Recent Blog Posts


Net2Con: Conference Opening Challenge

How can you adapt technology to accelerate social action?

The conference stage was set by contextualizing our efforts as existing at a unique time in the evolution of technology.  Daniel Ben-Horin made the case that we are in the midst of a market shock within technology.  This shock was characterized as a shift from mass markets to technologies with their focal point on enabling individual people.  He spoke of a prior phase where organizations were concerned with getting stuff (equipment for basic infrastructure).  He sees this changing in favor of means to outfit people to more effectively collaborate.  READ MORE


Gabbly Channel Hack

So several NetSquared sessions are running using Gabbly.  That's great for me (believe it or not, I don't have an IRC client at my fingertips), and I also figured out how to create a chat room on the fly for further random conversations.  Just set up a Gabbly page on any URL - obviously, you probably want to use a NetSquared URL if talking about this conference.  See the example below:

Unfortunatley, Gabbly doesn't seem to support private messages.  Any ideas?  (Yes, besides, downloading an IRC client....  ;-)) READ MORE


Notes from Citizen Journalist talk in progress

Dan Gillmor

-- recovering journalist from the mass media
-- best reporting being done on Guanatanamo is being done by the ACLU -- mainstream media used to do
-- mass media is trying to co-opt, but can't suppress, because the barrier to entry is zero.

Democratized media that we can all participate in

  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Access

We now have a Read and Write web

Everybody can be a media producer
Pentagon is now doing podcasts

Convergence of media

Journalism has been a lecture, is turning into a conversation. READ MORE


At what point does Grass Roots + Personal Media = Social Change?

When we talk about how the opportunity for "grass roots" media use do we need to be more specific about what is possible? Doesn’t "grass roots" mean more than personal media makers? Doesn’t it imply collective action? We need more than media in the hands of thousands of people. Where is the mobilizing spark? How do we flick the Bic (lighter) and light the fire for colelctive ation and social change?



Net2Con: Opening Session

Large grey-green room with low ceilings and small flying saucer light fixtures.  I am in the back with the bloggers, of which there are many, many.  The Immoderator, Daniel Ben Horin, President and CEO of CompuMentor,  interviewing Angela Glover Blackwell, founder of PolicyLink and former Rockefeller Foundation VP, are flanked by two large screens with NetSquared in orange letters. LinkTV is filming the event from a single camera in the middle of the room.  Angela Glover Blackwell is  a striking African-American woman, articulate, self-assured, and broadly knowledgeable…a very good choice to open the conference. READ MORE


Net2Con: Different kinds of elites (and different kinds of elitism)

In his NetSquared presentation with Howard Rheingold, Paul Saffo said that social movements, online and otherwise, "need elites" in order to effect change.

At first, this struck me as a popular myth — that social movements never accomplish things through activism alone — when in fact that's been pretty spectacularly disproven.

But then Paul continued, and said that what he meant was "thought leaders" like Dr. King — an instructive example, since his oratories and marches were supported by a network of churches and supporters and specific strategic planning that made his leadership possible. Read on... READ MORE


obstacle to Active Citizen Participation in developing countries

Some of the problems NGOs must address in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, : 

1. Lack of knowledge on how to use technologies

2. Culture of secrecy

3. lack of participating/civic/democratic culture 

4. lack of trust in institutions

5. access to techology is expensive, digital divide  READ MORE


We need to worry about Congress

The intersection of technology and capitalism is the primary reason that we will continue have to work uphill to protect open access and free speech no matter what technology we are talking about. Indeed, we must remain vigilant. It is not the companies who created a new set of policies (1996 Telecom Act) that threatens access and open source -- it is CONGRESS. And we have to fight first against the undue influence telecomm companies have over Congress through CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. What do we have in response? PEOPLE POWER. So sure, we need though leaders, but we need to MOBILIZE PEOPLE POWER in defense of our consitutional rights in the "information age". READ MORE


Live Blogging the Key Note at Netsquared

Identity Woman got excited when Angela Glover urged to get involved with policy - particularly around data exchange standards.


Live blogging disclaimers apply - typos, missed words, etc. 

Daniel Ben Horrin welcomed everyone.

The possibilities ...

We get excited about every new gadget and widget.  A field that tends to overestimate the importance of what happening now and underestimate the future.

We feel there is a sea change hapenning.   Nonprofits need stuff.  We got in the business of helping nonprofits get their technology assets.  What we think is going on now.  The emphasis has moved from stuff to people.  It has moved from what npos have the least us - money and moved towards communities.  This presents an opportunity to use technology in a transformative way. READ MORE