Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" -- the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world.
Andy Carvin (http://www.andycarvin.com) is Senior Strategist for National Public Radios Social Media Desk. As coordinator of NPRs social media strategy, he has helped NPR programs learn how to connect the public with NPRs editorial activities in order to further the quality and diversity of NPRs journalism. He was recently named by Washingtonian magazine as part of its 2009 list of the 100 leading technology innovators in Washington DC.
In a unique approach to voluntarism, Ben Rigby has taken the time element out of doing good works. For the past 15 years, he has focused his efforts on developing youth-focused Web and mobile phone software for non-profits and brand-name companies. In 2008, he co-founded The Extraordinaries, the micro-volunteering network that allows people to volunteer on-demand and on-the-spot using mobile phones and the Internet. Rigby's group is part of a new movement that combines tiny technology and huge social goals. He is the author of Mobilizing Generation 2.0, a handbook that promotes using virtual technologies to recruit, organize and engage youth. It's all part of the micro world. What began with microscopes and microbiology has morphed into microeverything: microchips, microhousing, microjobs. And now: microvolunteerism.
The Extraordinaries founders found a new way to innovate the way charities and volunteers connect. While many people think that there is less time to volunteer, the stats prove otherwise: Americans spend almost five hours a week playing video games and 9 billion hours a year playing solitaire. The Extraordinaries was able to harness the way we view spare time as an opportunity for social action through a mobile phone-based micro-volunteering platform. For example, someone with foreign language skills can spend a few minutes to help translate a nonprofit’s Web site into another language, or someone with a passion for birds can help the Cornell Lab of Ornithology identify species in archived photographs. Call it an ideagora for activists.
The NGO sector is exploding in size and influence on the international scene and increasingly setting the agenda in areas such as human rights and the environment. Meanwhile virtual communities linking cultural and ethnic diasporas around the globe are breaking down the boundaries of geography and creating bridges based on values. These worldwide virtual communities not only provide a sense of belonging, they can become a conduit for problem solving by bringing together people who share a heritage or a worldview, but not a physical location.
Tapping into the latest trends in information and telecommunications technology, Jacob Colker has combined volunteering, the internet and mobile phones to pioneer a new form of activism in which almost anyone with a smartphone can devote spare minutes – waiting for the bus or to see the doctor – to a useful charitable or scientific task.
TED Talks Sure, the web connects the globe, but most of us end up hearing mainly from people just like ourselves. Blogger and technologist Ethan Zuckerman wants to help share the stories of the whole wide world. He talks about clever strategies to open up your Twitter world and read the news in languages you don't even know.
In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn't just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can't.
Named for the only insect able to move in any direction when its four wings are working in concert, The Dragonfly Effect reveals how everyday people achieve unprecedented results through harnessing the incredible power of social media.
Mr. Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. An adjunct professor at New York University who focuses on the interrelationships of social and technological networks, Shirky has significant influence within the media, in social networks and in the digital and mobile...
Ethan Zuckerman is the recently-announced director of the MIT Center for Civic Media, officially starting in September 2011.
Ethan has been a senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where he is also a long-time fellow. His work at the Berkman Center has included research into global media attention, as well as the co-founding of...
Web curation has been a hot topic since last year. More and more people start to use web curation tools for difference purposes. After blogger, there is a new term called web curator. Andy Carvin, who is from NPR, is aggregating and curating many streams of information about the protests in Tunisia and Egypt. His story is a great example of how web...
From astronomy to activism, from surfing to saving lives, Pro-Ams - people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards - are an increasingly important part of our society and economy. For Pro-Ams, leisure is not passive consumerism but active and participatory, it involves the deployment of publicly accredited knowledge and skills, often built...
Reviews on Clay Shirky's second book: Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. Since we Americans were suburbanized and educated by the postwar boom, we've had a surfeit of intellect, energy, and time-what Shirky calls a cognitive surplus. People are embracing new media that allow us to pool our efforts at vanishingly low cost. The...
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