A week-long email discussion on the Internet and Social Change.

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This came into the Dot Org Webmaters email list.  It seems like a good NetSquared collaboration opportunity. 


This June, we're planning a one week email forum on the Internet and Social Change. I'm now looking for innovative panelists to join the conversation. I'd appreciate recommendations although it may be best to send them to me directly rather than on the list. -- Our vision: a simpler, more humane society that actually solves its problems, treats everyone fairly, and helps everyone achieve their full potential.

John Watkins Founder and Creative Director The Simple Society Alliance for Human Empowerment 379 Amherst Street #234, Nashua, NH 03063

Partha Pratim Sarker, Co-founder of Bytes for All, will present at the Conference

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Here at TechSoup, we're really excited that the Net2 Conference will be featuring the participation of the leaders of innovative international non-governmental organizations. The first one I'll introduce is Partha Pratim Sarker, Co-founder of Bytes for All in South Asia. Partha's Bytes for All website is the single most valuable source of information on ‘IT for the people’ projects anywhere in South Asia. Bytes for All has been recognized as one of the Leading Websites for Social Entrepreneurs by and has been awarded `Honorary Mention' by Prix Ars Electronica ( The Bytes for All newletter, which goes out to hundreds of interested techies worldwide, is part of the organization's effort to build a stable communications network that will freely disseminate information from Thrid World countries to the rest of the globe. The site itself is maintained by a group of volunteers from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

A Practical Guide to Talking About Global Issues

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The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and The Aspen Institute have published a printed and downloadable book called U.S. in the World: Talking Global Issues with Americans: A Practical Guide.

The guide is divided by issue (i.e. terrorism, poverty, global warming) and offers "messaging recommendations", "arguments and facts", and "common critiques and effective responses" for talking about each issue. For example, in the chapter about poverty, one of the "common critiques" listed is, The poor will always be with us . . .there's only so much we can do. Four possible "effective responses" are listed. Here is one of them:

Investments in education and health care pay off many times over. For each year of schooling a girl receives, her own children are 5 to 10 percent less likely to die as infants. Programs that provide small loans to help women start their own small businesses also have an impressive track record of moving people and families out of poverty. If we join other countries in a concerted effort to pursue these cost-effective strategies, we don't just help change lives--we change trends. And in an interconnected world, that works to everyone's benefit, because everyone's future depends on a healthy, stable, and prosperous global community.

Putting these kinds of messages in the hands of people who aren't experts in foreign aid or communications empowers them to become advocates for the causes that mean the most to them.

How add Netsquared to My Performancing FireFox Extension?

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I've just discovered performancing for Firefox.   I know the more technical folks are rolling their eyes and saying, "what took ya so long!"   Perhaps I wasn't ready to adopt because only in the last few months I've found myself struggling trying to maintain three personal blogs and contribute to three group blogs.  I was getting burned out by my inelegant work flow process.

It's is a great productivity boost!   Especially because I can incorporate all those blogs into one little interface that is connected to my browsing/reading.   So, you can be reading with one side of the screen and taking notes for a draft or published post.   And then save to your blog software as a draft or publish.  It has a lot of time saving features in it - like automatic Technorati ping tags, ability to bookmark your post into delicious, trackbacks,  notes, etc.   Also, it integrates the post to my delicious account bookmarklet ....

Envisioning the New Non Profit Web: An Interview with Michael Stein

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Michael Stein is the founder of Members Only Software, providers of a customized Business Process Management software suite for non profit organizations and business associations.

Based in Washington D.C. he is an active participant in the non profit technology assistance community. He also writes Michael Stein's Non Profit Technology Blog.

We talked about his work, how the shift towards ubiquitous broadband is changing what he does for his clients, his affinity for wikis and why he believes organizations should be embracing Web 2.0 technologies as part of their basic effort to communicate effectively online.

Dr. Moira Gunn to Present at the Conference

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We've got another exciting announcement:  

Dr. Moira Gunn, Host of NPR’s Tech Nation, will be participating in the Conference. Dr. Gunn’s Tech Nation is the sole national weekly radio program on the impact of technology. Her weekly commentaries touch all aspects of our lives in these unpredictable times. More than simply radio, Tech Nation seeks to educate the public that all aspects of our lives are affected by science and technology, and to make reasonable decisions, we must understand much, much more … as individuals, as communities, as nations and as a global society.

Question 4: What are the barriers to social change?

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Scott Case, Board Chairman of Network for Good and NetSquared Advocate, let us know what he thinks is the greatest barrier preventing web-based technology from producing social change while answering our Four Questions.

The biggest barrier will be translating communication into specific action. We can all agree that people should not go hungry in America but what exactly are we going to do about it?

Teaching Technology and International Support: An Interview with Beth Kanter

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Beth Kanter has worked with non profit groups for 25 years and has specialized in technology assistance since 1993. She provides training, evaluation, planning and research services for a variety of organizations including The Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (N-TEN) and Compumentor.

Twelve years ago Beth worked to spread e-mail amongst skeptical new users. Today she writes three personal blogs and contributes to Global Voices Online, Blogher and the Net Squared blog (see Beth's posts).


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