craigconnects.org recently celebrated our first birthday, folks. It seems surreal that it's already been a year! We've worked with so many good orgs and have seen some great stuff happen since March 2011.
A little of what's been going on with craigconnects, and by extension, with me:
• craigconnects launched a three-day grant challenge to support Blue Star Families, The Intrepid Museum, Bob Woodruff Foundation, and IAVA that are working on some good stuff to protect veterans and military families every single day. The winners were determined by the number of donations raised, not by the dollar total. Each donation was counted regardless of the amount. The first prize was of $40K , the second was of $30K, the third was of $20K, and the fourth was of $40K. During this US Veterans and Military Families Grant Challenge, I was able to donate over $100K and an additional 856 donations raised $25K from the great folks working on these issues.
• As a team, we researched, developed, and released three very popular infographics about nonprofits and the trustworthiness of news during election season:
Do People Trust the News During an Election Season?
How the Top 50 Nonprofits Do Social Media
Who Rules Social Media? A Look at social media impact by nonprofit issues
• We teamed up with the American Red Cross in December 2011 to find out what folks thought was the #PerfectGift, on Twitter, in an effort to raise $10K for military comfort kits.
• craigconnects invested $200K in late 2011 in The Center For Public Integrity (CPI) and their factchecking work. It's been a powerful way to further accountability in the media. I like to say that trust is the new black.
• The 2011 investment to CPI enabled them to advance factchecking technology and reinforce factchecking efforts to a large extent, setting the stage for more products, services, and developments in 2012. CPI spent approximately $50K on an effort with News Trust and Fabrice Florin to create a citizen-powered factchecking website called Truth Squad.
• I continue to try to discover which groups are either doing effective, nonpartisan factchecking, or have the potential to do so. This not only includes factchecking itself, but the way good people can keep public figures and news networks honest and transparent. I'm working with really smart people, trying to restore some of that trust.
• I cosponsored a conference at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism investigating the matter of factchecking. I focused on specific efforts that might deliver results, including APM Public Insight Network and FlackCheck.org.
• I met some good folks at the Harvard Berkman Center "Truthiness in Digital Media" conference that I participated in. Given reactions in the press regarding factchecking, the groups involved are moving the needle. It seems that effective efforts will emerge in very near future. Though I'm concerned that these good efforts might be attacked by bad actors with considerable funding and no scruples.
• I've been working with Inveneo to invest in their work in Palestine, where Inveneo is helping to connect youth centers to the Internet across the West Bank.
• craigconnects teamed up with St. Anthony’s Foundation in San Francisco, Chrome Shoes, Planet Sox, and the Veterans Administration during 2011 Veterans Day to ensure that our vets don't walk alone in their struggles.
Hey, I'm a nerd, and I only understand how to do things I just described, treating people like people, and treating people like I'd like to be treated, and I don't really understand when people do otherwise. That's what craigconnects has been about this past year, and that's what's keeping it going, folks. Truth is, a nerd's gotta do what a nerd's gotta do.