When You Practice What You Preach…

I’m hearing, anecdotally, that cultural transformation at VA and elsewhere might have been nudged into motion by relentlessly handing out my business card and practicing what I preach.

The big thing I’ve learned here is that for me, tech skills and money aren’t what gets the job done. What works is bearing witness to the good works of others. This can work partly through helping ’em get their social networks going, by sharing their stuff.

bizcard
My business card says “customer service rep & founder” and people see that I’m committed to that, every day.

Customer service is a big part of what inspires me; that, and my rabbi, Leonard Cohen. Ya know, customer service can really be corrosive, and it gets worse than the usual trolling and abuse. However, singer and poet Leonard Cohen really helps me get through the day, with a small but substantial assist from Dr Stephen T Colbert, DFA (Doctor of Fine Arts).

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.

(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. On the other side of things, I’ll be in customer service for a lifetime…)

5 of my favorite things

Folks, I’m often asked about my interests and priorities. I decided to share 5 of my favorite things in my personal life. Many of you may not be surprised to hear some of these…

  1. Birds – the Mrs. and I created a Birdography Spectacular dedicated to all of the birds and their friends who visit my home office. DSCN1082-X2
  2. Babies – both bird babies and human babies.

    #20 and craig
    me with #20…
  3. Dogs – I carry dog treats whenever I’m out, just in case I run into a furry friend (or four) who needs a pick-me-up. doggies and craig
  4. TV – the Game of Thrones guy, George R. R. Martin’s a really good writer who can get to the point really well, and an opponent of attacks on voting rights, on top of it. That’s the real deal. Other TV shows I enjoy include, Mr Selfridge, the Simpson, Justified, the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Silicon Valley, Girls, and the Americans… TV
  5. Books – I read a lot of books, maybe 8 per month. I currently use the Kindle app, but it’s growing problematic. (I’ve read around 700 books, mostly science fiction. Note: 1. I’m a nerd, and 2. it’s how we roll.) Books I’m reading, among right now or recently include:
  • An Autumn War, Daniel Abraham
  • The Iron Kings, Maurice Druon
  • It’s Complicated, danah boyd
  • A Lily of the Field, John Lawton
  • Shattered Pillars, Elizabeth Bear
  • Parasite, Mira Grant
  • Why Kings Confess, CS Harris
  • A Man without Breath, Philip Kerr

 

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Oh, and of course the wife. Make that six things.

Help me give back to military families via DonorsChoose.org

Okay, teachers in a lot of schools never get a break, and that’s often true in schools that serve military families.

Remember that the families of active service troops also serve when troops are deployed.

A really good way to give teachers and military families a break is via DonorsChoose.org. They’re a great example of how we all use the Net to help each other out, by pooling a few dollars to give people a break. DonorsChoose is something I can understand. It’s like microfinance applied to classroom projects; we all can contribute a little to fund a classroom projects. Teachers are under-appreciated and underpaid, and if we all work together, we can help them out.

As many of you know, I work closely with lots of orgs who support vets and military families. I teamed up with DonorsChoose to sponsor a Double Your Impact Offer. I’m giving $10k to match half the cost of projects with the keyword “military” if someone like you provides the remainder. This offer’s for projects geared toward grades 6-12 and with a total cost of $800 or less.

There’re a lot of underfunded school districts out there, and it’s real unfair for teachers to fund stuff from their own (inadequate) salaries. This match will remain on DonorsChoose.org until the funds are fully matched, or for one calendar year from today. After just 24-hours of being live, 5 projects and counting have already been met with my match

After I introduced Stephen Colbert to DonorsChoose, he began to focus on milfams, and I tried a similar effort later, but it didn’t persist.  However, I’m talking with people in milfam groups and the DoD about creating a program that’ll keep on helping. And am working on this matching campaign with DonorsChoose right now.

craig newmark & stephen colbert
photo credit: the future Mrs Newmark

Here’s a video about why DonorsChoose works with Internet people, like myself:

 

Speaking of Colbert, he and I did some stuff for DonorsChoose with Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz that’ll be released online soon. I can’t let the squirrel out of the bag yet, so more to come…

In the meantime, if you’re able, I’d really appreciate it if you can give to the military family projects on DonorsChoose.org. I figure if they’re willing to give so much for our country, this is just my small way of saying thank you. A nerd’s gotta do…

 

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