Teamwork and Place as Solutions to Info Overload: An interview with Neville Newey of the African news site Muti

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Neville Newey is the creator of two sites called Muti and NewsMap. Muti is a community moderated news site about Africa; it's a memedigger like Digg or Reddit, but focused on Africa news. NewsMap is a site that displays the newest news stories about any geographic location you click on a world map. It's a mashup of Yahoo News and Google Maps with a focus on Africa as well.

In the following interview Neville and I talked about information overload and organization, mashups and Africa.

Web 2.0 Inspiration List

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Just read a bit in Business Week about how businesses are finally starting to adopt Web 2.0 tools into their work.  Nothing revolutionary in there for me, but I actually thought the format of the article was really interesting.  I'd like the nonprofit sector develop a set of categories like this (sort of) and a list of the technologies that can be applied.  An inspiration sheet for folks looking to use new tools to meet their mission.

Now is the time when the technologies available really reflect our values and goals, and it would be great to come up with a giant list of "what if we did that?" So, I think I'll try to spark something over in the Emerging Tech Affinity Group.  Join me!

Joe Trippi on mobile phone campaign fundraising

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Joe Trippi, the pioneer of Internet political campaigning with Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid, shares his views on the next frontier in campaign technology for mobilization and fundraising in a May interview in Newsweek which is published on the website.  "I think text messaging is going to be more important than ever.  Look at the success of the pro-immigration campaign.

Netsquared Profile: Michalis Bletsas

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Michalis Bletsas is the Chief Connectivity Officer for One Laptop per Child, a non-profit association. One Laptop per Child has the goal of creating a $100 human-powered laptop to be distributed to children in the developing world. Michalis speaks a bit about the rationale and challenges for the $100 Laptop.

This video is part of NetSquared's video profile series. You can subscribe to this RSS feed with your favorite video catcher, such as iTunes, Democracy or FireAnt.

My Net-Net on the NetSquared Conference

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I've been back for a day from the NetSquared Conference, and have had a little time to reflect on it. Several people have asked me what my take on it was. The short version is superb logistics and people, but so-so sessions, except for the excellent skill share. However, I am sure that the organizers will learn from this year and I will happily go again next year, if I get the chance (and can afford it if it isn't local). 

Basics first. Compumentor and their helpers did a superb job with the logistics. There was power at every table, and the wireless was better than at any of the many O'Reilly conferences that I have been to (it probably helped that the conference was held at the headquarters of one of the world's largest manufacturers of routers and wireless devices). The food wasn't gourmet, but it was reasonable, on site and on time. The conference hotel was nearby and was modestly priced (for Silicon Valley). Most people probably won't mention these things, but I have seen what happens when these things aren't true -- a lot of people spent half of this year's Emerging Technology Conference (ETECH 2006) in San Diego complaining for good reason about the wireless (bad), the space (very bad), and the prices (outrageous). The only logistical flaws for this conference were the pre-conference confusion and lack of transparency about registration, and the badges. Everybody's badge was labeled with their role, i.e. volunteer, sponsor, speaker, including one called "scholar", which looked to me like the "poor scholarship kid" label at a fancy private school. While some of this is common at business conferences, I wonder what purpose it served at a conference like this to visibly segregate people that way. Aside from those two issues, the Compumentor crew managed to pull everything together in time, and have my thanks and admiration for doing so. 

As always, one of the best parts of the conference was talking with the fellow attendees. I got to meet a number of people whom I had previously only known from their online writings, I got to catch up with a lot of people that I admire but only see once every six months or so at events like this, and I got to meet all kinds of interesting new people that I never would have had a chance to meet otherwise. I also learned about lots of compelling sites/organizations like MomsRising. So Compumentor definitely succeed in bringing an interesting and exiting group of people together for NetSquared. 

Calling all Tagvocates!

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At our "Making it Happen" table, we discussed how we could use tagging to help make social change, not just organize our own work.  We decided that we should come up with a few tags for the nonprofit sector and start getting them out there by recruiting "Tagvocates" who vow to: 

  1. Use the tags all over the place
  2. Recruit other tagvocates for their tag(s)

The plan is to get a set of tags out there, the aggregate the content (maybe with Suprglu?), and then foster a discussion about how we can use the content that we're tagging for social change.  For example - can a legal services organization use a set of tags to help aggregate content about Seattle area housing for their clients and agreggate it on their site?  Can an enviro group use a tag to aggregate info about a local developer to expose ant-environmental practices?


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