What makes something NetSquared?

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So, we have these case studies up. And the volunteers are adding to them all the time. But we haven't really talked about what the selection process is. What makes a Net2 project?

Let me tell you what I think we know about Net2 projects:

  • they are working to advance social change;
  • they use the Internet;
  • the tools are social in nature;
  • there is something about them that makes them interesting.


Right, so it's that last bullet point that's tough. One of those "I know it when I see it" things. What makes something interesting?

I'm Going to Help Make Connections and Blog About It

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Hello, everyone! My name is Marshall Kirkpatrick and this is a little introduction to me and the work I'll be doing for Net Squared in the next few months. I've been brought on board to act as a connector between different members of the community that could be of assistance to each others' work and to blog about the kinds of work people are doing around the world.

I'll be writing and posting some multi-media about the good news and the bad in the movement to make emerging technology a powerful part of the non-profit world.

A little about me: I live in Eugene, Oregon and I'm 29 years old. I do what I call Web 2.0 consulting for non-profits and small businesses. Web 2.0 is a big, ambiguous concept but I explain it as the next generation of the internet made up of dynamic, user-generated content that can be utilized and manipulated in a wide variety of ways. I think it's made possible by the spread of broadband connectivity, cheap data storage and new technologies like blogging, RSS and podcasting. I like to help social justice oriented organizations use these new tools for research and communication. If you want to read more about me personally, my bio is on the team page. My web site is at I'm super excited to participate in this project!

Be a Net Tuesday Podcaster or Host!

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On December 13th, join Bay Area nonprofit and web innovators interested in connecting communities for social change at Net Tuesday!  NetSquared will be holding its 2nd Net Tuesday event at the Balazo Gallery (2183 Mission St. @ 18th) in San Francisco starting at 6 PM.  Let us know you're coming at .

Ed Batista, Executive Director of Attention Trust, will show everyone how to stand up for their attention rights, while Seth Sternberg will demo the web-based IM app Meebo.

We are looking for a NetSquared podcaster to record the event.  If you want to hear what we put together for last month's event you can check out Chris Messina & Marnie Webb at the NetSquared channel  on Odeo.

If you are interested in being a NetSquared podcaster, or would like to host a Net Tuesday outside the Bay Area email me: bbravo(AT) 

Hope to see you all there!

The Power of Podcasting

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As I wrote in my post, "Must Hear Speech from Barack Obama and the Power of Podcasting", on my personal blog, Have Fun * Do Good this weekend, one of the reasons I am so excited about the work I am doing with NetSquared is because I think that all of these new web-based tools, like podcasts are an incredible way for nonprofits to get the word out about their causes. There is something powerful about hearing Barack Obama's voice or the children's voices from the UNICEF podcasts or Nelson Mandela's voice from the recent ONE campaign podcast, inside your head.

participate, don't spectate

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more quotes for web 2.0 thinking .... 

from Subcomandante Marcos:

"The revolution, in general, is no longer imagined according to socialist patterns of realism, that is, as men and women stoically marching behind a red, waving flag towards a luminous future. Rather it has become a sort of carnival."

from Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and his World, Indiana University Press, 1984:

"Carnival does not know footlights, in the sense that it does not acknowledge any distinction between actors and spectators. Footlights would destroy a carnival, as the absence of footlights would destroy a theatrical performance. Carnival is not a spectacle seen by the people; they live in it, and everyone participates because it's very idea embraces all the people."

20 Minutes

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That's what it took for me to write up my NetSquared In Action case study of Campus Bread a blog written by interns, fellow and staff from Bread for the World and the ONE Campaign.  Yes, my screenshot doesn't look that great (we're going to be posting case study guidelines soon to help you- and me-with that) and my description is short, but its up as a resource for other student interns, fellows and activists working with nonprofits.  Case study perhaps isn't the right word.  We need folks to document success stories--fun, exciting, inspiring examples of nonprofit staff and supporters using technology to network, advocate, get the word out and futher their cause.  So, if you know of a nonprofit that is doing cool stuff with emerging technogy and have 20 minutes, send it in!

wikipedia: the sleeping giant?

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In a near-clinically-paranoid piece on webpronews today, "Expert Author" Steve Rubel (yes, it really says that) speculates as to whether "Wikipedia Is The Next Google."

While I've been more impressed with Wikipedia than I thought I'd ever be -- the global public editing capability is a two-edged sword -- I'm from Missiouri on the prospect of any imminent Wikipedia takeover. Unless and until I hear that GWB is an investor...

open-source gains

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TechNewsWorld picks up a piece from today's Oregonian reporting on initiatives to put Linux on the desktop. One example...

When [Homestreet-Banyan Tree Inc., which runs mental health clinics in Washington County] decided to upgrade its computer system this year, it planned to spend US$200,000 on new software from Microsoft and computers to run it. At the urging of the Meyer Memorial Trust, which funded the upgrade, it instead switched to Linux.

With guidance and donated computers from the Portland technology nonprofit FreeGeek, the new system cost just $50,000, according to Amy Price, the center's technology manager.

Psychiatrists, therapists and others who use the computers were initially wary of switching from Windows, she said, but the new system is working smoothly. Price said users quickly adapted to Linux's subtle differences. "They realized that it wasn't as scary as what they thought," she said.

btw, the FreeGeek site is worth a look --
especially for nonprofits working with local communities.


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