Tis the Season to Give Back

crowdrise

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…

Oh, The Places You’ll Go (a snapshot rendition of my travels)

Just like a lot of people, I’ve been playing with photography, some using a serious camera, some using my phone camera, then applying filtering.

Here’s some stuff the Mrs and I did, hope you like it!

A bridge…

14 - 1

Another bridge:

20140510_121248

A tower, with reminder:

20140517_170851

Rooftops of New York:20140604_194644~2

New York dawn:20140628_050559

 Birds of the Lower East Side: 0727141637-EFFECTS

Gum trees of Cole Valley:
0824141031-EFFECTS

A view of Aspen:0806140821-EFFECTS

New York in the rain:0916141057-EFFECTS

Fortnight Lilies:
1012141352-EFFECTS

Sunrise in Cole Valley Heights:p1000074

Another view of San Francisco:
p1000130

[super] moon over Cole Valley, recently… p1010369

Any of these places look familiar to you? And more over on my Pinterest board

3 Powerful Social Media Leaders of the Past

On the Internet we continue an old tradition of social media, pioneered in the Roman Republic. I look at the social media leaders in the past who were good at doing things. They really paved the way for what’s happening today with technology. The Internet and social media have been a way to give a real voice to the voiceless and real power to the powerless. It’s created a space for citizen journalism.

If we look back, we’ll realize that there were many powerful social media leaders of the past, for example:luther

1. Julius Caesar was an early blogger, even though it was very low tech.

Looks to me that Julius Caesar was not only a blogger re: the conquest of Gaul, but he kinda invented journalism in its most literal sense.

2. It got a little better with Martin Luther, who decided to use an evolved form of the same network. He got pretty good, blogging on a church blog. Luther blogged his way to major religious and social change.

Of course Luther was assisted by this printing press thing – and this evolved in the Twitter revolution of 1688. He used the efforts of a nerd, a guy Johannes Gutenberg, to great effect. (Gutenberg got great stuff done, but it was Luther who got big stuff done.)

3. John Locke, the one who lived in 1688, not the John Locke in Lost. Good show, but you could only understand it if you knew a lot about quantum physics. I know a lot of you want to hear it more about quantum physics, but more later… Just be glad I’m not going on a Game of Thrones rant.

(I’d like to credit two books for much of this: Tom Standage’s The Writing on the Wall and Jeff Jarvis’ Gutenberg the Geek.)

You can’t make change from the top down. The president’s the most powerful person in the world, but not that powerful. What’s powerful is when people in the trenches work together to get things done, and that’s what makes a difference.

My deal is to try to get folks to work together. It’s important to give a voice to people who never had one, and then to share their work. My stuff to date gives me a bit of a bully pulpit that I don’t need for myself. However, I use it on a daily basis to get the word out on behalf other others.

My joke, occasionally tweeted, is that I retweet a lot because 1) it’s good to share, and 2) it spares me the burden of original thought. Well, #2 has some truth to it, but #1 is the big deal for me.

Why Trustworthy News Should Matter More

factcheckWe’re living in a society where trustworthy news should matter more than it seems to. As I’ve been saying, the press should be the immune system of democracy, and needs to fulfill that role again.

And just a reminder that factchecking efforts only have value, it’s felt, if:

  • Misinformation is corrected, in a way that doesn’t reinforce the lie.
  • Any involved news outlets are encouraged to avoid promoting misinformation.
  • Regular people, the broad citizenry, have the means to easily help media correct misinformation and encourage news outlets to restore factchecking.

More to come, and soon…

La Vida Craigbert

Craigbert colorCraigbert, or a really accurate portrait

During my IBM and Charles Schwab years (1976-95) I lived La Vida Dilbert [dilbert.com], seriously hardcore.

Dilbert really captures the truth of much corporate life, and does so perfectly from the software worker’s perspective. It’s also a brilliant commentary on organizational behavior.

Personally, I have to always commit to the Dilbert attitude, that things can be better, and that can be very trying when I spend time in Washington or in the nonprofit world.

It’d be too easy to lose hope, and then to work the system much like Wally, or many of the lobbyists of K Street. (There are genuine public service lobbyists, but not a lot.)

Anyway, Scott Adams lives in the Bay Area, not far away, and I tremendously appreciate what he does. I read Dilbert each and every day, not only new strips, online, but on paper.

Scott, thanks!

8 Things Only a Nerd With an Appreciation for Nature Will Understand

  1. Craig and the Mrs are ok with our four 2am visitors…they hang out in the birdbath that the pigeons dominate in the day.
    coons
  2. It’s imperative to photograph home office visitors. A recent visitor to my home office, right from The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill….
    parrot
  3. Always use the Squirrel-resistant Suet Palace, or risk full takeover from the squirrels. (note to self: refill the Palace)
  4. New bird alerts are included in my list of important news. For example, recently spotted a Swift, possible a Vaux’s. Will assign spouse to get a photo.
  5. Home cooking at Eileen and Craig’s place:
    home cooking
  6. So, I’m walking through Union Square, and I see this hawk flying to the roof of a clothes store, and the hawk is helping the city with its rat problem, if you know what I mean…
  7. You don’t need a rainmaker when you have this sorta backyard:
  8. Some days spent working to identify the Cole Valley mystery tree! Could be New Zealand Christmas Tree or maybe Red Flowering Gum. Do you know? Thanks!
    mystery

 

A reminder: if the photo’s a good one, probably taken by Mrs Newmark

A Lizard In The Security Shed

Hey, here’s a short audio clip, recorded by the EK-FM Radio Presenter, Nancy Sungu, in Kenya. For the past 8 weeks, EK-FM has been off-air due to maintenance issues (in fact, a lizard got into their security shed and fried their transmitter!). The silent air-waves caused much upset in the community.

In the interview, Diana Akinyi, a small-scale farmer on Mfangano Island, explains the impact of EK-FM. Each week she listens to the farmer’s voice radio hour to get up-to-date information on local farming practices. While the radio was off-air getting repaired she missed out!

Diana on the Impact of EK Radio:

kr

The good news? The transmitter was just returned to the Island last week. And because EK-FM won a 1st place prize award in the Big Ideas at Berkeley competition, they were granted $8K to do a solar upgrade to increase broadcast hours from 5 hours a day to 12 hours a day. This is the real deal.

kr

Travel Tips, Inspired By Misadventures

Okay, you already know about useful sites like TripAdvisor and SeatGuru, and you’re doing your best to accumulate and use frequent-flier points. Here are some tips to cover the other stuff, inspired partly by my own misadventures.

The context for these tips is that I travel for public service and philanthropy, not business; I haven’t been in craigslist management since 2000. (I hear that people travel for “pleasure” or on “vacation,” which I understand are mythological concepts.)

Store everything online. Anything that has to be local, encrypt. Act as if you could lose your laptop anytime. Recently, I cleverly left my backpack in the cab taking me from airport to hotel, containing my laptop and medicines. The latter includes thyroid medicine, since I need it daily or I WILL DIE. (Slight exaggeration.)

As for forgetting the laptop, that’s expensive, but I keep very little data locally (anything sensitive is elsewhere). Worst that could happen is that someone would learn my terrible taste in music and books…

Learn to do pretty much everything on the phone. Seriously, I can do almost all of my work on a smartphone, though some tasks are much easier on a laptop. Regarding your phone, store everything online. Accept that your terrible taste in music and books will become public. Always carry your phone in a pocket or somehow attached to you. For male humans, if the pocket thing doesn’t work for you, learn to love the “murse.” May have begun with Seinfeld…

Before you get to the airport, or inflight with Wi-Fi, check out your flight status. Now and then, I get a flight canceled with little notice. Sometimes that happens when I’m in flight, and my connecting flight is the problem. I use flightstats, which also seems to have the most current ETA. Even if you’re at the airport, and they ask you to line up for customer service to get a flight, get on the phone while you’re in the line.

Do good while traveling. Sometimes hotels don’t have a preventive maintenance program, and you encounter a problem with facilities like the shower or A/C. Even if you’ll be there one day and have to deal with it once, call hotel engineering anyway. (The next guest won’t have to deal with it and will never know you helped, but do it anyway.) While you’re at it, bring an extra charger and cable, and loan it or give it away to someone who forgot theirs.

If you happen to mix business with pleasure, be prepared to dodge drool.

Sometimes, I’ll take a side trip and wind up in a family way. Pictured is the #20 nephew, aka The Kumquat. He’s the one (visibly) drooling.

Oh, and if you’re possibly getting married, and it’s possible that they might have a chair dance planned for you, I recommend scotch.

Photo: creative commons licensed (BY-ND) flickr photo by ♔ Georgie R; selfie with Billy the baby

Is There Such a Thing As Online Privacy?

Folks, do you think that online privacy really exists?

This is what we tried to find out when we surveyed 1,007 Americans. Rad Campaign, Lincoln Parks Strategy, and infographicI teamed up to uncover experiences and views about online privacy. We took the results and created an infographic to share with you.

This is the second portion of data from the poll to be released. Last month, we released an infographic showing that about half of Americans under 35 have been bullied, harassed, or threatened online, or know someone who has.

Here’s a snapshot of what the Online Privacy survey revealed:

  • 74 % of Americans are either very or somewhat concerned about having too much personal information about them online.
  • On average, those surveyed believe that 64% of Americans have too much personal information about themselves online.
  •  People under 35 have more trust in social media sites than any other age demographic.
  • 70% are certain or think it’s very likely that social networks collect personal data such as interests, political affiliation, purchase habits, and what content is clicked, and then sell that data to advertisers to target ads and/or content at them.

privacy laws

If Internet users are so concerned about their privacy, do they read the terms of service (TOS)?

  • 66% either just click the agree box without reading any of the TOS, or skim through the TOS then click agree.
  • Only 17% carefully read the TOS before agreeing.
  • More college grads (27%) than non-college grads (18%) just click agree without reading.

The way I see it, more people need to read the TOS before signing up for these sites so they understand what kinds of data they’re giving to these platforms.  Stronger privacy laws could be useful too.

Folks, are you concerned about your online privacy? And if so, what are you doing about it?

Check out the full infographic and data here.

 

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