Recent Blog Posts


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


Quick jots from session 1

  • When you solve a problem for the most vulnerable, you end up solving it for everyone. (Curb cutouts were designed for people with diabilities, but everytime to wheel your luggage, or push a stroller, or ride a bike, you realize the benefits of this design.)

  • Frame digital divide in terms that lead with real people, and a sense of social justice--don't lead with technology.
  • First we invent our technologies, then we use our te


Continue the conversation with Angela Glover Blackwell

It's 50 short minutes with Angela Glover Blackwell but the issues she brings up -- race and poverty and creating spaces for conversation and demonstrating change -- take much more than 50 minutes.  We can use the session space -- Conversation with Angela Glover Blackwell -- to keep asking questions and try and move the conversation into Next Actions. READ MORE


Two forces impacting the Business Model Revolution

I just submitted this as a question to Dan'l Lewin at the Business Model Revolution session. Included here so others can comment as well.

From my perspective at the CyberInstitute (online information for small businesses in developing countries), there are two major forces impacting the business model revolution.

--ONE-- ICTs, including mobile phones, and now all of Web 2.0, are leading to the empowerment of billions of people. These individuals, who are gaining equality with every click, are now customers that matter to big companies. In the flattening world, listening to the customer is more important than ever, because they are feeling empowered and want to be heard. READ MORE


net2con: Plenary Session - About the Index Cards

After founding computmentor to move nonprofits from the habit of storing important membership  data on index cards towards database use, Daniel Ben-Horin noted that he's proud to be bringing back the index cards for netsquared. Anytime attendees find something interesting to capture, share or discuss - he encourages us to use the cards.

It reminds me to remember the rules of nettiquett - "remember the human" - in our attempts to use technology to better our lives, we must remember that some of the best solutions were those old analog tools we learned about in our first networking experiences. READ MORE