Yaba Yaba

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Take it from the Dod

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CCN - Collaborative campaign news thingy

CCN - Collaborative campaign news thingy

The Dod is a master hacker and overall kewl kat who has been putting his skills in the service of good people for many years. Currently on his agenda is the campaign against biometric ID in Israel (Hebrew). As part of his support for that campaign, he has developed a very clever widget which allows a group of people to collaboratively update a news ticker and embed it on various sites. The ticker is very web2.0, with flickr galeries and all. RSS coming soon.

Here’s the use scenario. You’re running a campaign, and need to constantly collect and distribute news in real time. You have 0 budget but a good group of activists.

Old school: nominate a PR person, have everyone email her the news, she edits them and maintains a website.

New school: open a private room on friendfeed, everyone joins the room and picks up the bookmarklet, and starts pushing news to the room. Next, everyone picks up this widget and plug it into their blogs, sites, etc. Now the news is flowing from the people to the people by the people.

The Dod has promissed twitter feedout and other goodies, but will not say when. With a bit of nudging, he’s ported the widget, and its documentation, to English. Only bummer is that it doesn’t work on wordpress.com. It works fine on blogspot, or on hosted wordpress.

CCN 4 NoBioID

The original, as used by the Israeli human rights society's campaign against biometric ids, as seen on Bracha Goleshet

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free soul food, or the Atheist food kitchen

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Clay Shirky asks:

Would it be possible to run an atheist soup kitchen? (This isn’t an entirely idle question…)

Easy.

A soup kitchen needs some fixed assets (space, pots, plates), and a reliable supply of three resources:

  • Perishable goods, aka groceries.
  • Manpower
  • Modest finances to cover operating costs.

Let’s assume we have an intitial investment to cover fixed costs (from municipalities, foundations, etc.). The main challenge is sustaining a flow of resources over time. So –

Now, for some administrative health:

  • Use a wiki (such as wikia or google sites) to share organisational knowledge among kitchens.
  • Maintain a public facing blog, with at least 2 posts a day: one informational, one opinion.
  • Use google app engine to construct and manage your operations database.
  • Use ZohoCRM to manage supply chains.
  • List locations of your soup kitchens on http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter

And some PR:

  • Get the right people to blog about you.
  • Get some good viral videos out there on youtube.
  • Publish a constant flow of heart-warming stories of champion volonteers and some heart-breaking stories of your clients.

Most important:

Make a habit of innovation. Make your core service 5% more eficient each year, and use the residue to develop new services.

By the way, here in the civilised world we have an atheist soup kitchen, its called a welfare state. Not as streamlined, not as sexy, but it does keep people from freezing in the streets.

trash mob

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Uri Blau reports for Ha’aretz about a group of 80 or so teenagers who used ICQ and SMS to meet at the mall in Pisgat Ze’ev with the explicit intent of lynching a few Arabs and to scare others away from the mall.

It would have been difficult to choose a more cynical date on which to send out such a message: Wednesday, April 30, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Dozens of boys arrived at the meeting place in the Pisgat Ze’ev shopping mall. They streamed in from all parts of the capital, some on foot, some by bus and some driven in by parents. Equipped with knives, sticks and clubs, they all had one purpose: to do harm to Arabs for being Arabs.

(ht The Traveller Within)

Such an incident says nothing about Israel as a state or as a society. Every human group has its dark elements. As for the tools they used to organise their attrocious initiative – IQC, SMS, Twitter – they are not good nor bad. They can be used to promote human rights as well as they can be used to oppress them.

But the ease of organisation does change the scene: Clay Shirky often mentions flash mobs as an example of the positive impact technology has on the power of people to self-organize. And yes, I agree. Technology empowers individuals and communities. Which means we each, individually and collectively, have a greater responsibility.

We do not need to look to institutions to lead change, we can do it ourself. But we can no longer trust institutions to direct change. Here comes everybody, the good and the bad. There are no inocent by-standers: inaction is complaisance.

Wow.

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This is the day that John McCain lost, and a new generation won. A generation that knows not only how to speak truth to power, but also how to make its voice heard. Jean Sara Rohe, I salute you.


| digg story

Written by yishaym

May 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm

FaceBook is evil.

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FaceBook’s strategy may be genius, or it may be bonkers. I’m betting on bonkers – and praying for it too. Yes, privacy is dead, it has been for a while now. But this is taking it to an extreme. There an old line from an old radio sketch that comes to mind: yes, everyone pisses in the pool, but they don’t do it from the top of the jumping board.

Google has been serving me ads tailored for my behaviour for ages. Whether it’s adsense or the little clips on my gmail. Amazon tells me that people who bought this book also liked that one. The big difference is that whatever is personal, stays personal. No one tells my friends what I bought unless I do.

Mr. Zuckerberg thinks we’re ready to cross that bridge: hand over whatever is left of our dignity to the noble cause of making corporates richer. It kinda makes sense with the MS deal. Funny, how the same people who will go to great lengths to protect “their” intellectual property (read: DRM) are so eager to violate ours.

The irony is that FaceBook will fail, but not because the masses will awake. It will fail for the same reason that Friendster, Yahoo360 and so many of its predecessors failed: our short span of attention, and our low tolerance of bad products. And let’s say it once and for all: FaceBook is a crap product. Don’t give me the 800M users can’t all be wrong. They’re not. They came, had some fun, and will soon move on to something new. Why? Because FB gives you very little in terms of actual social value. Ok, you threw a fish at me, I joined your save the penguins cause. Now what? What does FB give me, in terms of managing my life, that email doesn’t? In fact, in most cases – it’s just a pain compared to email. Even the big API hoo-ha turned out to be an embarrassment. The only FB applications that carry any weight are those that point you to external services, like Zoho. Believe me, I’ve tried them.

Now google, that’s a different story. I can communicate with my friends with gmail, share document and edit them collaboratively, coordinate social activities with my calender and mailing lists. And you know what? I don’t mind their targeted ads, because their targeting actually works: most of the content that gets pushed my way is actually of interest (compare FB: I’m still getting dating ads. Please someone tell them I’m in a relationship, been happily in one for decades. Oh – that’s on my profile).

Mr. Zuckerberg is a genius social engineer, but as a software engineer he sucks. He was smart to start with college kids and expand upwards. He rode the wave of carnival for a year, now the party’s over. Which is why he’s resorting to hysterical business strategies.

(originally posted as a comment on

http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2007/11/dont_tap_on_the.php)

(digg this)

Written by yishaym

November 10, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Folks-onto-logy: you heard is here.

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Ontologies are beautiful, but no-one uses them.

Folksonomies are used by everyone, but impossible to make sense of.

Enter Folksontology;  a Folksonomy on the edges and onthology in the core. Driven by two way dynamics of tags flowing in and being restructrued and concepts flowing out and being repurposed. Kind of like a dynamical-system algoritmical model of Wittgenstein’s language games.

see me, hear me

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I’m giving a workshop for members of the network of organizations dealing with Jewish-Arab coexistence in Israel on “Social empowerment by technological tools”. The purpose of the exercise is to de-hype web2.0 to identify simple, powerful and free tools to help organizations with real-world problems. If you want to attend, call Maysaa. If you want to help, call me. Its Aug 27 in Haifa.

 

לחברי רשת השותפות שלום רב, لأعضاء شبكة الشراكة تحية طيبة وبعد،

רשת השותפות מזמינה אתכם לסדנה “העצמה חברתית באמצעות כלים שיתופיים באינטרנט ” – בהנחיית ישי מור.

הסדנה כוללת הקדמה תיאורטית והתנסות אישית, ובמהלכה ירכשו המשתתפים כלים טכנולוגיים לשימוש ברשימות תפוצה, שיתוף קבצים ועוד. (מצ”ב הזמנה).

מועד אחרון להרשמה, יום רביעי, 15 באוגוסט 2007, מספר המקומות מוגבל.

شبكة الشراكة تدعوكم للمشاركة في ورشة التمكين الاجتماعي بواسطة أدوات المشاركة عبر الانترنت “, يتولى التوجيه يشاي مور.

تشمل الورشة مقدمة نظرية وتجربة شخصية يكتسب المشاركون خلالها أدوات تكنولوجية لاستخدام القوائم البريدية وتبادل الملفات وغيرها. (الدعوة مرفقة)

الموعد الأخير للتسجيل: يوم الأربعاء 15 آب 2007، الأماكن محدودة .

Written by yishaym

August 11, 2007 at 6:54 pm