Recent Blog Posts


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


Making the Most of Disruption

Live blogging the session - will clean it up later ..

The session

We invent our technologies and then use the technoligies to reinvent ourselves, our communities, and our cultures.

Lucy: What's the next disruption?

HR:  Made a list

Katrina People Finder
Immigration Demonstrations - youth demonstrations in Los Angeles organized through myspace. 
Open Source
Omyidar/Skoll trying to reinvent philthran
Scars epidemic
Toyota's lateral network building READ MORE


Questions on Angela Glover Blackwell's talk

Angela Glover Blackwell spoke about new and vital participation that is happening in civic processes.

On participation:

  1. what are the terms and boundaries of participation (how is participation managed, how is it open?)
  2. Can participants define the extent of their participation? What defines the extent of opportunities for participation?
  3. Who participates, who doesn't
  4. what is the difference between meaningful and meaningless participation?
  5. what policies are in place or proposed for inclusivity and full and representative participation?



net2con: Making the Most of Disruption

Speaking of disruption - here's a powerful statement-

 First we invent our technologies, then we use our technologies to reinvent ourselves.

-Paul Saffo 

It has the ring of sci-fi to it, but is absolutely true for society. I would add that in most every case, these technologies change us in ways that we never expect or plan for.

One more powerful message: 

If newspapers are the first draft of history, then blogs are the scratch pads of history.... 

Interesting point about the use of social networking tools for abuse/misuse of influence.  READ MORE