Day 20 Update: The NetSquared 100-Day Challenge

laneystrange's picture

There are two lies in the title of this blog post. First, today is not Day 20 of the 100-Day Challenge, not even close. Although everything I’m going to write about today has been marching onward, the actual writing part has fallen way behind, so my day-20 update is actually coming closer to day 50. Second, the 100-Day Challenge is not a 100-day challenge. We’ll re-sync and review at the 100-day mark on August 3rd, but everything we’re talking about here is part of a larger commitment from the NetSquared team for the coming months and years -- especially when it comes to the new Net2 platform, the focus of today’s challenge update.

Challenge #2: Stories of Impact

We identified 6 total challenges to tackle in these 100 days. Today, we’re talking about Challenge #2: Organizers are seeking to surface stories of impact that emerge from their Local group participants and communities, a key prioritized feature of the in-development Net2 Platform.
 
NetSquared Local groups are not just monthly talks. They are hubs of ideas and innovation, and NetSquared organizers play important roles in surfacing local projects -- from curating ideas and news across the local community to providing a platform for NetSquared participants’ projects and passions.
 
Stories are valuable not only to convey the impact of NetSquared communities and activities, but to make NetSquared more accessible and understandable. The right story can convey the impact of NetSquared, the power of a local community, and the influence of a network -- all at once.
 
There are lots of different ways to capture stories. For this challenge (and in general on the NetSquared team) there are two: (1) Projects that we share via the Net2 Platform, and (2) media that we share via Net2 Digital Bites.

Projects on the Net2 Platform

 
The upcoming Net2 Platform (scheduled launch in July 2012) will be an essential tool for surfacing stories. In the world of the Net2 platform, stories of impact come in the form of projects: discrete, shareable pieces of work driven by members of the NetSquared community. A project can be the germ of an idea you want to develop over time, a full-blown enterprise ready to be unleashed, or anything in between.
 
The new Net2 Platform will make it easier to share projects in a few different ways.

  1. First, published projects will be neatly packaged and easy to navigate. We’re pretty psyched about the new project design (don’t underestimate the power of a nice-looking web page to tell a good story). 
  1. Second, you can update your project in seconds -- you can even use Twitter to make the updates. The more seamless we can make it, the more likely project champions are to share their work
  1. Third, you can tie projects to NetSquared Local groups and communities. Projects are all the more powerful when they’re associated with a city, region, or a specific NetSquared Local group. The platform will tie projects to groups and groups to projects.

Media via Net2 Digital Bites

 
Another way we’re making it easier to share stories is through the refreshed monthly publication we’re calling Net2 Digital Bites. (The May issue was just released -- check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.)
 
Digital Bites packages up images, video and other media from around the NetSquared world. It’s a different way to tell a story: short, crisp, and visually-focused. We use little text and few links, instead redirecting our focus on the media. Powerful media can tell a good story.

What Now?

The 100-Day Challenge continues, and so does the Net2 platform. Meanwhile, we’re got the next issue of Digital Bites already on the burner and will be publishing mid-June.
 
Here are (3) easy next steps you can take to get your stories of impact out there, and inform how we’re sharing them too:

  1. Submit to the June Digital bites. Take pictures -- lots of them -- at your next NetSquared event or another shareable community activity. Take a video, too. When you’re ready to share with us and the world, drop a line to net2@techsoupglobal.org and we’ll hook you up for Digital Bites.
  2. Join a Net2 platform review session. We’re setting up a brief 30-minute call to walk through the whole concept of impact stories and projects, and how we’re designing to make it easier. Jump on this doodle and we’ll set up a review for all who can join, sometime in the next 2 weeks.
  3. Leave a comment. Comments are welcome here on this blog post or @laneystrange.  What kinds of stories do you see surfacing in your day-to-day activity with NetSquared? As we make stories easier to share, what impact will that have on you and your community?