Perhaps the biggest fear organizations face when considering creating a blog, discussion forum, or venturing into the world of online social networks is the “threat” of negative comments from the external community. This sense of fear is born of a long–held belief among traditional issue managers that you never repeat or provide a platform for your opponents’ message. But as I have been known to say, the Internet has rewritten this rule, in practice, even as research in the psychology of persuasion has never supported the belief.
|Source: Flickr Creative Commons web site. By Incurable_hippie's Photos|
If you have never received academic training on activism, now you can! Thanks to Steve Chase, founding Director of Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program (EAOP) at Antioch University New England, you can get a Masters degree that trains you to become a political, social justice and an environmental leader--In a few words "a well-trained activist". Look out!! they are accepting applications for the fall of 2007.
Finding inspiration on the need for official training to teach the public and students to organize themselves with opposing movements, the Program is also inspired by activist training programs from the 20th century, such as the Rosa Parks and the Highlander Folk School.
|Source: Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge Web site.|
If you read the title of this blog and thought to yourself, "of course," you probably aren't alone. However, for those of you who are also thinking to yourself, "That sure would be nice, but I'm more likely to pass on Grandma's famous mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving than win any of that money, you might want to read further. In a recent blog on Getting Attention, Nonprofit marketing expert Nancy E. Schwartz wrote about an exceptional contest organized by the Knight Foundation. The Knight's 21st Century News Challenge is asking anyone, that means you, to "share your idea how to use digital news and information in new ways to improve people’s connections and quality of life in actual, geographic communities.." These ideas might include pilot projects, commercial products and leadership initiatives that will improve the flow of information and news in the public interest. The Foundation is intentionally being vague in their requests to stimulate creativity.
By Matt Howes, Director of Technology, Media Matters for America
Remember when the webmaster did everything from graphic design to information architecture and content writing? Those days are long gone: Creating a website, which used to be a weekend project by the president’s niece, has become a large endeavor involving various vendors and consultants. I believe that we will soon see a class of web 2.0 and social networking experts emerge and offer their services as these new tools gain prominence.
If you think your blogging gut is getting a little flabby, today is the day to whip it into shape. Issues Dynamic, Inc. put together a "Beltway Blogger's Boot Camp" scheduled for today, November 13 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. For more information on the event, click here. The event will feature several guest speakers from the blogging world, and attendees will receive basic training in Communications, Public Relations and Governmental Affairs. Participants will also be trained to make an impact in their blogs and on other Web sites such as Youtube, Myspace, Digg. We'll report back in a few days. For now, it's off to Boot Camp!
Well we did it - we managed to tough it out and graduate from Blogger Bootcamp. For those of you who are interested, here's a sampling of what we learned:
2. Make sure you blog on a consistent basis. This doesn't mean you need to blog everyday, or twice a day, but try to blog on a scheduled basis. If you blog one a week, blog once a week. If you blog once a day, blog once a day. The idea here is to establish consistency and get your reader into a rhythm. Readers tend to get into a habit on checking blogs when they know for sure when they will be updated.
3. Know why you are blogging. Are you blogging as a way to brand yourself, or are you attempting to simply drive discussion about a certain subject? No matter what your reason is, establishing your purpose will guide your content and establish rapport with your audience.
4. Make your blog personable. People want to feel like the blog is speaking to them and they want to feel connected to the article.
5. In most cases, you should allow for reader comments. In essence, blogs are conversations open to anyone, and you are starting it. That being said, you need to determine some sort of policy on what type of content will be allowed on your blog. This will aide in a better dialogue flow between you and your audience
|Source: Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. By: Simon Jackson.|
Campaign to Red List the Kermode Spirit Bear.
The Kermode bear is a rare and elusive subspecies of the North American black bear in which approximately one in every 10 bears is white or cream-colored. It is endemic only to the unique temperate rainforest region off the Pacific coast of British Columbia, Canada. Biologists estimate a population of 1,200 kermode bears, of which less than 200 are white phased. These white phased bears are known locally as "spirit bears."
The kermode bear faces extinction due to habitate loss as a result of logging and mismanagement; restricted range, low and declining population numbers and hybridization with mainland subspecies of black bear which do not carry the unique genetics that produce the rare white "spirit" bear. Visit the original article on the Care2 News Network here for information about this campaign and petition.