Tag: net2uk

It takes 90 minutes a story and a network to change someones life:

Yesterday Beth Kanter tweeted this blog post asking for contributions to help a Cambodia orphan pay her fees and stay at University. She asked us the same question last year and within 24 hours Leng had the $1000 she needed for Leng to do a year. Within a few days enough had been raised to help two people with student fees. This time it took just 90 minutes for Beth’s global online network and the trust we have in her to send Leng back for her final year.

Everything accelerates online!

Other blog posts about this:

Using Social Media for Social Good by Andru Edwards
Live Blog post by Bill’s Blog
An Uncomplicated Kindness at Gnomedex by Lipsticks and Laptops
Gnomedex Goes Bollywood by Dave Delaney
Gnomedex Day 1 by Dave Brezeal
Gnomedex by Jay Cross
Photography and Social Good Are Themes At Gnomedex by Jason Preston
Aftermath of Gnomedex by Stewtopia
RoundUp by CenterNetworks
What you missed at Gnomedex by Kevin Merritt
Using Social Media to Effect Social Change by Dan Risely
Seven Notes about Gnomedex by Kris Krug
Gnomedex, Sarah Lacy and More by Silicon Florist Podcast
From 0 to $2,500 in 90 minutes by Shiney Red Toy
Seven Notes About Gnomedex by Dave Delaney

Groundwork UK, twitter and how about a map for funding applications?


The image above is some of the feedback from asking my friends on twitter how Groundwork might use the service.   The group I was working with were a little surprised (“wow”) by the speed and quality of the input from a network tool like this – so to Laura, Michael, Jon, Dave, Alice, Katie, Paul and Charlotte thank you – even amongst your number there was evident support and affection for the major national community and environmental charity.

The session was a general get-the-juices-flowing-see-whats-possible-start-to-get-your-head-around-whats-out-there 90 mins and to that end I think the one clear factor that emerged was that a bit of rss is needed in Groundwork towers.
The group I was working with manage grants for one of the projects and have to record and evaluate what’s being achieved, so the possibilities of digital media in terms of capturing what happens and starting a conversation about applications etc are self evident.

The conversation that really aroused my interest though hapened at the end once most people had floated away.

What if you use something like google maps to publicly share every single application you get?  You put all of them on the web and tie them to a map.  Green for approved red for rejected.  How will this change the dynamic betwen the grant givers and the apl;licants?  Will such transparency improve the system or weaken it?

It got me thinking about social media and market forces.  My A Level economics teacher frequently told me that a perfect market means everyone has perfect information.  Imagine a market for funding bids where everyone who is applying knows about every aplication that has happened, where they took place, whether they were approved and if not why not.   Could that improve efficiency in the distribution of grants?

The folk in East Anglia might understand that their area is already saturated with approved grants – so seek support from another fund or change their plans.  Groups in Northumberland might see there’s a real opportuntiy because their patch is under represented. Those who write the applications can see exactly what others have been saying so it will give them a realistic level of confidence in their ideas.  Those who hand out the grants can be more easily held to account – or better still the minds of the public can be put to helping them constantly refine and improve their decision making.

Sit around it a conversation about the rights and wrongs of particular grant applications and you can begin (with careful nurturing of the online community) to crowdsource a sense of where people want to see their money being spent.

Now don’t expect Groundwork to do this tomorrow – or even at all.  It is a big cultural leap for any organisation and it may not be that useful or warrant the effort.  This was simply one of those conversations that went deep down into the possibilities and cultural impact of social media.  But I share it as an idea. What do you think?

Crime Mapping from the British Government based on a West Midlands example

Tom Watson , William Perrin and the Power of Information taskforce shows off some mock ups for crime mapping by neighbourhood and the whole social media story makes it onto the Telegraph’s front page with a couple of subsidiary articles – including one mentioning West Midlands Police mapping site.  Practical and political! Crime mapping has been useful tool in the US for a few years now, some of it inspired by tracking gun crime and is seeing growing use in the UK.

Government websites need pavements

A simple summary from Steven L Clift about key ingredients for government websites if they are to help strengthen democracy:

The typical e-government experience is like walking into a barren room
with a small glass window, a singular experience to the exclusion of
other community members. There is no human face, just a one-way process
of paying your taxes, registering for services, browsing the
information that the government chooses to share, or leaving a private
complaint that is never publicly aired. You have no ability to speak
with a person next to you much less address your fellow citizen
browsers as a group. As I’ve said for years, it is ironic that the best
government web-sites are those that collect your taxes, while those
that give you a say on how your taxes are spent are the worst or simply
do not exist.

In summary he says websites should be like streets with places to meet and talk. I suppose Steven means government sites should be social objects in their own right.