Bari Samad's blog

Narrowing the Digital Divide: A Call to Action

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To me, the true power and beauty of community-based organizing lies in a small group of individuals taking on a significant social problem and solving it for the common good. The new NetSquared platform is up and going, and I am thrilled to challenge the NetSquared community to connect with one another on solving a social problem that has everything to do with furthering the common good.

Reframing the Digital Divide

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The term “digital divide” has been commonly used to represent the gap between those who have “access” to technology (particularly the Internet) and those who do not. Ten years ago when the Pew Internet and American Life Project started researching the digital divide as an issue of “access”, they found the differences in access were stark across locations, including at home, in schools and at work.

Social Media Got You Down? Try a Surgery

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I am thrilled to see the recent popularity of social media surgeries. While the surgeon/patient language can seem a bit top-down, these informal volunteer events are actually based on a collaborative, community learning model that blurs the lines between the social media “experts” and the practitioners who use or want to use the tools in their campaigns and work. Both are valuable in a social media surgery.

There's No Success Like Failure

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I love my Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner. It’s super light, doesn’t use bags, has two reusable HEPA filters and uses cyclonic separation technology (called Dual Cyclone in the Dyson) that can kick some serious dirt butt. Best of all, it has that amazing ball designed to help the vacuum make curved turns and reach hard-to-get-to spots. Almost makes me want to vacuum right now. Well, almost.

What I did not know and appreciate about Dyson vacuum cleaners until recently is that it took James Dyson 5,126 prototypes before he got it right! In other words, he failed thousands of times before he achieved success.


Getting a Grip on the Online You

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Do you manage a website or blog, with features such as an e-newsletter and a public calendar of events? Related to that website, do you also manage presences on external services like and on multiple social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest? If so, chances are you have scratched your head at least once and wondered about a unified website.

Getting Responsive with WordPress

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In the past few months I have blogged about both DIY projects using WordPress and the basics of Responsive Web Design. When it comes to building highly functional, utilitarian, and great looking websites that are viewable on most devices, I guess I am a little partial.

In this post I’m going take a more in-depth look at how these two favorites are playing together and how you can get responsive with WordPress.

We Live in a Digital Democracy. Seriously?

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The Internet is commonly perceived as a game changer in our ongoing efforts and struggles to create democratic societies for all people. Some have disagreed, but it is widely accepted that regardless of physical location, economic status, race, age, gender, religious affiliation or political status etc., conceivably anyone who can get online can participate in democratic processes in the public sphere.

Human-Centered Design Can Save Lives

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Designing an appealing brand of hand soap typically might not follow the same process as designing a solution to a life-threatening, global health problem would. So it’s not often that I discover processes used for designing consumer products that are also well-suited to solving complex social problems.

Design Thinking may be one of the few exceptions.


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