Previous month:
March 2009
Next month:
May 2009


Here is the campaign and lobby tool for group of collaborators working on a project.  I am trying to hack out some case studies of people that are using it for advocacy please let me know if you have a story to share.

Group message broadcasting for Twitter

Problem: Malcolm, Zoe, Kaylee, Simon, and River all work together on the same web development team. They are avid Twitter users and want a similar way to broadcast quick messages and updates to everyone on their team. Since these messages may contain confidential information, the team doesn't want them published to their public Twitter timelines or to any followers who are not part of the team.

Solution: GroupTweet allows Malcolm and the gang to send messages via Twitter that are instantly broadcasted privately to only the team members.



I continue to enjoy global guerrillas is brilliant, jumping off point for organizing my thoughts about what needs to happen in advocacy movements and campaigns.

This riff that he picked up from Jamais Cascio is exactly the kind of logic that we need to apply to our issue movements.

Resilience means the capacity of an entity--such as a person, an institution, or a system--to withstand sudden, unexpected shocks, and (ideally) to be capable of recovering quickly afterwards. Resilience implies both strength and flexibility; a resilient structure would bend, but would be hard to break.


How does an issue movement or network of advocates build resiliency? What are the investments that truly create strength, flexibility and a resilient structure that would be bend but be hard to break? 

In our work, we tried to be very deliberate and intentional in prioritizing investments in capacity that in some ways are independent of the person, institution, or system. But by thinking this way we are hedging against shock and surprise (which when you step back should never be shocking or surprising ).  The framework that we have developed focuses on investments in

  • social ties
  • common language
  • communications grid
  • clarifying a vision
  • shared resources
  • investing in network leaders (vs. managers and bosses)
  • feedback mechanisms 


Additionally, every time we look at a network.  We can use this framework to pass the right kinds of questions and tease out an understanding of what's missing and what components are preventing the network from becoming more highly resilient and functional.

Netcentic View - Globalism Goes Viral -

Here is a great riff by Brooks spelling out the case for a network-centric approach to building response systems to mange change in the 21st century. It is the same uncertainty and need for experimentation that makes the case for netcentric change organizing.

the decentralized approach has coped reasonably well with uncertainty. It is clear from the response, so far, that there is an informal network of scientists who have met over the years and come to certain shared understandings about things like quarantining and rates of infection. It is also clear that there is a ton they don’t understand.

A single global response would produce a uniform approach. A decentralized response fosters experimentation.

The bottom line is that the swine flu crisis is two emergent problems piled on top of one another. At bottom, there is the dynamic network of the outbreak. It is fueled by complex feedback loops consisting of the virus itself, human mobility to spread it and environmental factors to make it potent. On top, there is the psychology of fear caused by the disease. It emerges from rumors, news reports, Tweets and expert warnings.

The correct response to these dynamic, decentralized, emergent problems is to create dynamic, decentralized, emergent authorities: chains of local officials, state agencies, national governments and international bodies that are as flexible as the problem itself.

Swine flu isn’t only a health emergency. It’s a test for how we’re going to organize the 21st century. Subsidiarity works best.

Op-Ed Columnist - Globalism Goes Viral -

The “cloud” of twitter followers.

Here is a "cloud view" of my twitter followers. The bigger words mean that more people have used that word in their profiles. I don't have lots of followers (which is probably a good thing as it keeps me from getting nutty over crafting things) but I like to see that people that "follow" my tweets are probably really in line with most of the stuff I point at or kick out.


It is actually a pretty good crowd given my work at Netcentric Campaigns and Green Media Toolshed.


So things to do…

  1. Follow me on twitter
  2. Run your cloud and let me see it.



Screen clipping taken: 4/28/2009, 12:02 AM



CoTweet Cohort - User Discussion Forum on Steroids

This looked pretty interesting.

This company called COTWEET ( twitter tool for companies) offered beta users access to its services. (I currently use . While beta services are not impressive, Cotweet also offered users the opportunity to join a “cohort”. (See below).

It looks like participants in the cohort are going to be facilitated through a discussion of the product, and product use on a regular basis so that they can provide each other with tips and tricks. The company learns as the customers learn. Cotweet gets credit for connecting their users into a peer-to-peer network and taking advantage of the energy around twitter.

I can’t imagine a similar model working in all products (TurboTax cohort anyone?) .  But when there is a pent-up demand and new “open ground” no experts or right or wrong answers (such as in the social marketing space)  this cohort idea seems like it's going to be an effective additional customer service.

I have signed up to be a part of a cohort so that I can better understand Jerry's methodology. I also want to see how different our experiences in the nonprofit sector, compared to some of these big corporate clients. 

The CoTweet Cohort allows participants to share knowledge, experiences and ideas about the effective use of social media among themselves through bi-monthly conference calls and an online forum for ongoing communications.  The cohort will also provide ideas for future development of the CoTweet platform.

The CoTweet Cohort will be facilitated by Jerry Michalski, a highly respected technology consultant. Based in San Francisco, Michalski is a member of CoTweet’s Advisory board.

According to Jerry, “Twitter offers companies a brand new way to connect that’s not as expensive as a call center, as indirect as a blog or as opaque to the world as CRM systems are. Tweets happen in public. But as traffic increases, employees can step on one another’s toes, confusing customers. CoTweet is designed to prevent that, creating a smooth experience on both sides. This Cohort is where we’ll fine-tune that process.”

In theory, I would love to organize a customer-service cohort around Green Media Toolshed or the work that we do with any of our other campaigns or clients. 

Would GMT’s communications people join a cohort on pitching bloggers? Or reaching out to journalists?

CoTweet — How business does Twitter



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Street to phone, Phone to twitter, Twitter to Social Nets, Back to Street

Here is an interesting documentation from politics online that demonstrates the bridge role twitter plays in moving communication across channels, social networks and national boundaries.

We now have a global communication grid that connects the spaces of web and street as never before we have crossed the phone and internet gaps. Access to these lines and communities are not just in the hands of programmers and the most techy folks.

The activists guide to twitter is not about connecting people to people, getting followers ro following indeed many people that tuned into the #pman didn't know each other.

Activists will find twitter # as the open integrated communication channel. .

Fortunately, Romanian Internet users supported the move and started to retwitt

messages and to promote the Youtube clips. Facebook pictures started to emerge and

press agencies noticed the protests and their online reflections. Messages to press

agencies got through and one by one, Reuters, BBC, AlJazeera, Deustche Welle and

Romanian Mediafax, NewsIn and MediaPro covered the events. Calls to CNN remained

unanswered. Outside, Internet users and press agencies managed to show to the public what was

happening. In, and especially in the blockaded town of Chisinau, information is being

gradually censored by shutting down the access to Internet, the cell phone networks and

restricting the move on the roads, entering the city or the republic.


Some analysts compared the events from to the Romanian 1989 Revolution, which was

transmitted live on TV. The Moldova movements where called Revolution 2.0, and whether

they will have a good outcome or not, it is clear the what was sparked by SMS,

continued on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook , and is now changing politics in the small

eastern state.


Pasted from <>

Ode Magazine : Microjustice: Helping those who are excluded from the legal system

This is another absolutely beautiful example of networks connecting. I love the ideas of Microfinance, now morphing into a microjustice movement.

They share big but not insurmountable upfront costs. They share connections with others (via the micro program to others that solving the problem is trivial. They share a capacity to have the beneficiary monitored cheaply  ( via the internet) and repay the investment over time based on success.

What else can we expect to see….Microteaching, microhealthcare,  micromovement building, microvolunteering, microcopyediting, microinternet development, microjobplacement… 


Really brilliant…

When she started Microjustice Bolivia, Van Nispen tot Sevenaer worked with Anne Marie van Swinderen, a microfinance consultant with Triodos Facet, a large microfinance organization associated with Triodos Bank, an ethical financial institution based in the Netherlands. “The similarity between microjustice and microfinance is largely a way of thinking,” Van Swinderen says, “to not look at poor people as victims. Just to be very businesslike serves them much better than to always treat them like poor people who need support. Almost all development programs create a dependency that is not so desirable.”

The Microjustice Initiative may still be small but its approach reflects a big change in the way non-governmental organizations think about poverty, law and development. In the past, policymakers tried to improve legal systems in developing nations by working with national governments on court reform. Now, many say it’s also necessary to empower people directly at the grassroots level. Even the UN is taking note. In 2005, it hosted the Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor, which found that more than 4 billion people live outside the legal framework of the modern state. Without effective legal protection, these people are vulnerable to losing their property, small businesses or income from labor, and remaining trapped in poverty. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is sponsoring microjustice-like projects in 10 countries to address the legal needs of the poor.

Ode Magazine : Microjustice: Helping those who are excluded from the legal system