Why I speak ONLY for myself

Hey, recently I’ve made a point of reminding people that I haven’t been a spokesman for craigslist, or had any role in management since 2000.

My deal is that, as a manager, I kinda suck, but I found my calling in customer service, and every day I saw how we helped people put food on the table and put a roof over that table.

Customer service is a big part of what inspires me; also consider that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”(Martin Luther King Jr.)

For a few years now (time flies!) I’ve been working on public service and philanthropy under the craigconnects.org umbrella.

In the short term, I have a few causes I believe in and support a number of organizations who are good at getting stuff done for those causes.

In the long term, over a twenty year period say, my goal is to connect people everywhere, to support the stuff *they* believe in.

People often know me as the founder of craigslist, but these days I’m on my own public service mission. So, thoughts I share publicly here (or anywhere else) are my own, and I speak only for myself.

That way craigslist and its users won’t (or at least shouldn’t) get blamed for anything I say or do.

 

The Road to Hell’s Paved With Good Intentions

Hey, recently I wrote a blog post outlining some of my philosophies, and mentioned that there was more to come. I figure I should follow through.

On Time Management and Effectiveness – 

When I think about effective orgs, I ask, do they have the ability to actually get things done? Because that’s not true of a lot of nonprofits or other well intentioned people or groups.

A lot have good intentions, but there’s a saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It’s important to mean well, but also have the ability to get stuff done.

Cole Valley update, by the wife...
Cole Valley update, by the wife…

Let’s say if an org smells good, in that direction, then I turn to the people who actually know stuff, the team around me. I may have some inclination that a group can get stuff done, but I’m not a nonprofit expert.

When looking for effectiveness, I look for people’s ability to conduct themselves briefly and well. If you can articulate what you’re about in 45 seconds or less, then I’m more generous time-wise and I try to be a nicer person. But anyone you want resources from will be judging you based on how well you can articulate yourself.

On Passion and My Sunset Years- 

I’m kind of tired of passion, especially as I enter my sunset years. But the deal is, you really want commitment from people. You want the excitement, but then they need to follow through. Following through is the hard part, and that’s what I look for.

In addition to passion or excitement, I’m looking for commitment. People can get excited about something, realize it’s hard, then that passion might not count for anything.

By the way, when I talk about the sunset years, I’m not far from claiming my AARP discount. I’m not kidding as much as you think I am.

Your Ideas to End Online Harassment

Hey, I’ve been reaching out to my networks to crowdsource ways to end online harassment after the release of the Online Harassment Infographic that revealed that 25% of harassmentAmerican adults have been bullied, threatened, or harassed online, or know someone who has.

The first step toward dealing with unacceptable behavior is to understand the problem, then we can get rid of it. To that end, I’ve been asking people on the ground what we can do to get rid of this problem.

We got lots of good responses, and I’m including some of them here:

“Trolls generally shut down their online accounts because they don’t like being trolled themselves. Internet anonymity should not give people the right to attack others in a way they never would do in real life, so outing them seems like the best option!” – JeriAnn Graves

“Unplug, walk away, use a pseudonym, increase your privacy controls… All of these are perfectly viable solutions to online harassment. Control what information is available online, and you control the harassers. That said, I really think Facebook needs to tighten up on its privacy settings. I don’t want to appear on search results, I don’t want pictures of me showing up anywhere, and I certainly don’t want jerks I knew from high school to be able to contact me.” – Cameron Barker: Mild-Mannered Salesman by Day, Happily Cynical Writer by Night

In response to Cameron,

Kelly Diels Rostant, Online Marketing Manager at Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, said:
“Telling the people who receive this kind of treatment to unplug or walk away allows the people doing the harassing to win. They’ve effectively silenced their targets.”

“I think we all need to stop thinking of this as someone else’s problem. If you see someone being harassed, lend your voice in censure. If you don’t like the way someone speaks to you, tell them so and assert your right to be respected. Bullies’ power comes from fear and avoidance and from people looking the other way, or being glad it’s not them. Let’s take away their power by being clear that the way they behave is not acceptable, and teach our children to do the same.” – Claire Weatherston, Communication and Events Coordinator at Western State College of Law

“Treat others the way you wish to be treated yourself.” – Anthony Simonetti, Marketing Communications at New Horizons, Six Sigma Green Belt

“Trustcloud (crowd sourcing) is a solution to end harrasment from the web. It is as easy as being prompting upon accepting/making a connection, making friends/accepting friend request or being followed/following a person the user gets a trust score of the requesting person/relevant person.” – Zorays Khalid

“DO use decoy selections in report abuse forms, but keep it simple: ‘This is annoying’ vs ‘this is dangerous’ can be differentiated.” – Aria Stewart

no-harassment“Opening a police file when there is harassment can also signal that their actions will be met head-on, and hiding behind technology is no longer going to work for them but against them.”
– Darlene Rudolph, PMP

“LinkedIn should remove the anonymous views option which, in my view, provides cover for those who may be into sleuthing, creeping, and other cowardly bully-like behaviors.”
– Susan Howes, CTDP, Senior Business Analyst, Workplace Learning Specialist

“Surely there’s a startup in the valley somewhere working on a way to monetize kindness?”
– Jubal Ince, Talent Community Advisor at Workday

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. Works every time.” – Christine Wilinsky, Legal Document Preparation and Writing Services

“I think we need to stop looking upon the internet as being somehow at fault for all the bad things that can happen on it. It’s the people on the internet that are the problem, not the tool itself. So my answer to the original headline question is – first stop harassment in the offline world and the problem will be solved.” – Patrick Moran

“Too often intent is only ‘proven’ after the harasser has already harmed/ killed the harassed. I think harassment should be called out and dealt with, otherwise all of us are just consenting to that kind of behavior with silence – not cool.” – Ida Wepener, Technical writer at Laragh Courseware

“I would recommend the following: Ignore inappropriate messages- avoid receiving anonymous or unrecognized calls –report the in-person harassment to the authorities if the harasser leaves you no choice – have the communication terminated by the network to save time, self respect and appreciation-turn to your friends or your companion for support and understanding – remember it’s not your fault –try not to blame yourself-get out of the vicious cycle a.s.a.p.” – Dimitra Tatuli, counseling and psychotherapy

 

Which of these suggestions resonates with you? I want to continue working on these efforts, so please let me know other ideas you have to end online harassment. More to  come…

Big News: Over $345K Raised for America’s Heroes

Hey, big news just in time for Independence Day! We just raised $346,438 for America’s Heroes during the Veterans Charity Challenge 2. The organizations raised $296,438 online. Another $5,265 was raised offline, and I gave $50,000 to support these Veterans, Military Families, Police, and Firefighter organizations.

final

winners

A total of 94 teams signed up. All of ’em were the real deal. Folks, I can’t thank you enough for all the good work you’re doing.

  • The grand prize winner of $20K is Warrior Canine Connection (WCC), which raised $74,687 for training therapeutic service dogs. WCC utilizes clinically based Canine Connection Therapy to empower returning combat Veterans who have sustained physical and psychological wounds while in service to our country. This is WCC’s second time coming in first place.
  • 2nd place winner of $10K is Dogs on Deployment, which raised $32,800 to give military members peace of mind concerning their pets during their service commitments by providing them with the ability to find people and resources able to help them.
  • 3rd place winner of $5K is Leave No Veteran Behind (LNVB), which raised $26,528 for their innovative educational debt relief scholarship, community service, employment training, and job placement programs. LNVB invests in heroes who have honorably served our nation and seek to continue their service as productive citizens in their communities. Last year LNVB came in 2nd place.

It was really close in the end, and an exciting finish. Our team was able to call and chat with (or leave messages for) each of the big winners, and really thank them for all they’re doing for our service members and their families. I figure if someone’s willing to risk their life for me, this is the least I can do to give back…

Over the course of the Challenge, there were 6 Bonus Challenges, and we had 13 teams win.

  • Bonus Challenge #5,  get the greatest number of individual donors this week: Warrior Canine Connection won $2500.
  • Bonus Challenge #6, the first 5 charities to get 5 donations this week: Things We Read won $2K.

I’ll be interviewing some of the winners in the coming weeks…more to come…

If you didn’t give during the Challenge, you can still give now. And it’s a great way to honor our heroes for Independence Day, and really, every day.

Did you participate in the Veterans Charity Challenge 2? I’d like to hear your feedback. And again, congrats to all those orgs who really have their boots on the ground making a difference for our heroes.

Just a few more days to help out America’s heroes

Hey, there are just a few days left in Veterans Charity Challenge 2 and we’re raising money to help out folks who are risking their lives for us, and their families. We need your help. I figure, the least we can do is give back. These charities do some really innovative work to support vets, and other American heroes.

If you want to help these orgs out that’re supporting veterans, police officers, military families, and firefighters, now’s your chance to give to the nonprofit of your choice. Over $225,700 has already been raised for causes that are the real deal, but with the important work they’re doing, they can use as much help as we’re able to give.

so far

Folks, a few reasons you should support this Challenge:

  • All money raised goes directly to organizations supporting veterans, military families, police, and firefighters.
  • The participating nonprofits are doing good work, for example:
    • Some orgs are helping to take care of military member’s pets,
    • Others provide educational and employment services to vets who face economic hardship,
    • A few are raising the money to provide scholarships to kids of milfams,
    • Others train service dogs for returning veterans,
    • Some of the money raised will go toward providing mentors to women vets looking for jobs,
    • And a few orgs are providing books overseas. There’s so many more causes you can give to over on CrowdRise, too.
  • With your support, these organizations will have the opportunity to win the prize money awarded to first ($20k), second ($10k), and third place ($5k). But, hey, please remember that even if the org you support doesn’t end up coming in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place, they’ll still keep all the money they raise.

Email CrowdRise with all questions and they’ll be ready with great customer service.

Thanks from the Chief Nerd

Hey, everyone, my team and I’ve been reading everything you’ve kindly posted in response to my updates and posts.craig

My natural, nerdly, inclination is to respond to all, but that doesn’t work, and my focus must be to get good work done.

That work is mostly craigslist customer service, public service, and philanthropy. In my gut, they’re all party of the same thing, the same mission. We articulate that on craigconnects.org.

(Reminder: I haven’t been a company spokesman or in management since 2000.)

Seriously, my team, people smarter than me, and I, we’re listening, and what you say affects the trajectory of our work.

If you feel we miss something, please tell us via craigconnects.org/connect, or if you really want, I’m personally at craig@craigslist.org.

The team I mention?

the team

Otherwise known as:

  • Jonathan Bernstein, principal advisor and consigliere, and Army vet
  • Bruce Bonafede, media relations
  • Susan Nesbitt, nonprofit org expert
  • Allyson Kapin and Justyn Hintze, Rad Campaign, social media
  • Nora Rubinoff, admin guru
  • Mrs Newmark

Thanks for everything, I really value that!

 

4 conferences doing it right

Hey, there’s a lot coming up in terms of conferences this year. A lot of social change events, innovation get togethers, and ways for groups to get together and really make a difference.

image

Here are some conferences that are coming up this year, with an excerpt of their description. You should check them out, if you’re able:

Nonprofit 2.0 – June 26 in Washington, DC. 

Nonprofit 2.0’s more than just a conference on the next generation web. It’s a next generation conference in format. NonProfit 2.0 features sessions led by the most innovative nonprofit campaigners, thought leaders, and strategists in the space.

It’ll be done in an unconference way with no PowerPoint, 15 minute leads for keynotes (folks, I’ll be keynoting this with Majora Carter and Michael Smith), and open questions and dialogue for fantastic conversations. Then from mid-morning forward, NonProfit 2.0 shifts into a full-on Unconference with DC’s brightest minds strategizing for social good.

Summit on Social Media and Online Giving – July 1-2 in New Delhi, India.

This Summit is GlobalGiving’s first two-day, in-person event designed to equip organizations with knowledge, skills and resources to engage supporters and raise funds online. This Summit’s produced in partnership with Social Media for Nonprofits, the premiere global event series on social media for social good.

The 2014 Summit on Social Media & Online Giving will bring together fundraising practitioners from India and South Asia to learn how other organizations are using online tools and social media like email, Facebook, and GlobalGiving to tackle their funding needs and collaborate to find ways to further their causes online.

Through panel discussions and hands-on workshops, organizations will explore:

    • The latest trends in online giving;
    • The future of corporate social responsibility in India;
    • Best practices in storytelling, donor engagement, campaign planning;
    • Valuable techniques for online measurement and analysis;
    • and more…

Silicon Valley Innovation Summit  – July 29-30 in Mountain View, CA.

The Silicon Valley Innovation Summit is an annual gathering of the brightest minds and top entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate players in the Global Silicon Valley.

The Innovation Summit has featured dozens of break-out companies before they became household names, including Pixar, Google, Salesforce.com, Skype, MySQL, YouTube, Tesla, Facebook, and Twitter.

This two-day exclusive event treats attendees to a high-level debate and discourse on top trends and opportunities in the booming digital media, entertainment, on-demand and cloud computing sectors. The Innovation Summit is produced in an intimate and social setting, where participants can easily meet up, socially network, and make deals happen.

Leading Change Summit – September 3-6 in San Francisco, CA.

Join NTEN for the inaugural Leading Change Summit in San Francisco. Exclusively for nonprofit leaders, this event offers three tracks to accelerate your career development: Impact Leadership, Digital Strategy, and the Future of Technology.

Engage with diverse voices to ignite new ideas, activate your strategies with expert advice and planning tools, and change the way you create impact.

 

What conferences will you be attending this year, folks?

How your charity can raise $50K+ for Vets and Heroes

Hey, we’re launching the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 to raise money for good causes.

Last year I sponsored the first Veterans Charity Challenge to raise money for nonprofits that support veterans and their families. The challenge was so successful that we decided to host the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 this year, but include more folks who really have their boots on the ground. I’m giving $50k to support orgs who are doing good work.

cc challenge

This challenge is for all nonprofits that support veterans, military families, police, and firefighters. It starts in just a few weeks, over on CrowdRise, and there’s still time for you to get involved. Here are some reasons why your org should sign up:

    • Last year’s Veterans Charity Challenge raised over $445,000 for causes like yours
    • This year’s Veterans Charity Challenge 2 goes from May 22nd at 12pm ET and runs through July 3rd at 11:59:59am ET
    • The charity team that raises the most during the Challenge gets $20k, second place get $10k and third place gets $5k
    • Plus, there’ll be another $15k given away in cash and prizes throughout the Challenge
    • Even if you don’t win a grand prize, you get to keep the money you raised

Getting involved is easy, folks. Just Go Here and click the Start a Fundraiser button.

Okay…now that you know how to sign up for the Veterans Charity Challenge 2, check out the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 Toolkit. It’s a reference guide to help you raise more money than you thought possible for your cause. The Toolkit has really important stuff, including sample calendars and tips.

And, as an extra bonus, if you browse the Veterans Charity Challenge 2 Toolkit and find the hidden movie quote, Email CrowdRise with the name of the movie it’s from and you’ll be entered to win a pizza party for your org on launch day (May 22nd).

Please share this challenge with all the orgs you know that support vets, milfams, police, and firefighters. These folks do a lot for our country, and it’s important to give back. Email CrowdRise with any clarifying questions, they’re the real deal.

This isn’t altruism, it just feels right.

The Third Metric and Nerd Values

change ahead

The Third Metric is better explained in Arianna Huffington’s Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. This is my take on it.

Nerdiness involves a lack of normal social affect, where conventional ambitions, like money and power aren’t such a big deal. The call to power doesn’t make much sense to me.

Here’re a few words from a nerdy perspective, which I live by to the best of my ability.

One needs the finances to live comfortably, and to help friends and family do that, but seriously, know when enough is enough.

In early 1999, I made a decision along those lines, and decided to avoid the usual Silicon Valley thing. That is, the bankers and VCs I knew told me to take their investments and cash out. However, I figured that my business model is “doing well by doing good” and that’s worked out.

My guess was that I got on track to fulfill my very limited financial goals, and anyway, I figure, who needs huge money?

As a nerd, it’s way more satisfying to make a difference.

I dunno if that reflects any kind of wisdom or path seeking, I ain’t that smart, seriously.

Personally, all I understand is working from the bottom up, where I quietly nudge people to do the best they can, and then affirm their efforts publicly. There’s no way to measure the results, it’s all anecdotal.

It’s just that a nerd’s gotta do what a nerd’s gotta do.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑