Disposable Worker Syndrome is Killing Us

For the past several months, I've been doing more work than usual with people who have been laid off from their jobs. I've listened to their stories of how the lay-offs occurred--usually in a brutally swift and cruel fashion--and been witness to their pain at having done all the right things, only to be told their services are no longer needed. It's heart-breaking, really, to see how they try to... Read more →

Some Observations on Getting Value from a Social Network

For the past few days I've been working with a group of grant-funded projects from across Pennsylvania who are evaluating whether or not to form a state-wide network and thinking through what such a network could do. One of the issues that came up (as it inevitably does) was how to share information, which naturally led to a discussion of social media and networks. Last year I'd set up a... Read more →

The Social Media Spiral Revisited

On Sunday, I asked for feedback on the social media spiral I drew to represent my current thinking about how people transition from "old" media to new social media. This is a follow-up post to tease out some of the comments I received and integrate them further into my thinking. I will warn you that it's 6 a.m. and this is a little stream of consciousness. First, a few people... Read more →

No Excuses Leadership

Katya Andresen has a GREAT post on operating your organization with no excuses. Apparently she recently did a presentation on tweaking your marketing messages, where she was told by her audience that her suggestions weren't possible because: 1. I don’t have the budget to do that. 2. I don’t have the staff to do that. 3. I don’t have the time to do that. 4. I don’t have the internal... Read more →

A Vision of Students Today and Information R/evolution

A couple of interesting videos from Michael Wesch, the creator of The Machine is Us/ing Us who's leading a Digital Ethnography workgroup/project that's bringing together students and professors of Anthropology at Kansas State University to look at the impact of technology on human interactions. The video above is "A Vision of Students" today. It was created by the 200 students in Wesch's Intro to Cultural Anthropology class. Here's how they... Read more →

Make Your Organization Web 2.0 Too

As soon as I finished posting about moving your organization's website from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, I see in my feed reader (via The Agitator) that Todd Cohen at Philanthropy Journal has published a report on how nonprofits are using new media to engage constituents. Todd makes an excellent point about needing to change your operational paradigms, not just the look, feel and functionality of your web presence: "Nonprofits... Read more →

Architectures of Control: How Design Influences the Ways We Use and Do Things

Just stumbled across a REALLY interesting blog called The Architectures of Control. It's maintained by Dan Lockton who says: Increasingly, many products are being designed with features that intentionally restrict the way the user can behave, or enforce certain modes of behaviour. The same intentions are also evident in the design of many systems and environments. Dan goes on to define architectures of control this way: Architectures of control are... Read more →

Facebook, MySpace and Class Divisions

Danah Boyd has posted a provocative essay on the class divisions she sees in the users of MySpace vs. Facebook. This is actually a phenomenon I've noticed myself in the past several months as I watch my 15 year old move from MySpace to Facebook and get her perspective on who in her high school is making the shift to Facebook and who is staying on MySpace. Danah's premise, in... Read more →

When We're Faced with Change, We Can Either Fence Ourselves in or Make Ourselves More Resilient

A few days ago there was a story on NPR's All Things Considered about coral reefs and mangroves and protecting against global warming. One of the environmentalists interviewed on the show pointed out that the typical environmentalist response to danger is to fence it out. But when the enemy is global warming, fences don't work. The only way to deal with this kind of change is to make the species... Read more →

We Need More Beginnings

Rosetta Thurman of Perspectives from the Pipeline points us to a most excellent post--Are You Ending or Beginning? In it, Hildy Gottlieb asks us to stop trying to end things and start focusing on beginning something amazing. She points out that for 40 years we've been had "wars" on poverty, hunger, homelessness--you name it, we've been fighting it. Yet little seems to have changed: And the reason we feel like... Read more →