Net2Con: Anyone Could Call - Cellphones in the Global South pt. 2

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David and Eric tackled a large topic, agreeing that the future of cell phones in helping developing markets is optimistic.  They agree that If you want to see what's happening with cell phones you need to get out of the US to China, India & Africa. People aren't using them to just talk to people or check e-mails, but they're using SMS.

The uses of cell phones are coming because people are unserved, particularly around banking in Africa. The more regulated the market, the less creative the technology. The challenge is finding usage models that are of value to people. Lots of things are already being done, but they're not being done  in an ecomically efficient way.

Net2Con: Activism: When Emailing Your CongressPerson Doesn't Quite Feel Like Enough

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Online Activity -> Offline Action

This is why I came to this conference.  How to we use virtual connections to connect people in real life?  An then the other way around?

Michael Silberman ( worked on the Dean for President campaign.

At some point an organizer benefits from understanding the nuts and bolts of how to do an event or activity.  Michael's talk addresses this, but its not what I am looking for in this session. 

I find that these types of tools are great for people that have personalities that already lend themselves to doing events or planning.  But what about the people that are over-whelmed?  Tired?  Busy?  Scared?  Or may not really care?

View of your conference from Aus

NetSquared's picture

Hey NetSquarders (and friends).

Hope your conference is going well - wish I was there etc. etc.

It is a lovely sunrise here in Adelaide, South Australia - as you enjoy your afternoon tea break on day 1 of the conference.  The purpose of this post is to give you all some feedback on how it feels 'attending' your conference remotely.  


My 'flickrfox' images of photos tagged 'net2' are clearly picking up conference action, including a really interesting shot 'greg proves he is awake' - a man looking at a clock.

Some of the brief / rough liveblog notes from sessions (e.g. Marnie's)

Net2Con: Activism: When Emailing Your CongressPerson Doesn't Quite Feel Like Enough

NetSquared's picture

Martin Kearns said:

 "Robert Putnam is wrong.  We aren't bowling alone." and "We have more connections now than ever before.  We are taking time from TV and sleep."

No wonder I'm tired and hardly watch tv.  Its also probably the reason I feel like I don't have enough time to keep up with everything.  I'm keeping up with everything.

How do we help our community people filter information so their social connections are deeper?

Go forth and deploy!

NetSquared's picture

Zack Rosen, David Geilhufe and ...

The "latest and greatest" in open source devleopment for non-profits session was excellent, but I won't try to summarize. Way too much discussed, most of which I understood, some of which I simply missed. (And notes are of no help. I can't listen and write. I don't have the enthusiasm anymore. I keep imagining Alan Bennett at one of these things. Or better, trying to explain this stuff to him over lunch at a monastery ruin.)

 One great line that stood out from the opening of the session: "Go forth and deploy!" I.e, dive in. Funny thing is that is EXACTLY what we've done with Manila since 2000 at <a xhref="">BAWP</a>. Looking back from the perspective of some of the deployment challenges mentioned in this workshop, we haven't done badly at all. Big question is, where do we go next? Open Source solution like Drupal makes sense based on what the presenters said here. OS communities of active developers, downloads and forums. A chance to avoid duplication of efforts (nice example of VolunteerMatch and HandsOn Network - 80% of the same stuff needed for both organizations yet 5 years ago each was alone in its development efforts, granting that such a challenge might have been an impossible challenge for open source at that point). Lots said about the need for the intermediary agencies (what Kern County Superintendent of Schools web team has played for us, an Application Service Provider). The fact is that to engineer something you need money. And it helps to no end if you have a fundamental need and some sort of notion of how the software might work to accomplish what it is you want to accomplish. Loved this comment (paraphrased): "Hey if it works for social change and it's Microsoft, so what? That's what differentiates this Open Source conversation from a commerical vendor conversation. Bravo for MS! Next topic?"

net2con: I tag the hand. . .

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This is Mike Lawrence, of Computer Using Educators, live blogging from netsquared. This session is being led by Erik Collier of, Chris Heuer of BrainJams, Beth Kanter of, and Marshall Kirkpatrick of netsquared (immoderator).

The topic of this session is tagging and aggregators and their use in the non-profit world.

Interesting tidbit -  5%-10% of adults read RSS feeds. 

Presenters getting prepped by technical staff.

Net2Con: Distributed Grassroots Marketing

NetSquared's picture

I'm Sarah Pullman and I'm blogging live from the session on distributed grassroots marketing. The speakers are Elisa Camahort, Tara Hunt, Chris Messina, and it's being moderated by Marnie Webb. I'm definitely not catching everything and it won't all be totally correct but I hope you'll forgive me and find it useful anyway. :)

Elisa Camahort of BlogHer Conference

Speaks about how they made the website badge for BlogHer, and people totally took them and ran with them. Made up all kinds of spin-offs.


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