social networks

Social networks, or online communities, in the context of civic media work are web sites organized to enable individuals to connect with one another and to share information, photos, videos, and personal reflections.

Facilitative Leadership & Civic Media

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Facilitative Leadership training offered by the Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC).  I took away a fantastic set of insights and processes to use in the various workshops and trainings I do, in addition to better coaching, listening, facilitation and leadership skills.  The two-day training hosted a group of about 15 people at the IISC office in Boston.  The goals were to build our ability to engage the colleagues and communities we work with as partners in creating the change we all want to make. I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the training and its connection to our work here.  If this stuff sounds relevant you should attend their training because it was great!

Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Controlled Interactivity: Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age

Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Controlled Interactivity: Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age
 @profjsg

Notes from Center for Civic Media Lunch, 02/20/14. This is a collaborative live blog by attendees and may contain errors. A video of the talk will be posted soon.  

Jennifer begins by showing a slide: Obama "This person's got his back – share this if you do too."

This particular effort launched during the 2012 campaign around the time that Romney was getting attention as the apparent Republican nominee. They made this meme with the idea that people would change their profile picture to this image.

What does the wealth distribution of crowdfunding look like?

To get noticed as a crowdfunding campaign in 2013, you need to aim high. Three years ago, topping $345,000 would have made you the biggest Kickstarter of all time. In the past year and a half, the platform has gone from zero to fifty-one successful $1M+ campaigns. Long gone (and thankfully so) are the days when simply running a campaign was enough to generate media interest.

A Timeline of Crowdfunding Since 2000

On Monday I gave a talk to MIT's New Economy Group titled "Crowdfunding, Community Assets and the New Economy". One of the first things I presented, by way of context, was this timeline.

It's not meant to be an exhaustive collection of events, but here are a few things I found most interesting and worthwhile to include.

Donors Choose was arguably the first civic crowdfunding platform, although it has never referred to itself in those terms. It took DC ten years to become entirely self-financing.

Do we own part of this? What Obama’s vision of OFA means for crowdfunding

As the field of civic crowdfunding emerges and grows, it is spawning many competing visions of what the field is and where its appeal comes from. Lately I’ve been thinking about questions such as: how much is crowdfunding about community and shared values? How much is it about physical places? How much is it about a desire to participate and feel agency, and how much is it about ownership?

It’s unlikely to be just one of the above, and surely differs across contexts. But there are instances that present one vision over the others. Last week President Obama made a clear appeal to the last category, ownership, by tweeting this image about Organizing for Action.

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 5.09.56 PM

Is Spike Lee Doing The Right Thing by crowdfunding?

Spike Lee by thomas.rome

Spike Lee joins Zach Braff and Rob Ford’s Veronica Mars on the list of celebrities to turn to Kickstarter to fund a project. It now seems that no star is too big — or too cool — to crowdfund. But what does the arrival of big names mean for the future of crowdfunding?

With big names, come big backers: Lee raised $1.4 million, a fifth of which came from 29 backers who each pledged $10,000. One of them was director Steven Soderbergh. Lee’s success at the top end of the funding spectrum is relatively unusual, too: the Braff and Ford campaigns each managed only one backer at that level.

Science + Crowdfunding: match or no match?

Atray is a medical researcher. I’m a journalist by training with a bent for community. We each have roots in different strands of critical analysis. As roommates, we spent hours discussing science, cultural context and how to measure impact. One topic we often returned to is whether science can fit into a crowdfunding model.


Photo
by Scott Beale

Here’s a glimpse into our conversations, remotely stitched together this summer between Houston, Texas and Brooklyn, New York.

Denise Cheng

Atray Dixit -
A Scientist’s Perspective: The Poor Scientists Cap or New Media’s Funding Magnet?

Operations v. Capital

Ethan's Five Questions about Mapping Attention at Links 2013

This is a liveblog of Ethan Zuckerman's keynote at Links 2013. His slides are available online.

Ethan opens by saying that his stock and trade is "the unusual connection." He starts talking about the Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. The museum hasn't changed since it's early collector mentality. The labels actually list the white dude who collected the items rather than their creator. It's still a colonial approach to museums.

He shows a "rebellib" or "stick chart / shell chart" which is a map from the Marshall Islands with shells representing the islands and curved and diagonal lines representing ocean swells. Since the Marshall Islands are scattered across 500-600km. A Marshall Islander around 1900 is going to be in their boat and traveling between the atolls without seeing them over the horizon. You must travel dozens or more kilometers at a time between them. And when you miss the next atoll you die. And bad things happen evolutionarily if you die on the way to the next atoll. There is a need for inter-island "booty calls" to produce the diversity necessary to sustain a population.

Contemporary scientists have gone back and found that these rebbelib are incredibly accurate. And if you check Google Maps, you realize this is an area of the Earth that we have not sufficiently mapped. Google is a decent proxy for interest in an area since the best resolution is based on demand: people's willingness to pay for high resolution images without clouds.

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