P O S T E D B Y A L B E R T
NetSquared Innovation Award There’s still time to submit your project for the second annual NetSquared Innovation Award. This competition is open both to nonprofits and private sector projects that:
- Use the power of community and social networks to create change
- Use existing, or newly developed technology tools for social impact
- Have a plausible financial model
- Have a clear way to measure success
- Exhibit extraordinary leadership, passion and resourcefulness
- Exhibit a passion for social change
For project guidelines and application materials, click here.
Online Giving Donors are increasingly learning to value the safety and convenience of online giving. The GlobalGiving site enables donors to support grassroots charitable work around the world. The site’s sponsors guarantee that “85-90 percent of your donation gets to local project leaders within 60 days” and that all supported organizations are US PATRIOT Act-compliant. For giving in the United States, try visiting Network for Good. The Network for Good site has some outstanding fundraising and communications resources for nonprofit organizations.
Web 3.0 In case you missed the ticker-tape parade, Web 2.0 is officially here. It’s the Wikipedia web, the web of Flickr and Del.icio.us. It’s characterized by greater interactivity and introduces features like tagging and social networking. The wait is over.
There’s a nascent Web 3.0 that will look very much like the iWeb of Zerbina and Zork. According to the March/April issue of Technology Review, Web 3.0 will be “a set of technologies that offer efficient new ways to help computers organize and draw conclusions from online data.” Some identify it with the so-called Semantic Web. You can read more about it here and here.
The Future of Audio Blogcasting There will always be an audience for audio podcasts. People with long commutes, for example, can use their podcatchers (a kind of media aggregator) to load up their .mp3 players with music, radio programming, and other content that will see them through many a long traffic backup.
It’s been my experience, however, that the audio podcast is not the best medium for blog content. You can scan a written blog in seconds, skipping those passages in which the author indulges himself; but the consumption of an audio podcast is painfully linear. If you hit the fast forward button, you run the risk of missing that one gem, that key idea that makes the whole podcast worth the investment of time.
An interesting 2006 study by TDG Research suggests that more than 80 percent of downloaded podcasts never make it to those .mp3 players. They’re either consumed on the PC, deleted, or entirely forgotten. You’ll notice that, music aside, very few audio files “make the rounds” of the Internet.
There are notable exceptions.
This January 29, 2007 posting by the San Francisco Chronicle titled “Correct Me If I’m Wrong” combined winning content and delivery with the irresistible conceit of listening in on a private telephone message. It makes for an extraordinary listening experience and it spawned an entire industry of Internet commentary: “Never say ‘pilotless drone.’ Ever. There can be consequences,” wrote Mr. Johnson at Seeing the Forest; Stephen Dubner at Freakonomics wondered whether the irate message might be a hoax perpetrated by Simpsons creator Matt Groening; Craig from Albany pointed out that the drone in question was not pilotless at all but rather a Remotely Piloted Vehicle. Much ado.
Old schoolmarm that I am, I took issue with the irate caller’s claims about English usage. I can write, for example, “The smooth-coated Pharaoh Hound is a good breed for people with allergies,” even though all Pharaoh Hounds are smooth-coated. I would mention their smooth-coatedness if I suspected my audience wasn’t aware of this property of Pharaoh Hounds. Likewise, because “drone” is a technical term used by the armed forces, I might choose to emphasize its pilotless-ness to a general readership.
Drone is a technical term, technical, TECHNICAL, get it Mr. Irate Caller? a technical term as in requiring that it be explained to a general audience, technical, technical, TECHNICAL, TECHNICAL …