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March 2010
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May 2010

Amazing summary based on the links and tweets and followers.



This looks like a very cool service that focuses on generating a "newspaper" from the links and stories in a twitter feed and from the feeds of those that follow a feed. It seems like it could have a great potential as a single update on a network of activitity. For groups working on issues this would work well if.

a. Main source (twitter account) links to the daily clips, actions and videos on an issue.

b. The main source follows all the members in the coalition and regularly retweets their news reports and actions.

c. The main source only approves followers that are in the coalition. (can we even do that anymore?)

The resulting "paper" would be tight and focused on the issues related to the campaign. With Google ads (grants) the calls to action and focusing on retweeting the videos the page could becomevery useful in coalition work. Just a few small tweaks (allogn others to embed sections, or adding navigation wrapping around the page and it would be a very robust hub for a coalition.

The Community Roundtable's Community Maturity Model

One of our missions at The Community Roundtable is to further the discipline of community management – not just in our own community but more broadly in the marketplace. Our first effort to define the discipline is our Community Maturity Model:

This model does two things. First, it defines the eight competencies we think are required for successful community management. Second, it attempts – at a high level – to articulate how these competencies progress from organizations without community management that are still highly hierarchical to those that have embraced a networked business ecosystem approach to their entire organization.


This is brilliant. I like the elements and the focus on building toward a network. Building networks can be intentional and be defined in a series of steps.

I am sure all networks are not "mature communities". I am also sure all functional networks are not "communities". However, the ideas and elements are good and worth looking over.

There is one significant failure. The network misses "feedback mechanisms." In other stages, leaders can look at the metrics to shape the direction and learning. In the network phase of distributed leadership, those leaders need "distributed leadership tools" or universally accessible feedback mechanisms so that any partipant can "see" what is working and what is not. 

Social Media Campaigns are Data Driven

9 Tips on How To Run (And Not Run) Social Media Campaigns

This is an interesting look into the role data plays in scaling social listening and being attentive to those that you are interested in sustaining the conversations.

View more presentations from Rapleaf.

This Side Up Campaign: Products as campaign Tools

This Side Up Campaign: Products

Spread the word that babies are safest from the risk of SIDS if placed to sleep on their backs for nap or bed time. Our adorable onesies are the perfect gift for your friends and have proven an ideal way for hospitals to educate their patients on the risk of SIDS. English and Spanish versions are available.

image from There are so many reasons I like these style campaigns. The right information, at the right time, as a service (free onesies). It gets into the workflow of the people we are trying to connect with and gets them the campaign message right.

The only downside is never putting the onesie on backwards in the middle of the night on no sleep. 

School Lunches and Jamie Oliver




I am not sure what to make of this. Jamie Oliver is riffing on the importance of school lunches and the importance of nutrition to America's children but somehow the computers have positioned dog food ads above his riff on the food revolution. "every dog wants to be a Cesar dog?" Really? My dog mostly wants to eat whatever the kids drop.

What ads really belong here?

A Network Haiku. Palin and Discovery. Dark Clouds. Boo. Boo.

Here is an interesting contest of user voice. It generated 1600 Haiku's about Palin getting a million dollars from Discovery. I wonder if twitter and txt culture makes for better Haiku contest?

We thought Discovery Communications' decision to give Sarah Palin a "nature" documentary series about the state of Alaska with a paycheck of a cool $1 million per episode deserved a tongue-lashing.

So we invited you to join us in delivering Discovery an unconventional response. And we've received an overwhelming response, with more than 1,600 haiku submitted by you in just the last week!

Now, we need you to vote for the top haiku.

Friends of the Earth staff have culled through thousands of your haiku to bring you the best of the best. These haiku help show how ridiculous the notion of a Palin "nature" show is.


Pug Meetups around the world. Why?

This is a social club for pugs & their humans! We love our pugs- all ages, all kinds and we want to meet you and yours.

The club holds monthly meetups that generally fall on the first Saturday of every month (barring holidays) at Austin local dog parks. We are usually at Bull Creek, but in the winter months we take field trips to other local dog parks! We also host bigger events like The Great PUGkin Fest, a halloween costume contest for pugs in October, the Valentines Day PUG Tuneup in February, the Spring Luau in April and the PUGtucky Derby in May. Some of these are fundraisers for pug rescue, and some of these are just events held to play some games, laugh at our pugs and have a good time.

We would love for you to come out and join us- after all, we are all pug people!


They want to talk to each other. They use technology to cluster. Coordination takes little cost.

What things have they done that have nothing to do with Pugs? Are they green space advocates?  Did they raise money for a disaster? Discuss politics? March at a Tea Party? Is there a strict "pug only" discussion moderation or is this an example of something much more complex?

Worldchanging: Bright Green: Obama for America's Lessons on Technology for Social Change

it’s a losing game to pick winning technologies – instead, we need to use whatever works to put forward a clearly articulated set of values.

“Even smart communications folks forget that we have a progression from values to mission, mission to strategy, strategy to tactics.” The campaign was successful because the tech decisions were led by this progression and empowered by the willingness of folks like David Plouffe to be open to innovation action.


Brilliant look inside the thinking behind Obama's team and the way they approached technology. I love this quote... "use what works to put forward clearly articulated set of values."


In the book, he makes the compelling case that complex societies are, at root, very successful problem solving systems.  If they weren't, they would never have become complex in the first place.  Why?  Societies solve challenges by creating new rules and processes (new complexity) that are then added on to the existing system ad infinitum.  More successful outcomes = more complexity.

However, as noted above, problem solving comes at a cost.  Each solution leaves a residue, a layer of complexity that never goes away (laws, taxes, monopolies, treaties, etc.).  It builds up over time and saps the social system's flexibility and efficiency.  Eventually, ever new layer of complexity extracts more in costs than it provides in benefit (solution).  At that point, according to Tainter's analysis of ancient civilizations, the complex society collapses. 


What if the complexity is not the nation-state or enterprise but humanity? There are very few system or total collapses (world war, dark ages) on a macro-level (time and scale), I am not sure that the view of collapse holds.  The human network is on one path toward global complexity. We progress but are rooted in basic human needs and requirements.  

And yet. I love the logic and feel this riff has at kicking dust in the eyes of the giant old dinosaurs.

Saving Money With Smart Research and Smarter Defaults

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness have articulated the benefits of default choices in encouraging positive behavior for workers and organizations. Though those books talk about default choices in the context of retirement choices for workers, the key lesson that's been learned is how efficiencies can be gained simply by offering smart defaults.


What are the defaults that you have set the wrong way at your organization?   What does making it easy mean in the world of activism?


Note... a bunch of sites I like for elements of the design and/or strategy… ( I like the twitter integration at the top)

Orgs with email list of under 10,000 grew online revenue by 26% YEAH!

Great service from Convio for sharing this summary and Michael Stein for his work.

There are some really interesting trends in here. What do they tell us about the future?  How do these trends shape the movement? 

  • Online giving grew 14 percent. 69 percent of organizations raised more in 2009 than 2008, while 31 percent saw declines in their online fundraising.
  • 61 percent of all organizations saw their average gift drop in 2009.
  • The average online gift was $80.81,
  • the online revenue per usable email address in 2009 was $11.68.
  • Small organizations grew fastest. Organizations with fewer than 10,000 email addresses on file grew online revenue by 26 percent, and gifts by 32 percent.
  • Email files continued to grow strongly. The total email file grew 27 percent in 2009 to 39,100 constituents.
  • The open rate for email fundraising appeals was 19%.  The click-through rate was 1.7%, down from 2% in 2008.  The overall performance of online fundraising appeals was 0.15%, a slight rise from the year before.
  • Web traffic growth continued for most, but at a slower rate. 60 percent of organizations grew their website traffic from 2008 to 2009. Web traffic growth in 2009 was in the single digits at 6 percent compared with double digit growth seen in previous years.
  • Web traffic was strongly correlated with email file growth. 38 percent of an organization’s success building large email files could be directly attributed to the amount of traffic to the organization’s website.
  • Registration rates dropped. The rate at which organizations converted website visitors to their email file declined to 2.12 percent in 2009.
  • Constituents were more reluctant to open emails and click-through. While open rates for both fundraising appeals and newsletters remained around 20 percent, the click-through rates for both types of online communication declined in 2009.
  • About 7% of online activists also donated money online to the organization they took action with.  Conversely, 8% of online donors also took an online advocacy action with the same organization.


Growth in small orgs. Growth in those that invest in generating web traffic. Growth in depth of connections with the membership. 

Traffic Flow by Data Points: Look at the pulse of a city.

What is the data you want to see? What is the traffic and transactions in your work that reveal patterns? What do you learn from this as a Taxi driver? Police? Mugger?

What data services and "maps" should we be thinking about as a movement that will inform our organizers, policy people, communications staff and fundraisers? 

What is going on at 3am on Friday?

Data. Is it really a part of your strategy?

There are strategies that really think about data and there are strategies that don't. When you think about your advocates and allies. When you think of all the thousands of transactions that reveal intent, interest, need or solutions. Do you have a strategy that focuses on using that to make things clearer? Do you have a strategy that leverages the most formative trend of modern culture?

It is not easy for organizations to make this shift. However, good organizers have always known about tracking activists, campaigns, votes, neighborhood support, grant performance, etc. Making the leap with the new data trends is as essential today as basic organizing efforts were 100 years ago.  Being a good organizer is not just communication at scale of mass media but organizing at that scale. We need to update our thinking, planning, tools and concepts of data management to fit this new world.

From the NOI review of the Obama campaign... Transparency of measurable outcomes across a greater audience creates accountability and actionable data - sorely needed measures for many campaigns. When data is shared from volunteer to volunteer, volunteer to staff, and staff to senior management, institutional culture shifts. Outcomes become incentives for self-motivation and are socially compared, in real time. Volunteers and staff can visually assess their contribution to the campaign through charts, graphs and leader boards. Teams can track their impact together, and records from week to week and month to month are accessible and analyzed.