Activists

Avoiding Founder’s Syndrome: What Social Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Julian Assange

What began as a bold global initiative to challenge the information hegemony of governments and open them to wider, better-informed participation by citizens in the digital age is trickling toward irrelevance and outright shame in the cramped quarters of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, as the leader of the once-revolutionary secret-exposing site Wikileaks uses the […]

Learning to Lead: Facebook, Egypt and The Social Network

On Sunday night, Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network will be one of the two or three betting favorites for the year’s best picture at the annual Academy Awards extravaganza in Hollywood. The film tells the (largely fictionalized) early story of Facebook, wrapped in the coming-of-age tale of founder Mark Zuckerberg and the compromises he chose […]

‘If you want to liberate a government, give them the Internet’

I’ve had a few notes from friends over the last two weeks that all ran along the lines of “this is CauseWired coming to life!” meaning Egypt and seemingly-spontaneous January 25th uprising, which deposed strongman Hosni Mubarak today. Yet I hesitated at accepting congratulations for the foresight of my 2008 book on the rise of […]

Birthday Wishes for Beth Kanter – and Cambodian Schoolkids

Pretty cool way to kick off a frigid Monday morning – by wishing happy birthday to my virtual friend Beth Kanter, whose energy and constant insight is one of the true fuel cells of the socially wired. This morning, 53 bloggers are writing posts about Beth, whose stories and analysis helped formed a good deal […]

Craig on Obama's 'Craigslist for Service'

As Craig Newmark notes in an article on Huffington Post, President-elect Barack Obama ran on a platform that included a call for a national “craigslist for service.” But as Newmark writes, he’d like craigslist itself used “only a metaphorical reference to the need for greater service to others, with the spirit and culture of trust […]

Post-Obama Organizing? It's Already in the Streets

Understandably, there’s been a lot of discussion in the last two weeks about the future of the powerful Obama Internet operation. Does the vast, empowered constituency serve as a virtual public advocacy campaign for Obama policy initiatives? Does it work toward the mid-terms in 2010? Re-election in 2012? Or does it inspire a “flash cause” […]

Telling the Story with Short-Form Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyLdfWcR9JY&hl=en&fs=1] I’m incredibly impressed by this accessible video produced by Lend4Health, a new peer-to-peer microlending startup aimed at helping struggling families provide live-changing treatment for children with autism. Why? Flat out: it tells a story. I’m a total sucker for effective case-making for causes – it’s what I work on professionally, and I really care […]

CauseWired: Legions of Community Organizers

I’ve been thinking about this since the Republican convention a month ago: isn’t the CauseWired movement the virtual empowerment of thousands – and potentially millions – of community organizers, that class of do-gooders so derided by the GOP nominees in Minneapolis? Sure, I know their derision was about knocking down a portion of Barack Obama’s […]

Generation Gap?

Beth Kanter has a brilliant post today about what she’s learned from a 20-year-old Cambodian American college student. I love Beth’s honest point of view – that Nhuong Son, who is raising money for Cambodian children via social networks and the Web may have a different view of how to recruit supporters online than a […]

Facebook Activists: Liberal Democrats in Egypt

I’d missed this great piece in the Washington Post the week before last about the cause of liberal democracy in the Arab Middle East, and how young activists are using social networking tools to plan for a more open, democratic future. Six months ago, Ahmed Samih, the 28-year-old director of the Andalus Institute for Tolerance […]