Posted on December 8th, 2011 by Craig Newmark
We’re getting to that time of the year when people start thinking about new year's resolutions and plans for the future. I’m making plans for the next steps for craigconnects and how I want to connect people for good in 2012. How do you aspire to change the world in 2012? Folks in the community have all kinds of great ideas to change the world that they are putting into gear in the new year and we can learn from everyone’s thinking.
If this works, I’ll make it a regular Social Good Blog Series with a new topic each time to showcase nonprofit leaders and the best of the submitted content. The new series will also recognize contributors' own websites and blogs.
Here’s the deal
- Write a blog post explaining how you will change the World in 2012
- Your submissions should be about 500 words
- Send me a link to your post by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can submit until Tuesday December 20.
- Tag your post Social Good for 2012 and feel free to link to this post to encourage other people in the community to share their own thoughts.
- You can also join the conversation on Facebook.
We’ll sort through submissions and share the best ideas in a Social Good for 2012 list. We’ll also cross-post a few of our favorites as a guest blog posts on the craigconnects site.
I wanted to do my small part in changing the world in 2011. I began craigconnects this past year to use technology to give the voiceless a real voice and the powerless real power. My goal in changing the world in this small way is to leverage the power of the Internet and social media to identify, connect and empower effective and sustainable nonprofits. What are your goals for changing the world in 2012?
I'm looking forward to hearing what your plans are for the upcoming year!
Posted on December 7th, 2011 by Craig Newmark
Folks, yesterday was my 59th birthday, and I decided to celebrate by asking for a unique kind of gift – a tweet on Twitter about what someone considers the perfect gift this holiday season. Each time someone responds and tweets using the hashtag #perfectgift, I am giving a $1 contribution to the American Red Cross, up to $10,000 to purchase military comfort kits for our troops. It's amazing because 91% of every gift goes to people in need.
Even though the nation is facing an economic downturn for a third straight holiday season, a new Red Cross poll shows that the majority of Americans still plan to maintain strong charitable giving this year. Nearly three in five people plan to donate to charity this holiday season. And the report showed that Americans feel even more strongly that the prolonged economic downturn means they should support their neighbors.
The use of Twitter will help get the word out quickly to the nearly 45,000 followers that I have on @craignewmark and their followers, as well as the followers of the @RedCross. The hashtag #perfectgift will help me to track the results so I can determine how much to donate. I am also promoting the campaign on Facebook and here at craigconnects, but the actual donations have to happen via Twitter so that they can be tracked. The campaign will run through the end of December.
The more people like you who participate, the more we can help our troops. Please also check out the American Red Cross’s 2011 Holiday Giving Catalog, which has 25 symbolic gifts representing all Red Cross services that can be purchased in the name of a loved one during the holiday season. Donations can provide food and shelter to a victim of a disaster, purchase phone cards and personal items for a member of the armed forces, or help supply basic necessities to families in desperate need in countries across the world.
For my birthday, and this holiday season, I hope folks will help tell me what they think the perfect gift is, for themselves or to give someone else by tweeting the hashtag #perfectgift.
Posted on November 30th, 2011 by Craig Newmark
Photo by St. Anthony Foundation
I got a letter from Karl Robillard at St. Anthony's recently, and wanted to share what he had to say:
"I want to send one final thank you to all of you for making Veterans Day at St. A's a big success. I also want to say thank you to Taylor, our photographer, and Dolores, our event organizer here at St. A's. Most importantly, the veterans who received new shoes and socks felt appreciated and thanked for their service. We did end up getting Channel Two to cover the event after we gave away the last pair of shoes. Thankfully, there were many veterans in the dining room sporting their new shoes who they were able to interview.
When Fr. Alfred opened the St. Anthony dining room on October 4th, 1950, he relied on the strong support from the community to step up and give to those less fortunate. That support is still alive and well today, 61 years later."
I teamed up with St. Anthony’s, Chrome Shoes, Planet Sox, and the Veterans Administration this Veterans Day to ensure that our veterans do not walk alone in their struggles. Find out what one veteran had to say in the St. Anthony's blog about the event, and check out the great photos.
Posted on November 28th, 2011 by Craig Newmark
Recently, Jeff Jarvis at the City University of NY held an event on restoring factchecking to the news business. He did a really good job getting a bunch of players in this arena to play well together.
Special thanks also the to the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. (My contribution has been overstated, mostly prompting the event and tagging it as #factfest.)
Here's my very brief attempt at getting my head around what happened and what's happening with big deal factchecking. I'm biased, mostly wanting to have news again that I can trust, while figuring that I'm not in the news business and I'm not going to tell people how to do their job.
I'm subject to confirmation bias as well, wanting to see what I hope's happening. Politically, I'm what I call a "libertarian pragmatist."
1. Most people also want news they can trust again. That's true of most journalists, but most find that their publishers find factchecking too lengthy and expensive. It's like most publishers feel that if everyone else is cheating, it's okay for them to cheat.
2. Specifically, people want news and opinion to be factchecked, that is, evidence and reality based. Even pundits should operate on the evidence.
3. There already exist independent networks of factcheckers: at politifact.com, factcheck.org, and sunlightfoundation.com. There are also partisan "factcheckers," some of which operate in good faith, and some which deliberately seek to deceive.
4. There's no large scale successful network of citizen factcheckers or contributors to factchecking. However, American Public Media's Public Insight Network already succeeds as a sizable, funded, effective network of citizens which contribute to real journalism. In the near future, they plan to become a citizen factchecking network, directly working with the Center for Public Integrity. Also, the folks at Hypothes.is seek to build a large peer review network, focused on people with specific expertise, and this might get big.
5. Current software research may result in systems to help factchecking, but not in the current time frame.
6. My take: in the near term we can build a network of networks of factcheckers, both professional and citizen. This requires a little standardization of the way each factchecking database represents factchecks, whether of statements, public figures (mostly politicians), and pundits. That is, each factchecking database would respond to a query in a standard format, and return a verdict and a link to the reasoning behind that verdict. The devil's in the details, for example, a search regarding a statement would need to recognize different versions and phrasing of a particular statement.
7. News sites would need a means to indicate which statements, public figures, or pundits which have been factchecked. The indicator could be a widget, which when clicked, queries the database, or it could be pre-populated. It could also take the form of "truth goggles," a project of the MIT Media Lab, where a cursor placed over a statement would display the results of factchecking.
8. The widget or truth goggle could also be used to request factchecking. Either technique would be enhanced by browser plugins which might automatically scan text or video for previous factchecking.
9. Alternatively, in real-time video interviewing, the database could be checked quickly. For example, if an interviewer suspects the interview subject is misstating facts, a control room operator could quickly search factchecking database.
10. News outlets which used these tools for factchecking would become regarded as trustworthy. The others, well, not so much.
Okay, I've been living with this a long time, and trying too hard to be concise; both mean I'm being unclear or glossing over detail.
However, this is the biggest thing I might help with in my life, and feel that I need to say something and move the effort ahead.
[photo by Fabrice Florin at the factchecking conference]
Posted on November 26th, 2011 by Craig Newmark
Recently, two groups that really help families and vets held fundraisers, and I attended parts of both.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation featured Jon Stewart as emcee, they vet and fund a growing network of nonprofits that help out directly.
The Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America advocates and provides lots of support for vets. (I'm on their board.)
Here we see Stephen Colbert accepting a civilian work award for his support for vets.