”. Consequently, by simply “tagging” your thoughts or observations with a hashtag (#powershift09) a post becomes searchable for somebody trying to find out what people are saying about Power Shift on Twitter.
However, Twitter is only one component of how the conference will be integrated virtually for people who were not able to make the trip physically. For example, the keynote addresses will be streamed live for people to watch over the internet. Then people will be able to comment either via Twitter or discuss more deeply through the Discussion section of the Power Shift Facebook Fan Page. In addition, through the photo-sharing service Flickr.com, attendees will be able upload pictures to their Flickr accounts, tag them with “powershift09”, and then they will cycled through public projections at the conference and through a Flickr application on our Facebook Fan Page.
So just remember to tag your photos and tweets and you too can be part of the conversation: #powershift09.

Power Shift 2009


DonorsChoose.org Moving money into SC schools like Ty’Sheoma Bethea’s!

Donor’s Choose is opening a money pipeline into the classrooms in SC.  teachers in these classes want beanbag chairs, rugs for cozy corners for reading, prewriting sets for kids with motor skill problems, etc.  Teacher requests directly from SC classrooms.

Education in the spotlight: Support classrooms like Ty’Sheoma Bethea’s!

By Katie Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 5:44pm

If you were watching President Obama’s address to Congress last night, Ty’Sheoma Bethea probably stole your heart, like she stole ours. The eight-grader from Dillon, South Carolina was in attendance because of the letter she wrote to Congress, about her school’s terrible condition.

Ty’Sheoma wrote, “As you know, we have a lot of problems with our school.  President Obama has visit our school and were able to see why we should need a new school.  Some of the promblems are, we can not afford anything so we can not go on school trips or do school activities unlike other schools…”

She concluded her letter with, “We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congress men like yourself and one day president….”  To make a difference in high-poverty South Carolina classrooms like Ty’Sheoma’s, you can start here.

All the best,
Katie & Alex
DonorsChoose.org Carolinas

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DonorsChoose.org Blog: Education in the spotlight: Support classrooms like Ty’Sheoma Bethea’s!


Ty'Sheoma Bethea,: J.V. Martin Junior High School in Dillon, S.C., Where is the Donate Page?

 

Watching the speech tonight, I was so moved by the story of Ty'Sheoma Bethea. I wanted the President to tell her story and end it with the resolve to make build the school first. (Shovel Ready  this week).

I also feel like well maybe the point is not to wait for the President to do it but to see the people he inspires knock this one off. (I am still looking for a donate page somewhere that moves money into the school and the students).

After, all that. She had better have the school fixed.  

 Letter from the heart lands teen in first lady's box for tonight's speech -- chicagotribune.com


Kyte Offers Branded iPhone Apps for Celebrities and Musicians

This is interesting. Instead of offing $25 for a newsletter could groups offer Iphone apps of custom feeds on an issue?  the model would be to pull a bunch of really great feeds (video, issue briefings, chat)  and actions together onto one app that users download (and pay for as a donation).  Speaking of which, has any group ever offered a briefing, coverage of a rally, etc.  as a downloadable Itune to raise money?


Kyte Offers Branded iPhone Apps for Celebrities and Musicians.

Kyte, the catch-all site for video production, creation, and distribution via Web or mobile phone, has been avidly working behind the scenes to further their monetization opportunities and boost their celebrity content. The site, which has been building up its base of celebrity users and experimenting with in-show overlay advertising, is now moving into bluer oceans. Today, Kyte is announcing the launch of an iPhone application framework that lets partners create and deploy their own fully branded, media-rich iPhone apps in about a week.

The Mirror Treehouse


I hope my kids never see it. Otherwise, I will be building one of these someday.

This is like something out of a movie.  It would totally freak me out if I ran into one of these on a hike (can you say alien?)


Another Limited Rebellion.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 Now you see it - now you don't Architects use reflective materials to defend high-rises because the surfaces reflect the sky and blend in. Okay. Swedish design firm Tham & Videgard Hansson Arkitekter used the same principle to create a treehouse that truly blends into it's environment. They say it minimizes impact on the immediate surroundings. I say ultra cool woodland wetdream of the midwest xenophobe survivalist who crave the minimalist flare of contemporary Swedish architecture and interior design.


 


Network Flower Power: Project BudBurst - Participate!

Networking the flower people to report buds and flower changes to document global warming.  This is Distributed Flower research (do i hear an Iphone app?) Network research not targeting Mars (clickworkers) or birds 11,000,000 (birdcount)

  Project BudBurst Activity Guide.

1) Select and identify your plant using the plant list or by geographic area.

2) Describe the site where your plant is located. This includes finding the latitude and longitude of your site.

3) Determine which phenophase (phenological stage) you are looking for (i.e. Budburst/First Leaf, First Flower). For help, refer to the plant descriptions found in the plant list.

4) Begin observations (before expected time of budding or flowering)!

5) Report your observations online.

Register online with Project BudBurst to save your observation sites and plants that you are monitoring throughout this year and for coming years. This allows you to report the phenological events as they occur each week!

Project BudBurst - Participate!

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Network-Centric & Alinsky

Network Rules for Radicals.... I have been cooking ideas of how to mashup the Rules for Radicals and network-centric advocacy for a few years. The puzzle lies in front of us "the rules" are scattered on one side of the desk and papers the "network attributes and components" are on the laptop sitting on the other side of the desk.

I find myself struggling to combine and remix Alinsky rules to contexts that bridge transnational organizing, extreme poverty, new social networks and digital culture. The scale of connectivity and tempo of life, campaigning, attention cycles and change are different today but the core levers of power are based on the same principals Alinsky teased out over a life time of hell raising.

I look at "the rules", the network culture, the most modern warfare strategy and the traditional gurus that struggle to create our modern movement of NGO's and I can not yet make them meet.

How do we best help the powerless and pissed be creative find power and voice to demand change. Where do our legacy organizing power meet todays disenfranchised? where is the powerful connective tissue between networks of people? It is not just the churches Alinsky organized but in hidden dark matter of our social space.

Where does the modern body politic connect? How do folks polarize in a world that refuses walls?

When does the new technology and professionalism serve to keep us in "our expertise and not our enemy" and when does it alinate and scare the very base we need to organize? What does constant pressure look like in the world of ADD? This clip may be the first link... Link: Alinsky.

In the closing chapter of Rules for Radicals, he calls upon radicals to "return to the suburban scene...with its PTA's, League of Women Voters, consumer groups, churches, and clubs. Search out the leaders...identify their major issues, find areas of common agreement, and excite their imagination with tactics that can introduce drama and adventure into the tedium of middle-class life."

Many of the 600 posts here are snippits that find the drama and adventure of change and genuinely connect the participants into the struggle. Netcentric campaigns are not point and clicktivism.

This is not make a donation activism ...new strategy is about leaning into the network of people tied together by billions of investments in communications, internet and transportation and asking them to meet, asking them to talk, asking them to participate and lead.

This new organizing in the age of connectivity is about the fear of power that is not pre-assembled but about projecting the fear that power can be built on the fly. This is about youtube ridicule that is fun and viral. This is about making transparent the rules that they must abide by as well as their mistakes being public at a level that Alinsky could not imagine in the 60's and 70s.

There are still strategy struggles before we write the network for radicals guide but we can see the future and I am curious to see how we can build the new movement for peace, new economy, new justice and new healthy planet. peeks at the stories that say there is something new out there... building health networks (here) (here) connecting the homeless The fear of power on the fly (how can you reach half a million people) Staying power of fun campaigns ....The connections between old and new strategy are there. New strategy in a new culture with similar core threats. 


Don’t Look at the News. Don’t Watch C-span

I love this site in just 10 seconds I get a snap shot of all the words on the congressional record for the day.  This is all the speeches, bills and who is talking about them.

What does this image tell you in a glance?

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Capitol Words

1. It looks like California and Texas are discussing jobs and economy.  It looks like the states in the middle are pretty quite (are the GOP members not active in the committees?)

Wish list:

  • It would be cool if there was a red state / blue state version to see how they differ.
  • It would also be cool to look at the differences between D and R.
  • I look forward to a moveable timeline
  • I would like to be able to compare word clouds of politicians.
  • I also think it would be good to be able to click on the word for a report of the references. The trend is very cool.
  • links to advocacy letters or public comment periods associated with those words.
  • an improved and larger widget.
  • an ability to normalize the color maps based on the percentage of all things said by their state (CA and TX) dominate because of delegation size. (for example is it by % that TX talks most about the environment?
  • some way that I can grab a page like MD( http://www.capitalwords.org/state/MD/) and keep with a timeline on the top of a local political page (then have a blog and commenting under it)  or a word (http://www.capitalwords.org/word/environment/) see the workds around the work environment and the legislators talking about it in a block of time.
  • ability to search phrases.

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Logistics, Networks and New Intelligence

IBM is on to some really brilliant network thinking.  They are zeroing in on the feedback mechanisms that make all network able to grow smarter.  They are pushing the new energy grid, new health care and new supply chains.  It is exactly this kind of approach that will make a big difference in our movements. We need to be offering the feedback that makes our movement grow smarter (search terms, sign ups, click thru rates, donation success, distribution rates, GOTV, etc. )  we need ways to visualize summaries of massive amounts of activity (www.capitalwords.org) (foreclosure heat) We need to understand our collective sensors and work to refine, standardize sharing (congressional heat index) .

We see an emerging set of this information in twitter apps and facebook apps that analyze  your personal networks, Rapleaf, Raidian6 and Morningside-Analytics our job as advocacy and campaign planners is to first daylight the information, visualize it and then discover the new kinds of knowledge we need to run better, larger and more effective campaigns without centralized management.

Strategically, the study notes that:

“Building this kind of [smarter] supply chain is a strategic undertaking; it implies a different role and set of responsibilities for supply chain executives. These executives must become strategic thinkers, collaborators and orchestrators.”

What will make these webs of production and distribution smarter? Different kinds of sensors and information technologies will make supply networks more instrumented and interconnected. But what’s ultimately required are the analytical resources to extract new, actionable intelligence from such complex systems. What kind of new intelligence do we mean, and what actually is new about it?

“New intelligence” will flow from advanced computing techniques and expertise that can reveal insight from rivers of real-time information. Innovations in data visualization, predictive modeling and simulation software will make new kinds of knowledge possible, and lead to more evidence-based decision making.

A Smarter Planet: New Intelligence for Smarter Supply Chains


Internet access for the Unemployed: Netcentric Recovery Plan

Picking up on a riff from yesterday. I have been thinking about the issue of serving the unemployed and reconnecting the economy after the financial system reboots.How is this recovery going to be different from 1930's?

Unemployment benefits should be bundled with 12 months of Internet access.  It is part of the investment in the transitioning worker. It is a critical part of the modern "safety net". It will create jobs.

Why should we do this?

  • People need to job hunt.
  • the unemployed need to interact with government agencies and services and online access would reduce government servicing costs.
  • It would help nonprofits and food banks squeeze more efficiency in the way the coordinate delivery of services and assessing needs. 
  • It would create an intensive online training program (from basic computer skills (how to email, network and search) to all the free and more advanced training online.
  • employees could stay in touch with previous coworkers (DHL alumni group on Linked-in) and family at reduced costs.
  • it would up our workforces competitiveness and prepare the unemployed to collaborate on projects for new jobs.
  • the new free web services (gmail,google docs, skype, etc.) enable productivity in the cloud. so event thee $39 computer or the web books would meet basic needs.
  • it would open up lots of new self-organizing (laidoffcamp.org) and new business start up. 
  • It is important for the families that are trying to figure out housing availability, stay connected with schools and teachers.
  • the unemployed on the program (using the govt access pages) could be asked to review elements of the recovery activity, congressional budgets, state budgets, etc.(would probably find enough mistakes to pay for the whole program)
  • when companies want to rehire or pull from their former workforce they could easily reactivate the latent parts of our workforce.
  • Emotional support, entertainment, etc.
  • They could cut off other services (like cable and phone) to save money.
  • It would generate a new revenue and industry from states for web businesses that could target reengaging the unemployed. 
  • If it shortens unemployment of each persons by just a few weeks it would pay for itself. (480 per person per year).
  • It would accelerate the use of the stimulus dollars, tax programs, etc.
  • It would shorten the amount of time it takes to find the unemployed and fill new positions (saving business money)
  • It would keep the unemployed a more powerful political force.
  • It is a manageable cost program. (worst case = 40 a month * 4 million unemployed * 12 = 2 billion ).   The faster the unemployed find work and get into positions where they create value others are willing to purchase the faster the economy recovers. 
  • Other ideas?

Economic Recovery Models in Depression2.ouch

I am not an economics guy. Most of what i am picking up on the economic recovery planning comes from the Washington Post, online outlets, blogs, frontline and the random cable news chatter.

So there are definitely, circles of serious people running a different conversation about the recovery which I am not a part of. However, in everything I read and hear there is no talk about the role of networks in the recovery.

The vision I am struggling with is how our global network can quickly reconfigure and workaround problems.

It seems as the economic modeling for recovery and growth are running off models developed in the great depression (3 to 5 years of slow 2% growth) and the many economic down turns since.  Those models are wrong.

I think everyone (including Greenspan, Paulson, Bernanke and all the most minds of Wall Street ) did not see this global economy unraveling so fast. They all knew there was some BS going on and that we were in for a “pop” but the scope and speed of this crash has caught everyone by surprise.

This depression and the crash have been accelerated by the connectivity and interdependence of humanity (it all lost balance in early 2008 (oil, food, then money). We can see that now but few predicted it (AIG) (Lehman Brothers).

Some articles I have seen, talk about the crash not as a run on the bank (30s) or a crash of production (70s) but a run on the network.

In September and October, the banks and everyone else just freaked out at the complexity of the system and “pulled out the trust”. I write more on the cascading failure of the economy here but my thought patterns are not just focused on the crash. I am trying to figure out how this network gets rewired.

If the crash did not follow models, why do we think the economic recovery models follow traditional recovery trajectories?

In the networked age shouldn't trust, hope, confidence travel just as fast as the crash?

I am not talking about some new business, or new innovation.  I am thinking that once the basics of the economy are fixed can’t we expect the global network to roar back to life. The complexity and interconnectedness of our economy still has an upside.

The connections of world economy have already been built. They are now "empty" of commerce and capital. These networks are in some places "breakinimageg down" as companies fold BUT the logistics chains, relationships and networks of people are "weak ties" they should be cheap to maintain (for example if you and I worked in different parts of the world for the same company and got canned tomorrow,  we could rebuild our ties and reconnect much cheaper than in the past (70's, 30s).  (DHL Alumni as an example) How do we agitate the network channels to strengthen and stay connected even though the commerce function is temporarily dead? 

 The finance system is broken but I also think there is another scenario ( a positive black swan) that accelerates our adaptability to this crisis on orders of magnitude of difference from previous depressions and recessions.

If it is possible to fire up and jumpstart the network again then a stimulus plan needs to focus on that network effect.  

The stimulus package can't just focus on the jobs...(network actors) or the finance (pumping currency into the old pipelines) the right model needs to target creating and fostering the connectivity of the network so as the engines start again the entire network flashes to life.  In these times, we should invest in the capacity to help workers stay connected ((internet connections, $39 webbook and free online training as part of unemployment benefits?) 

I am mostly interested in making sure that recovery/stimulus/philanthropy/management efforts acknowledge the huge roll network infrastucture can play in pulling out of this tailspin and that somebody think on the macro scale how to charge up the network to deliver the acceleration that was not available in 30's and 70' etc.

No previous collapse had the internet as a cultural infrastructure for working around challenges. In the past, we needed business firms and government agencies to work around the challenges and reorganize production. 

We no longer need that.  We need ways to help the disconnected get better connected.  We need pools of money for adhoc teams to create products. We need to invest in consistent reweaving of workers and laid off workers so they can reboot their own production of services of value  (another example laidoffcamp.org )

We may likely crash and be stuck in a long and deep economic depression (then go to the wiki on nonprofit Plans for the economic crisis) OR lets assume there is hope out there and start to figure out the recovery with a little network assist or network boost.  Creating a “surprise at the speed” the entire economy rebooted.

To do that, we are going to need leaders to really think about the network framework and the roll it can play in enabling the network of global humanity to work around the nonsense in the financial system.  We are going to need aggressive sharing of government services and a willingness of government and businesses to focus on sustaining  collaborative capacity of others as part of their own survival strategy.

This is one of the blog posts that seems like it needs weeks more work to end properly but i just got to get back to sleep.

 

 


Ask the people with the WISDOM

Beautiful project. Beautiful process. The answer is in the question. Definitely, worth watching.

   

 http://www.wisdombook.org/

 

I love the stripping down process. One background. One purpose.

  • love something
  • if you give your life to something maybe you can change it
  • always be on the edge that says we can do this better

 

Screen clipping taken: 2/18/2009, 3:14 PM

   

   


Laid Off Camp - Bottom up response to the Economic Crisis

Laid Off Camp - Bottom up response to the Economic Crisis

   

San Francisco March 3rd. This looks like an interesting model for keeping the opportunities , networking and support flowing across a community of people that have been laid off. Finally, a scalable solution that is not dependent on sponsors and government offices planning sessions, dictating what gets discussed or controlling the outcomes. The Laidoffcamp is a good idea. I hope it takes off and becomes a valuable tool in helping communities organize in response to the economic crisis.

 

   

Screen clipping taken: 2/18/2009, 7:26 AM

   

   


Charles Leadbeater in conversation with Clay Shirky


Charles Leadbeater in conversation with Clay Shirky at PICNIC08

This is a rich conversation.

Leadbeater and Shirky kick around the demand for network production tools.  As it starts, I can’t tell if they feel like the main part of the equation is “figured out” and they are struggling with the technology questions or if they are still seeing this as an organizers and campaigners challenge.  They ultimately focus on the people and the network.

I enjoy Clay’s “check these boxes” riff and you will succeed doesn’t work with this type of network building issues.

Not surprisingly, it is often the types of questions that drive my thinking and work at www.netcentriccampaigns.org  We know how to set up the elements of an advocacy network. We know what approaches and leadership will kill network formation.

Somewhere, at the heart of network power is the redundancy in leadership and service. You build a network approach to create and encourage the creative experimentation. By design of the network as an instrument you are embracing a diversifying model of leadership which means that we can not predict exactly what the outcomes will be. At the same moment you want to control that leadership, there is no way to technically wrestle with those competing interests.

Building networks is THE opportunity of our moment because of this uncontrollable potential upside to organizers.

The challenge is an organizing challenge because it is about attracting the right people who in all likelihood will do the right kinds of things that you will support within the range of likely outcomes.  We have movements that have attracted these people but they have little or no network capacity to share, collaborate or act collectively (again CShirky). They are a base with no operational capacity.  They are a group with a common language and aligned visions but with little way to exercise their will.  From an organizers perspective they are ripe for action as organizers we need to develop process (building a network action plan) that wires the base together and supports these aligned people in creating change.

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Grid Computing for Our Network?

It would be interesting to see one of these cranked up among the progressive advocacy movement for running mapping, GIS, voter file, blogosphere analysis, voice to text recognition, campaign modeling. etc. Who knows maybe we can even use distributed networks to support VOIP, SMS, campaign emailing and emergency activation phone trees.

We may not need tens of thousands of those computers like the Proteome Folding project but I am sure there are many projects at the network scale that our movement is paying through the nose for.

What kinds of projects do you avoid because the computing costs are too expensive?

The World Community GridHow Grid Computing Works

Grid computing joins together many individual computers, creating a large system with massive computational power that far surpasses the power of a handful of supercomputers. Because the work is split into small pieces that can be processed simultaneously, research time is reduced from years to months. The technology is also more cost-effective, enabling better use of critical funds.

Changing Our World Now
Grid computing is not a futuristic technology. World Community Grid is at work right now applying this technology to exciting research projects that can benefit us all.

Our first project, Human Proteome Folding, is identifying the proteins produced by human genes. With this information, scientists can understand how defects in proteins can cause disease, making it easier to find cures.
In 2003, with grid computing, in less than three months scientists identified 44 potential treatments to fight the deadly smallpox disease. Without the grid, the work would have taken more than one year to complete.

World Community Grid - About Us - How Grid Computing Works

 

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The Agitator – Screening Process for Evangelist : Social Market

This post got me thinking….

How Find Your Missionaries | The Agitator - Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Advocacy Strategies for Nonprofits

How do I find out which of my missionary prospects has the "right stuff"? Until we have a scoring model that can pre-identfy these folks in a donor file (something our partner DonorTrends is working on) I guess there’s no substitute … I have to ask or "test" them!

So, I’d come up with a simple missionary request for my prospects (actually, a few requests over time to really probe my prospect pool) … something that involved outreach — such as passing along a message or sending in a prospect name. The donors who responded would be my missionaries. …I’d then attempt to "graduate" them to some explicit donor-to-friend fundraising promotion. I’d conduct as much of this program online as possible, using the latest viral marketing and social networking tools. And I’d create a recognition program to keep my missionaries motivated.

This is good but I think most groups are missing the deep outreach to new members.  The people likely to be “missionaries” are the “sneezers”  which has more to do with the rank in a social group, the topic area and personality type.  In “grapevine” there was talk that it is the new members that are your most likely evangelist.  They just “found you” and eager to tell friends of the “new experience”.    Social marketing is not about donors and loyalty.  It is about buzz. i don’t think the process outlined really gets at the evagelism you seek.

I would start mining the data of new people that arrive.  Focus on the tools and behavior that the new people engage in and and make sure they have the tools they need to “invite” friedns and keep confident that connecting with your cause or group was a great idea.  

Focus on launching services to as existing base and see how they pick up and open issues and then see if i could get them to perform.   I would focus more resources on the “new customers” that are just coming to you for whatever reason and understand why your group is attractive in the current context.   Getting old members that joined 5 years ago to give you a few nnames is fine but I don’t think it is going to be the approach that will give you the best ROI.

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The Coming Swarm

This pattern suggests that Americans should brace for a coming swarm. Right now, most of our cities would be as hard-pressed as Mumbai was to deal with several simultaneous attacks. Our elite federal and military counterterrorist units would most likely find their responses slowed, to varying degrees, by distance and the need to clarify jurisdiction.

While the specifics of the federal counterterrorism strategy are classified, what is in the public record indicates that the plan contemplates having to deal with as many as three sites being simultaneously hit and using "overwhelming force" against the terrorists, which probably means mustering as many as 3,000 ground troops to the site. If that's an accurate picture, it doesn't bode well. We would most likely have far too few such elite units for dealing with a large number of small terrorist teams carrying out simultaneous attacks across a region or even a single city.

 

I have yet to see evidence that on a large scale the network capacity of "good guys" is definitely going to get out maneuvered by the terrorist cells (as many military centralized power control types would suggest). Just because the reaction to controlling the economy, intelligence, crime, disaster response and violence has been centralized does not mean that it will remain so.

 

From my perspective, I see much of the activity and action (stopping shoe bomber, trans-atlantic bombing plot, London night clubs, many other plots ...are spoiled BECAUSE everyone has cell phones.) As the barriers to acting "bad" have dropped SO TOO has the barrier to reporting and acting good. Good tips flow from people that don't want this nonsense to succeed.

 

 

The last of the 4 planes on 9/11 didn't reach Washington because people in the seats also had cell phones. They figured out within 20 min that the world had changed and figured out they needed to rush the cabin. The effectiveness of distributed attacks will also go down as culture becomes more "wired". Our relief efforts after every major crisis in the US has been significantly enhanced by increasing power of ad hoc networks of good guys (9/11 (clean up), the earthquakes in Ca, Katrina (Cajun Navy) the Tsunami. I am even betting we pull out of the economic crisis a hell of a lot faster than anyone is thinking BECAUSE we are hyper-connected and faster learning. Watch how fast confidence spreads)

 

The challenge is not as the military would suggest further powering the military and police but further engaging the public. Giving the public better tools to communicate and react in times of crisis (which many "military minds" want to cut off).

 

The obsession with the power of the terror networks (and arming up in response to the fear) does little to leverage the same network dynamics fueling the strength of the many. The rest of humanity that wish to live in a just, happy and peaceful world and until we start seeing ways to level communications imbalance between the bad guys and the bulk of humanity.

   


Food Stamp Search Suggests Hard Times Are Spreading like a Flu.

   

Google Trends and US Department of Agriculture Results are compared in these images. They are different.

 

 I was reading up on trend analysis and the predictive power of Google to "see" trends before the official government agencies. (Google Flu) I started to think about what other things people might search for in advance of "showing up" to file or request government service. These are cultural trends that we might not catch for months in actual surge in request are different that current "search trends". Is it fair to assume that the actual surge next year will include Oregon, Alabama, Arkansas, New Mexico, etc.

 

I don't know much about the economic shifts but I know the housing bubble burst first in NV, AZ and much of our car manufacturing is in AL, AK. Maybe someone can explain the shift more intelligently and we can test how these trends playout over the next year.

 

 

 

 

   


HubSpot on World Wide Raves

These are good.  It actually has many of the 7 elements of network capcacity with a bit differenet language.  Build Strong social Ties = "Put Down Roots", Shared Resources = "create something interesting" ...etc

I would add a few more.

  1. Build a Peer-to-Peer nature into the DNA of what you are going.  As trends scale they need to scale in a way that enables the network of participants to self-serve. This encourages leadership and communication.
  2. Work to "Lose Control" but establish simple rules of vision and language. The "control" is in the process not the content.
  3. Show Feedback (so the activity becomes self-directing).

 Internet Marketing Blog.

Rules of the Rave:

  1. Nobody cares about your products (except you).
  2. Create something interesting that will be talked about online. 
  3. No coercion required.
  4. Lose control.
  5. Put down roots. 
  6. Create triggers that encourage people to share.
  7. Point the world to your (virtual) doorstep. 

Hackers and Foot Soliders Attack ATMs: The Netcentric Robbery

Here is a amazing swarming of crime.  This is like distributed GOTV operations scaled up to target ATM (requesting money instead of votes).  Hackers recruited and provided the exaserbated window to cashout money but they knew that the ATMs shut down if X amount is pulled from the location.  They distributed the foot soliders with walking lists, targets and the ATM cards to pull from.

This will be a case to watch as it lays out a new style of attack toward resources that are protected by their fragementation (no one could pull 9 million from an ATM but making a window in the infrastucture and distributing the attack pulled in as much as a haul as knocking off an armored car.)   

I wonder if the 130 local crooks knew what they were doing (part of the bigger plot).

Here is the amazing part: With these cashers ready to do their dirty work around the world, the hacker somehow had the ability to lift those limits we all have on our ATM cards. For example, I'm only allowed to take out $500 a day, but the cashers were able to cash once, twice, three times over and over again. When it was all over, they only used 100 cards but they ripped off $9 million.

The RBS Web site says that card holders will not be responsible for any unauthorized transactions. But there is fear that the hackers might have had access to sensitive information used in identity theft for a potential 1.5 million customers -- including their including Social Security numbers.

"The number of machines that were accessed, the number of cities that were targeted, and the number of people that had to be involved in this is quite significant," Agent Rice said.

Investigators are hoping a break in the case may come from one of the cashers. The theory is they probably were recruited, paid a small fee to be solders in the scam, and might be likely to rat out the people who hired them.

There are millions of people out there these days with these payroll cards. RBS officials say they have sent out letters to anyone who might have been affected. They are also offering one-year credit protection for people whose Social Security number may have been jeopardized by this scam. However, the good news is that it doesn't look like any identity theft has occurred yet.


Rosa Sat. So Martin Could Walk. So Barak Could Run... YEAH!

This video (definitely watch)inspired me to revisit a 2005 post.

Rosa Parks: Thank You I have been thinking a bit about Rosa Parks. I am grateful for all she has done for humanity, my country, my friends and my own life. The contribution of courage and vision has opened a better world for all of us including my family and the life my kids now have. I am thankful for leaders like Rosa.

I am thinking about the conflicting "myths" about Rosa. I am most disturbed at the "simple woman" stories. She was not simple because her job was a seamstress. I don't know why she was a seamstress (maybe it was a way to pay the bills?) However, someone's job does not define their character.

Rosa was brilliant. She was a genius. She was a leader with courage and conviction. She was an activists working for social change. She was a liberal. She was trained in field organizing. She was a fundraiser and she never buried her head in the sand and let "others" solve her problems.

She didn't wait for "somebody" (as in somebody will do something about it). She was a great person who got fed up and took action. She was not the head of some group or at the top of some civil rights organization but she was a leader and a change maker. Don't let the media tell you need to be in charge of something to have power.

Thanks Rosa ... Now the Video. ...Fly Baby Fly


Madoff's Fraud Destroyed my Job and Threatens my Cause: Ongoing Network Failure.

While much of the coverage so far is focused on the investor victims of the Madoff fraud, I am interested in watching and supporting some of the other "victims". The people and organizations that are the on tail end of all those investments. The people that can say "Madoff Fraud Destroyed my job and threatens my life work and cause." I am inspired to look at the reactions these people in the Madoff fraud ecosystem as a early warning of how our broader sector may react to the looming collapse of individual donor, foundation and government revenues in 2009 - 2010. 

The Madoff case must serve as an accelerated case study for the rest of us on the edge of the economic disaster (and by "the rest of us" I mean you, the US, economy, everyone working for a nonprofit, everyone). 

I don't know all of the details but after surfing the Madoff stories, it seems the predominate reactions in charities are focused on responding to the needs of the organizations, grasping for ways to replace the revenue and selling assets.   Here are some of the examples...

  • Jewish Funders Network announced a $5 million loan fund
  • Groups raised emergency money for organizations (to pump revenue into the organizations) MoveOn, Theyeneedusnow.org OSI.
  • Each group is dropping into survival mode to respond (selling assets including art. cutting costs)

I assume there are big layoffs in the works at the dozens of charities but I couldn't find a story that pulled them together.   If it were "one big company" like Enron (linked in group 1000+) or Lehman Brothers, etc.  There would already be big collaborative network of former employee groups and groups. Staff would meet up and support each other, create spin offs, find ways to help each other cope and survive.  But in the nonprofit sector, we are traditionally fragmented, smaller shops and compeditive with each other when in the same space (ironically for the attention of donors and media).  In normal times, the staff, volunteer and work is buffered against collabortive impact by this fragmented, compeditive and redundant model.   However, times are different.  We are seeing entire "clusters" like the Madoff network getting hit at the same time. The next "cluster" will be the broader nonprofit sector.

How will the larger sector react?

In the larger ongoing nonprofit crisis  (assume 50% reduction in nonprofit revenues within 2 years) the challenge seems to that such a traditional reaction strategy will not work. Watching the reaction to Madoff fraud is not a scaleable response.

As a sector, we will not find a way to replace the massive volume of revenue (trillions in foundation endowments, grants, government grant cuts and individual donations) The money is going to disappear and no nonprofits are going to be around to buy or want a share of your 2 year old copier and the empty desk in your office. Mergers are expensive and high risk in good times. The broader sector will not be able to bakesale enough emergency funds.

The cuts are coming and all of our favorite issues are going to be facing a Madoff cluster collapse soon enough.  As hard as it is to think about, the survival strategy can not focus on the fate of each individual group survivor.

Decisions need to be made at the micro and maco-level of what can go. Groups and resources are going away and they are not going to return. People are going to retire.  Orgnaizations and brands, services and campaigns are going to collapse on a large scale.

The question is not if the "winner and looser" group choices are going to happen. They are. The question is how are those choices going to be made?

Do we want the macro level decisions made for us? Do we want government contracts, big donors and foundation program staff to restructure and plan the future of our sector, staff, friends and the redistribution of our assets? OR should we do this differently than other recessions? Should the network of people most effected by the crisis do the macro level thinking from the bottom up to the financial decision makers?  Would Enron employees wait until the collapse if they new it was coming to rethink the way they work?

What could be different?

I am not seeing the staff, boards, foundation program officers, donors and people who received the benefits of Madoff "investments" connecting to each other into open communications channels to figure out their combined response. 

In the Matoff case, I am not seeing new combination of the resources they want to save (Can the arts and museums ..host organizing parties for the human rights groups? Can the groups consolidate a central communications or fund raising campaign? Can the combined staff of the peace groups, human rights groups and  survivor networks find a way to look at the network balance sheet (across all the recipeint groups) and design a combined reaction and a better way to move resources (people, intellectual property and hard capital amongst each other) to achieve something important (rather than collapse int lots of little groups or closing shops)?  Can they establish a lend-lease program among the network of victims whose entire business and campaigns are now threatened by the destabilization of revenue?

Yes, all these are "unconventional" responses. But at the heart of todays culture is a connectivity that unlike the first depression, offers all of the individuals /groups a real chance to share data, insights and informaiton.  A real chance to collaborate on big large scale management projects, and a capacity to build trust and crate collective responses.   

I am not seeing a bottom up plan develop on how to react as a network.  I am not seeing a Madoff lay offs retraining program or ways that all the distributed groups and people impacted can network and reshape the way they react.  The best reponse answer is "there" in the network of people impacted by the fraud. The challenge is finding it quickly, bubbling it up and distributing it for collective action.

I wish them the best of luck and I hope the rest of us can learn from thier answers and solutions. They are a few months ahead of the rest of the economy.

I am currently working with others on (nonprofit reponse to the economic crisis wiki ) for a bottoms up and network based response plan. I encourage anyone that has them to post comments here or visit the wiki with links to other bottom up and peer to peer reactions to the Madoff crisis in the nonprofit sector. (or links to peer groups working on the response to the broader economic crisis for our sector.)

(this is one of the posts the I really like and got me thinking)

PHILANTHROPY 2173.

With all the bad economic news over the past months, the Madoff scandal might seem like long-ago history to some (sort of like Lehman Brothers, remember them?). To whole communities however - communities of donors, of nonprofits, and of individual activists or issues - Madoff's impact is still present and ongoing. As in natural disasters, there are both short-term and long-term needs and responses. The Madoff ripoff, a truly man-made disaster, will require the same kind of timeline and attention.