Monthly Archives: December 2008

Social Actions Roundup #20, selected excerpts

Upcoming Events

Tom Watson will host an online chat at (Tues, Dec 16) on the subject of, “Using Online Tools for Activism.”

TakingItGlobal will host a launch party in Toronto (Tues, Dec 16) for the launch of its version 6.

George McCully will speak at the Ethos Roundtable in Harvard Square (Tues, Dec 16) on the subject of, “Philanthropy Reconsidered in the Internet Age.”

ChristmasFuture will launch (Tues, Dec 16) its first TweetsmasFuture campaign.

Kiva will host (Wed, Dec 17) its first community conference call for lenders.

News Roundup for Week of Dec 8-14, 2008

Amazee released a white paper on Social Collaboration.

Firstgiving hosted fundraising pages for the 8th annual Santa Speedo Run in Boston.

Zazengo launched its Impact Challenge game on Facebook.

Katya Andresen blogged about a free campaign planning tool.

Pew Internet and American Life Project released a report entitled, “The Future of the Internet III.”

Craig Newmark offered his reflections on the development of a “Craigslist for Service.”

Chez Pim launched its fifth annual and highly successful Menu for Hope micro-philanthropy campaign.

Squidoo launched $30,000 Twitterdrive for Charity.

Social Innovation Camp posted a report from the recent get together in London.

David Weinberger presented at Le Web on the subject of Leadership Based on the Wisdom of Crowds.

From Poverty to Power blog linked to two collections of case studies on the effectiveness of grassroots activism.

MicroVolunteerism launched Twitter-based volunteering initiative.

Paul Brest of The Hewlett Foundation responded to Nathaniel Whittemore’s question, “What is the one thing you need to know before you donate to charity…

Amy Sample Ward asked friends, family and the nptech community to contribute to her 26th Birthday Cause in support of Free Geek.

JD Lasica posted a review of Tom Watson’s CausedWired.

Ning Network Creators posted a tutorial on creating The Perfect Social Network.

Recent Discoveries

Can the Internet Save the Planet? Environmentalism 2.0 Slideshow

100 of the Most Essential Green Web Resources

Zoombala: Social network for social entrepreneurs

Facebook Ads 101: How to Set up and Track Facebook Ads

Dream It. Do It. Challenge

Social Actions News

The Social Actions fundraiser has raised $6,564 from 38 contributors. Thank you!

Social Actions launched its first official press release, “Online Competition Aims to Change the World by Changing the Web.”

Peter Deitz announced eight new action sources: CanadaHelps, Changents, DoSomething, KnightPulse, NGO Post, PolicyP….

Joe Solomon welcomed Romina Oliverio as the Change the Web Volunteer Coordinator.

Romina Oliverio and Joe Solomon launched the Change the Web Volunteer Wiki.

EarthFirst added Social Actions’ Related Ways to Take Action WordPress plugin


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Guest Post: Social Actions Roundup #19: A resource guide to the latest actionable opportunities

This week’s roundup draws attention to two contests that illustrate the impact social media technologies are having on not just private and nonprofit initiatives, but public spending as well.

The recently-completed Apps for Democracy challenge resulted in 47 apps that made use of Washington DC’s government data catalog. As we covered in Roundup #16, this contest delivered a 4,000% ROI for its organizers. This week, Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs reports on lessons learned and the buzz this contest has generated for creating more open source challenges for government agencies.

And speaking of government, President-elect Obama’s transition team announced this week that the website now falls under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Social Actions News and Updates

Social Actions launches a campaign to raise $20,009 by 02/02/2009. Read personal appeals from Peter Deitz and Christine Egger, and check out who’s giving and why they’ve chosen to support Social Actions.

Social Action’s upcoming ChangetheWeb Challenge hosted its first open conversation to discuss recent updates and share ideas. Check out the notes here.

November’s top cause-related search terms for the Social Actions search engine are listed here.

Analysis and Commentary

Lucy Bernholz posts her 2009 predictions for online philanthropy

Beth Kanter lists her top 10 nonprofit technology and social media for social change blogs

Peter Deitz hosts a lively discussion on Social Edge about how to scale online support for social entrepreneurs (perhaps something along the lines of Pop!Tech’s Accelerator?)

Gaurav Mishra counsels NPR and several other media outlets on the role of citizen journalism in the Mumbai terrorist attacks

Curtis Chang critiques the costs, benefits, and appropriateness of FORGE’s following the KIVA model

David Wilcox interviews Clay Shirky on social media, social change, and where to find people who are reall….

Stacey Monk and Avi Kaplan of Epic Change offer analysis and “lessons learned” on their incredibly successful Tweetsgiving campaign, and Lucy Bernholz offers her own observations about this and other microgiving campaigns

Allison Fine discusses the effective use of social media for spreading the message and rai…

Launches and Announcements

Razoo relaunches as a full-service, donor-driven online platform for charitable giving (press release on

Facebook launches Facebook Connect, a platform that allows users to integrate their Facebook activity with partner websites (descriptions and responses from ChannelWeb, Beth Kanter, and Michelle Murrain)

RangDe.Org, India’s first peer to peer microlending site, has recently launched (press release on announces a challenge grant that will match donations to all projects posted by Oklahoma teachers

Lend4Health partners with Joseph Dee to openly design and launch a new website, a process that will unfold on their wiki and on the Social Actions forum

Spot.Us is looking to hire a Community Organizer (HT Susan Mernit)

New website for Democracy 2.0

New Facebook application for Dreambank

Blackbaud posts The Baudcast, Episode 20 covering Conference for Nonprofits, NetCommunity Developer Challenge, Google map mashups, social media sessions, and more.

The Alliance of Youth Movements summit will create a permanent nonprofit from the 17 online activist groups that have sprung up independently over the past year, all dedicated to using social media to work for peace around the world (HT Cause Global)

Third Sector New England is launching a web-based video reference tool for new nonprofit managers: sneak peeks here and here

Sierra Bravo announces the Overnight Website Challenge: a 24-hour February 2009 marathon where 10 volunteer web pros will create free websites for 10 nonprofits

Katya Andresen and her colleagues at Network for Good offer a free “downturn survival guide for online fundraising eBook

What are Social Actions Round Ups?

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 share links and news for future Social Actions rounds ups in the Peer-to-Peer Social Change FriendFeed Room. You can also check out past roundups here.

Social Actions round-up #19 was originally  posted by our friends on on December 8, 2008.

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PolicyPitch picked up by SocialActions!

Beginning last week, Social Actions will aggregate your pitched ideas from the PolicyPitch platform!  This new partnership will increase exposure for our members and help connect you to people and resources that will further influence change!

Social Actions’ mission is to “make it easy for you to make a difference,” and does so by helping you find and share opportunities to change the world.

In their own words:

  • First, we collect ways to get involved in the causes you care about from these 30+ action sources, including Care2,,, DemocracyinAction, GlobalGiving, Idealist, Kiva, SixDegrees and VolunteerMatch.
  • Then, we make it easy for you to find these opportunities by presenting them in a user-friendly search engine.
  • We also encourage nonprofits, companies, and third-party developers to create online tools that help you share ways for others to take action on your website, blog, or mobile device

Check out the PolicyPitch partner page, or search for other opportunities to make a difference!

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Louisiana launches state spending website, improves transparancy

LaTrac, a new website detailing state spending in Louisiana, was officially launched last month.  The site is part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s promise of a more accountable and transparent government.  It currently contains all spending from the state’s accounting system General Ledger, and promises more detailed dislcosures in the future, including all expenditures by the LSU system, the Southern University system, and the University of Louisiana system.  The website is updated once a month.  This is definitely a step in the right direction for transparancy, accountability, and Louisiana.  More importantly, the site will keep residents better informed such that they can more efficiently influence local government.

The next step is to launch an online application that allows residents to see the proposed state budget, alter it, create and recommend their own budgets, and allow people to comment and contribute.  Indeed, residents of Louisiana are already calling for it; while Arizona and Minnesota are already ahead of the curve.

The LA TRAC website for more details.


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PolicyPitch gets great press in November

We had some great coverage during November.  Check out some of the top articles below!

These articles really helped drive traffic to the site and generate enthusiasm among our members.  Thanks to the authors above!

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