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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Social Change 2.0

I had the pleasure of introducing David Gershon’s work to Portland, Oregon more than a dozen years ago.  So Mike Lindberg’s quote about David’s new book caught my eye…

Social Change 2.0 exhilarates. David Gershon has not just laid out a compelling and coherent blueprint for social change, but the vividly written stories he shares make us realize that what we thought was impossible can actually be achieved. Having been a political leader in Portland for twenty years, where I worked closely with David, I saw firsthand the power of his work to change the lives of thousands of people. He may well be the number one expert on social change in our country.”
– Mike Lindberg, former Commissioner of Public Utilities and city council member, City of Portland, Oregon

David’s work has some interesting parallels to Front Porch Forum.  I look forward to reading it.  (Buy the book here.)




Reaching beyond social media’s “Big Three”

Inman News columnist Gahlord Dewald posted a piece today aimed at real estate professionals about how they might make the most of social media tools.  This clip caught my eye…

… If you expand beyond the “Big Three” social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you might find very specific platforms that align with your goals. For example, in Burlington, Vt., we have an awesome forum system called Front Porch Forum. This platform is highly targeted by neighborhood and operates via (wait for it …) e-mail.

Not what you might think of when you think super-new-cool technology. But FPF is a highly valued resource in our town. About 40 percent of the local population are members (and this is a college town). The neighbors talk about the neighborhood. Pretty relevant for a real estate professional.

Spending the time to locate active social media platforms that are topic-focused — to round out your me-focused Facebook-LinkedIn-Twitter participation — is a good idea…



Don’t feel like the b-word, danah

danah boyd’s post feels right on target… except for the “feeling like a bitch” part… fight the good fight, danah!

… I get hundreds of emails per day that I have to directly respond to. (Hundreds more get filtered into the “will read one day” folders that get very little attention.) I do a huge amount of my responding offline (on airplanes, public transit, cafes, etc.). Thus, messages with links take much longer to get my attention than messages without links. But there’s something nice about turning an INBOX into something manageable before people have the chance to respond. The problem with Web2.0 technologies is that each one wants to replace the INBOX (or at least be an additional channel). For example, there are private messages and comments on social network sites, direct messages and @replies on Twitter. There are blog comments. And RSS feeds. And then there are all of the online communities and bulletin boards and chat spaces that have evolved from those developed in olden days. For me, it’s too much. Too much I tell you. And we haven’t even gotten to voicemail, text messages. Let alone all that’s coming…

Read her whole post here.


Bringing public officials to the neighborhood level

The local Gannett outlet published an opinion piece yesterday about Front Porch Forum and social media…

… the writer is unfortunately misinformed about the depth and effectiveness that has been reached in filling the gap between formal local government assemblies by the Front Porch Forum… The FPF creators chose to capture its audience at the neighborhood level because people already naturally choose to organize and deal with critical issues in their lives at this level. So, in a way, the FPF forces government officials to “come down” to the neighborhood level and speak more openly about what they intend…

Read the full column.


Methodical design of online communities

Plenty of food for thought in this slide show from Joshua Porter (via Richard Millington)…