Non-Governmental Imagination


Innovatorz rocked N2Y2
May 29, 2007, 9:28 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Innovatorz guys just rocked the house at N2Y2. Most of the featured projects (including Maps2.0, for which I’m a project champion), have given a generic “here’s what we do” speech. Innovatorz did this crazy skit, and it expressed what they do hilariously. Kudos for them for being creative.

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NetSquared Conference Rideshare?
May 29, 2007, 12:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I know this is last minute, but if anyone is driving from San Francisco to the NetSquared Conference (N2Y2) in San Jose tomorrow?  If so, I’d love a ride.  Anytime between now (1:06am) and 8am tomorrow.

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Help Peter Deitz Raise $10,500 for the Net2 projects
May 21, 2007, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Peter Deitz is trying to raise $500 for each of the 21 NetSquared featured projects ($10,500) in $21 chunks, one buck per project. Help him out, $21 isn’t too much money.

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Anyone else think that Ben Rattray looks like Felix Riebl?
May 12, 2007, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ben Rattray or Felix Reibl?

One is the lead singer for The Cat Empire, and another is the lead singer for change.org.  Crazy, huh?

Ben Rattray or Felix Riebl?



Interplast, Creative Commons and “A Story of Healing”
April 18, 2007, 3:05 am
Filed under: Imagination, Interplast, Media

For months and months I have been working on getting “A Story of Healing” re-released under a Creative Commons license (by-nc-nd). Today it’s official, and the film can be viewed on the Interplast website and blog.

I’ve wanted to do this in part because I thought the Oscar winning hook would give Interplast and CC some publicity, but mainly because I wanted to convince other nonprofit organizations to examine the licenses they give their media. We’re certainly not the first organization to use CC licenses, but if we can give the idea a little more credibility, then we’ll have done a good thing.

The film used to have legitimate commercial value. It ran on PBS stations across the country and we sold copies through Amazon. But the PBS stations lost interest and our Amazon orders dwindled to a trickle.

Then we gave it away to folks at open houses, salon events, etc. Steve Rhodes, a guy I met at a geek party a while back and only re-met last week, suggested I slap a CC license on it and host in online somewhere for free. I thought it was a great idea. After all, we were giving it away for free in person, we couldn’t we do the same online? I pushed the idea through with the hope that a few people who would have otherwise never heard of us might become interested in Interplast and spread the word. Or donate. Or both, preferably.

When I met with one of the Creative Commons guys, I asked if he thought that this was a big deal. After all, we chose the most restrictive license on a film that had lost all commercial value. It’s not exactly The Godfather. He said he thought that because it was an Oscar winner, it was a big deal, and maybe in a few years such a story would be un-newsworthy. Maybe in some small way this event will contribute to making CC licenses more commonplace. Or maybe it’s just two nonprofit organizations collaborating through mutual self-interest with the only real payoff being a couple of links from a few blogs within our respective echo chambers.

Either way, CC and Interplast could both use some more publicity, and hopefully this will allow our work and missions to reach a wider audience. In a few weeks I’ll analyze the results, and see if we got any bump in donations or page views.

If any of you work at or with NGOs who are interested in the ins and outs of convincing the powers that be that CC licenses do not open the floodgates of hell, drop me a line.

I’m show-and-tell-ing the film at the CC salon at Shine in SF tonight (Wed 4/18) from 7-9pm. If you want to see the film on the big screen and/or lob softball questions at me, come on by.

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Vote for cool projects at NetSquared
April 11, 2007, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Donations, Imagination, Resources, social responsibility, Visionaries, Web 2.0

My good friends at NetSquared are doing a really cool project. Lots of projects/ideas/websites that have a social benefit have been submitted, and the top 20 vote-getters get an all-expenses-paid trip to the Net Squared conference in May, where conference participants will dole out $100k to the groups that they decide are worthy.

I feel pretty lucky to have a lot of friends and acquaintances who are doing neat and bootstrappy things. They’re all telling me to vote for their project. I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for or how much time I’ll invest poring over the 120ish projects, but until I figure it out, please vote. Votes are only accepted through April 14.  There sure is lots of talk about changing the world through social tools, and it’s wonderful and rare when someone puts up actual US dollars to back an idea as chosen by a community.

The one thing I will say at this point regarding my vote is that I will not choose projects that already made it big, either in terms of financial sustainability or name recognition. This is an amazing opportunity for the little guys who have no other resources, and I sorta look negatively on the big boys on this list for whom the price of a ticket to the conference is negligible. Ahem.

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Are you at NTC?
April 5, 2007, 1:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m at NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) right now, and tomorrow morning I’m speaking on a panel called “Not your mother’s online fundraising campaign”. We’re gonna try to make it a little contentious and interesting, so if you’re not going to any other breakout sessions here, come in for a chat.

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