Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Boot Camp on New Media

Volunteers Charles and Monique in our Franklin Area Climate Team were intrigued by Steve Sherlock's quick intro to many cool ideas, tips and tools available for non-profits working on social change. After our meeting, they asked for some more info on some of the tech topics we heard about tonight... Steve blogs about civic issues in the Town of Franklin, Massachusetts, and on a number of personal interests as well. He's volunteered to help FACT maximize its online visibility as we work toward local events on October 24th for the international 350 Teach-In.

On the way out of the meeting, Charles began to put some of the new media concepts together with his own concerns about health care, politics and delivery of information... he's on his way! He asked for some links to sources I've explored over the past three years on my own voyage of discovery into new media and social networking. Others may find this short list helpful, so here it is... please comment and add more links!

Grass Roots Use of Technology conference, sponsored by Organizer's Collaborative, a group I joined after attending in 2006. This year's GRUT will be at Northeastern this year, October 17th, 2009.

Usually OC posts presentations from the past conference, but so far I don't see them on their new site.

One of the interesting thinkers I first met at GRUT is Alison Fine. Alison has published a lot about the new media implications & ramifications that Charles is picking up on. Her blog is good and she also does a monthly podcast called "social good." Her latest book is called "Momentum: igniting social change."

For an introduction to how some people are USING all of this stuff "out of the box" check out "The Action Mill" and co-founder Nick Jehlen... a video of one of Nick's presentation at a past GRUT is now on line at Action Mill. They have a good blog that also is loaded with info on what they're up to. Lots of meat here!

In the parking lot, Charles and I started talking about the Obama Campaign as an example of a modern political campaign that was based on direct contact with the voter, outside the bounds of white male powere structure; the idea of power at the edge rather than at the so-called center of society. For more on the concept of "pushing power to the edges" see Network Centric Advocacy.

The 2005 report which coined the concept of pushing power to the people through technology (I believe) is at this link; Well worth reading.

Another superb source for latest info on how people use the web in a democracy, check out the Pew Center for the Internet and American Life.

Happy reading!

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