Jessica Jackley Flannery is the kind of person who makes you feel at home right away, like she is truly happy to meet you, which is why I wasn't surprised when she said,
"Kiva started out of relationships and love, ideally I would love for that to be present in every single transaction that happens. People connecting."
Jessica is the co-founder, with her husband, Matthew Flannery, of Kiva, a nonprofit that is using the Internet to allow everyday philanthropists, like you and me, to loan money to budding entrepreneurs all over the world. She has worked in rural Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda with the Village Enterprise Fund, and Project Baobab on impact evaluation and program development. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Here's a very cool use of all these advanced online tools:
EXCERPT: "Deep in the most remote jungles of South America, Amazon Indians (Amerindians) are using Google Earth, Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping, and other technologies to protect their fast-dwindling home. Tribes in Suriname, Brazil, and Colombia are combining their traditional knowledge of the rainforest with Western technology to conserve forests and maintain ties to their history and cultural traditions, which include profound knowledge of the forest ecosystem and medicinal plants. "
The Houston NetSquared November meetup was a free form discussion group with strong political themes (stronger than usual, I should say).
We met at our usual Stag's Head Pub location and were about 10 members strong this time. The major points of discussion surrounded the recent election and how people deal with their political affiliations when it's often more correct 'not to say'.
Ed Schipul and several other attendees argued that it is this silence (in keeping with the whole politically correct sentiment) that bars any real progress. If a group of like-minded individuals don't stand together to work for social/political change, than how will things get accomplished?
The evening started out with Larry showing us a demo of how to create a group in Ma.gnolia by his creating a NetSquared group. He described the difference between del.icio.us and Ma.gnolia as that Ma.gnolia's primary goal is to bring information to a group and to create community. (You can read more about, Why is Ma.gnolia Different on their site).
Larry also showed us a number of ways the bookmarks can be shared, such as publishing links into a sidebar of a blog. Tara Hunt pointed everyone to an organization they worked with, The Inspiration Festival, whose Ma.gnolia links were published on their site and reformatted to match the site's branding.
While Nica set up her laptop to talk about RootsCampSF, Chris gave us a quick history of BarCamp, which RootsCamp is based on. You can read some of the story here. The first BarCamp, "an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment," was created in six days by a handful of people in response to the invite-only FooCamp. 300 people showed up to the first BarCamp, and since then there have been over 80 BarCamps all over the world, and the model has taken many forms, including RootsCamp.
RootsCamp was created by Zack Exley after a conversation he had with Nica at a New Organizing Institute (NOI) training this summer. The target audience for RootsCamp is everyone involved in campaign organizing from the volunteer to the campaign manager--everyone's experience is valued equally.
Nica helped to organize the SFRootsCamp during the November 11-12 weekend. Notes from the event are available here. She described SFRootsCamp as an experiment in using techie tools to organize a non-techie group. Although she feels that the event was a success, there were challenges with the non-techie folks using the wiki, and the political organizers, unfamiliar with the BarCamp model, kept asking, "What's the agenda?"
"It's really hard to make organizers not organize," she said.
The next San Francisco Net Tuesday will be on December 12 from 6-8 PM at Citizen Space (425 Second St. #300). Richard Cave, IT Director, and Barbara Cohen, Executive Editor, of PLoS (Public Library of Science) will speak. PLoS is a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. PLoS is helping to shape the global open access movement--which includes scientists, funders, publishers, librarians, patient advocacy groups, lawmakers, and many others. UPDATE: Our speakers have changed for this month's Net Tuesday. Matt Flannery, CEO and Co-Founder of Kiva.org, the first Web site to let anyone with a PayPal account be a "banker to the poor", and Pim Techamuanvivit (Chez Pim) a food blogger who raised $17,000 for UNICEF with her 2005 Menu for Hope campaign wil be speaking. More info here.
Since this week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, I decided to see how different homeless shelters and food banks were using the social web. I also brainstormed a few ideas on how different communities can use the social web to share what they accomplished this week.
Here are a few examples of how shelters and food banks are using the social web:
For our training in San Jose tomorrow, I interviewed and wrote about Bradley Angel, an institution in the environmental justice movement. If you want to participate in this experiment, you can edit the article, or contribute your notes & comments. I've also updated our "Solicited Advice" column with notes from my meeting with Bill Kaufmann of Wikia. Click here for information on what this project is all about.
Is your nonprofit helping people over 50 make the world a better place?
If so, your organization may be eligible for The MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures BreakThrough Award. Even though the award doesn't have to do specifically with technology, Civic Ventures asked us to let NetSquared folks know that they are accepting nominations, and we were happy to help out.
What we can learn about online politics from the 2006 Campaigns from e-politics offers some lessons and takeaways about social networking and other traditional technology tools deployed for political campaigns. An interesting point about using MySpace: "It can definitely be used for recruitment and as a mass communications tool, particularly for younger voters who tend to use email less. The key is to move MySpace friends onto normal advocacy lists as soon as possible.
It will be interesting to see if this advice holds true for the voters of the future based on Dannah Boyd's post "What i mean when i say "email is dead" in reference to teens."Do young people have email accounts? Yes. Do they login to them semi-regularly? Yes. Do they use it as their primary form of asynchronous communication for talking with their friends? No."
RootscampSL got off to a great start the day after election day. Events continue through Nov. 15th including a session on using Machinima to create political and social change videos. There are also events taking place in the real world and Net Tuesday on November 14th will feature Nica Lorber one of the lead organizers.
Check out Nancy White's Second Wave Adoption thats creating waves in the educational technology and nonprofit technology blogosphere. The concept is simple as Nick Booth writes: "Some people really get it and move quickly to innovate in the way they collaborate online. Behind them comes another wave (or wavelet) who are not so keen and are much harder to bring on board." If you have thoughts about Second Wave adoption of Web2.0 tools and nonprofits, be sure to tag 'em with 2ndwave
(And, if you're wondering how Nancy embedded her powerpoint, she did it with SlideShare (more here). Social Networking and Social Media
There's still time to contribute a post to the Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants compilation of Nonprofit Use of Social Networking Tools. Meanwhile Randal Moss gives us some food for thought about turnover in Social Network sites. For some context, check out this timeline of social networking sites from Dannah Boyd.
She describes the overall phase Dutch NGOs are in, concerning the implementation of e-collaboration in their work and how they became enthusiastic. Then she describes the implementation stage of the various new tools that were introduced (ranging from moodle to social bookmarking). How did people start looking for the right tool, how did they approach and convince others and how are they planning for the future? She also presents an overview of the benefits e-collaboration brought to the people who are experimenting with it and the difficulties they encountered in the broadest way.