Posted on November 25th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
History keeps getting itself made, and now and then, regular people get a chance at sharing power. Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms articulated this much more eloquently in Understanding “New Power”.
I'm pretty passionately committed to this for at least the next twenty years, have already been practicing it daily for the last twenty years.
Here's my nerdly take on the thing:
Recently, we saw the British, American, and French revolutions each spread power around to different ends. In the UK and US, we got different forms of representative democracy, but in France, we got some rather unpleasant mob rule, later evolving into representative democracy.
For sure, in the US, democracy is increasingly centralizing toward a moneyed class willing to pay legislatures for results, that's the whole Citizens United thing.
That's also with Heimans and Timms call "old power":
Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.
Previous revolutions aspired to what these guys call "new power" and I'm very hopeful we can get there:
New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.
Power, as British philosopher Bertrand Russell defined it, is simply “the ability to produce intended effects.” Old power and new power produce these effects differently. New power models are enabled by peer coordination and the agency of the crowd—without participation, they are just empty vessels. Old power is enabled by what people or organizations own, know, or control that nobody else does—once old power models lose that, they lose their advantage.
This doesn't say that new power involves no rules, like at the worst of the French Revolution. It's not okay, for example, to "appropriate" (steal) anyone else's stuff. We can, and already do better than that.
Anyone can share in this evolving power by participating, by making a genuine contribution, and there're a lot of ways to do that.
One way that's getting a bit of attention involves a new way to contribute to effective nonprofits, via CrowdRise and #GivingTuesday.
Everyone can pitch in, and work with each other.
This is just a start, helping people in the here and now, and getting ready for lots more.
Are you ready?
Posted on November 24th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Military families shouldn’t have to struggle to find information they need.
MyMilitaryLife, an app by the National Military Family Association, eliminates the stressful search by connecting families with credible and tailored information. With the new Military Spouses Advice feature, spouses can recommend resources and share their expertise.
Users have unique access to advice from fellow military family members. Spouses can also rate resources and provide reviews on programs and services they’ve used. MyMilitaryLife is free for both iPhone and Android devices.
- Customized to-do lists
- Tailored suggestions based on branch of Service, location, and needs
- User rating system for resources
- Advice from fellow military spouses
- Due date reminders
- Notices of new programs
- Emergency phone numbers specific to military family needs
- Social networking features to share information
Please note: If you download this app from a smart phone, it'll take you to the app store or Google Play (depending on the device). If you click from a computer, you'll be redirected to the online version of the app. The only downside to the computer version is that it hasn't been updated with the new feature above.
Regardless if you're in the app or online, you can enter as a guest. As a guest, you can view content, but you've gotta create an account to add content.
Folks, it looks like a good attempt to provide milfams with the resources they need, but we need military spouses and family members to enter info on programs and add reviews for this to be effective.
Posted on November 21st, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Okay, I've gotten a big surge of support in the last few days, like fan mail and social media stuff.
That means a lot to me.
It all relates to two different but related areas:
1. Standing up to find trustworthy news. Like I say, a trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy.
The Trust Project is the pointy end of the spear on the news professional side. Unfortunately, I might fulfill that role on the news consumer side. (I don't like that.)
2. Standing up against untrustworthy reporting attacking my community. My stuff is mostly very quiet, long term, since I'm in way over my head, but I'm committed for at least a twenty year period, and to be relentless. As a nerd, it's hard to learn, and I'm not very patient.
3. People tell me I looked really good and was quite the gentleman. I guess they're right, but I really am a nerd; we don't take compliments well.
But a nerd's gotta do what a nerd's gotta do.
Posted on November 21st, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Folks, I believe that it's really important to give back to our communities. One way to do that is to participate in CrowdRise's #GivingTuesday Holiday Challenge for nonprofits. I'm giving $50K to go toward the winner of the Challenge, and together, with the other donors, there will be $250K in prize money.
CrowdRise has been working hard to make this Challenge and #GivingTuesday bigger then past years. One way they're doing that is by creating a Giving Tower. It's going to be a hologram tower. Each time someone donates, a brick is added to the tower. You can actually download an app and point it at a dollar bill to see how the tower's growing. Here's a little more about it:
The Giving Tower Holiday Challenge is a great way for organizations to rally their supporters, raise money for their cause, drive engagement, get lots of exposure and, most importantly, raise money for their cause (note intentional repetition). The Challenge is friendly fundraising competition launched by craigconnects, Fred and Joanne Wilson, and MacAndrews & Forbes. It's designed to help you raise awareness and lots of money for your year end fundraising.
Here's more about the Challenge this year:
- The Challenge starts on November 25th and there are going to be huge grand prizes, plus lots of Bonus Challenges. The campaign is always amazing and last year, charities rallied to raise over $2.3m for their causes.
- There will be $250,000 in prizes this year. The organization that raises the most will receive a $100,000 donation to their cause. Second place will win $50,000, third $25,000, fourth $10,000 and fifth place will receive a $5,000 donation to their cause.
- There will also be multiple opportunities along the way to get extra cash donations in the form of Bonus Challenges. Folks, we're talking an extra $60,000 in Bonus Challenges.
- The good folks over at CrowdRise are hosting a webinar on November 20th at 3pm ET to walk you through everything about the Challenge, please Click Here to register.
- So far, there's more than 500 charities signed up, and plenty of time for you to sign up, too.
- The Toolkit will tell you everything else you need to know that I may have forgotten.
- Use the hashtag #GivingTower to continue the conversation.
Looking forward to getting this Challenge started, more to come…
Posted on November 20th, 2014 by Craig Newmark
Photo Credit: U.S. Dept of Veteran Affairs
Bottom line: if someone volunteers to risk taking a bullet to protect me, I should stand up and help out.
This might date back to my mid-teens, towards the end of the Vietnam war. I saw returning vets getting treated without respect. At that time, I knew that was wrong, but couldn't articulate it.
Maybe seven years ago, I was at a lunch, sitting next to a guy from the Iraq & Afghanistan Vets of America, IAVA.org. Finally, it clicked in, that this was the right way to support regular people who gave up a lot to protect us, and that includes their families.
Now, I'm on the board of IAVA, and am involved with a lot of vets and military families groups, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (I'm their official nerd-in-residence).
What are some reasons you support vets and military families?