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Guest Post: Social Actions Roundup #16

By Tom Watson on November 17, 20082 Comments

Photo by Maneno.org

Spot.us, a new platform for community funded journalism, officially launched this week! Spot.us enables the “public to commission journalists to do investigations on important and perhaps overlooked stories.” It’s a great idea with an awesome and well though-out execution. Spot.us is also the first open-source action platform, which may enable others to re-use and adapt the code to launch their own platforms. You can check out the code and also contribute on GitHub here. For more, check out the launch post here as well this MediaShift post

Congrats to David Cohn and the entire team of Spot.us

Links & Discoveries of the Week

  • Al Gore: The Internet can help climate change – Al Gore speaks @ the Web 2.0 summit and describes how online social activism is in its infancy and Web 2.0 must have a purpose. Read the NYTimes article here. Watch the CNET video here. Another great quote: “The Internet — specifically, the “cloud” where information is stored — also has a role to play, Mr. Gore said. “We have to have the truth — the inconvenient truth, forgive me — stored in the cloud so that people don’t have to rely on that process, and so we can respond to it collectively.”
  • When imagining this new green web – check out the beginning of a comprehensive “climate change API” (AMEE) and a new project called AccountAbility that’s trying “to make use of resources that gather product and company reviews, as well as distill these reviews into quantifiable numbers, or ratings.” More on AccountAbility on the Bilumi blog.
  • Idealist.org and the Art Director’s Club launched a website to connect nonprofits and causes with designers and creatives. – DesignismConnects (Press Release – here)
  • Apps for Democracy Review – 47 apps built in 30 days worth $2,000,000! – How a simple contest inspired an array of web applications that helps people connect to goverment data – from iPhone apps, Facebook apps, web apps, mobile apps, to maps mash-ups and a wiki
  • CrisisWire Launches – From Nate Ritter’s launch post: CrisisWire is a self-aggregating website that pulls information on any disaster around the US and displays it on one page.” Also featured on Mashable and Ecopreneurist.
  • Virgance re-launches their site and “snaps up 1 Block Off the Grid to give solar buyers more power” – (NYTimes.com) – 1Bog enables “consumers who want to install solar panels [to] band together into coordinated buying groups to cut a deal for their own home’s installation.”
  • The Virgin Group plans to launch ‘Virgin Money Giving‘, an independent not-for-profit organisation designed to facilitate widespread UK fundraising and help charities receive more of their charitable donations. Press release here.
  • The Knight Foundation launches a new community site called Knight Pulse, a place to discuss the future of information.
  • [MP3] From SSIR’s Online Giving MarketsListen to Premal Shah, Kiva.org President, on the Creation of Online Giving Markets and how the power of online communities can strengthen the world of microcredit.
  • SSIR Blog: People-Powered Content: It’s Driving the Web and Could Drive Your Community! Amy Sample Ward shares awesome examples and tips for how nonprofits can activate their supporters for change.

Social Actions News & Updates:

This was a whirlwind of a week for the SocialActions community!

  • A few days after announcing a logo winner (Congrats again to Kelli Sorrentino), we were extremely excited to re-launch the new Social Actions site Thursday night.
    It’s now super easy to connect with actions – whether you’re trying to find actions, add actions to your site, or develop an application. Check out a before and after (plus a guide to the new site) here.
  • We’re also very excited to announce a collaborative project, Change the Web 2009, which seeks to transform the web for social change. Via a contest launching in January 2009, we hope to encourage a new wave of web applications that embed opportunities to make a difference on the websites, blogs, and social networks that we already visit online.
    Do you want to join us on an adventure to change the web for good? Check out this new post (*with 9 ChangetheWeb adverts*) and leave a comment!

What are Social Actions Roundups?

Each week, Social Actions community members post links and news about online social activism – This round-up is a summary of the links that surfaced in the last 7 days. You can now share links and news for future Social Actions rounds ups in the Peer-to-Peer Social Change FriendFeed Room. Check out past roundups here.

Social Actions roundups are also syndicated on CauseWired, TakePart, and NetSquared.

New: You can also tag your delicious bookmarks with “p2pchange” or include “#p2pchange” in your tweets – we’ll scoop them up and review them for future Social Actions Roundups.

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2 Comments »

  • Digidave says:

    Is that true? Is Spot.Us the only open source action plateform?

    If so – that makes my day!!

    Best
    David Cohn

  • Lucy says:

    @Digidave Haha, I had the same thought.

    Spot.us is an awesome project. Word. I’m curious: how long has it been running? Are you in the sustainable stage? What’s your biggest challenge to becoming sustainable and how have/will you overcome it?

    I’m interested because I co-founded a civic media kind of project, Buy It Like You Mean It (Bilumi), a year and half ago, and it would be awesome to learn from each other.

    Regarding Bilumi, here are some clarifications (shameless self-promotion):

    The mission of Buy It Like You Mean It is to provide access to collaborative tools for educational discovery and communication about the real world impact of product supply chains.

    We have a web community that shares research and analysis, and compresses this information into quantifiable ratings.
    http://bilumi.org

    We are currently at the stage of building neat tools and applications on top of this foundation, for example the AccountAbility conscientious bank statement firefox extension. If you’re interested in helping our efforts in any way–technical, business, outreach, support–please let us know!
    lucy@bilumi.org

    Bilumi is a non-profit the builds open source technology :-)
    http://bilumi.org/trac

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