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13. I can see right through your nonprofit!

13. I can see right through your nonprofit! published on No Comments on 13. I can see right through your nonprofit!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been posting cartoons I drew for Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World, by Beth Kanter and Katie Delahaye Paine. I blogged about the book a while ago on Social Signal, explaining why I love it.

There’s only one more cartoon left to post! Quick, go buy a copy right now so Katie and Beth will have to write another book!

Maybe start using Get Satisfaction, too

Maybe start using Get Satisfaction, too published on No Comments on Maybe start using Get Satisfaction, too

There’s something about the way people at the top of the heap react when they start to feel the hierarchy shift beneath their feet. It’s as though they go through four of the Kübler-Ross stages simultaneously – denial, bargaining, violent rage and depression (actually, that last one looks a lot more like self-pity). Acceptance only seems to kick in once it’s wheels-down in the luxurious-place-of-exile of the now-former dictator’s choice.

With Mubarak, that process is now complete. With Ghadafi, it’s still underway – and every day, the damage to his country and people multiplies. And while the debate still rages over how large a role social media have played in the past month’s events across the Arab world, there’s no question that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have given the rest of us a window into a remarkable period of potentially profound, historical change.

If you want to see what that looks like, and you haven’t been following Andy Carvin’s Twitter feed, definitely check it out. He has been retweeting tirelessly since the early days of what many are calling the Jasmine Revolution, giving voice to an incredibly diverse range of people.


2010 in review: WikiEEK!

2010 in review: WikiEEK! published on No Comments on 2010 in review: WikiEEK!

This user has been suspended

This user has been suspended published on 3 Comments on This user has been suspended

Facebook has become an 800-pound online gorilla… or, actually, a 400-million-active-user gorilla. And with half of those users logging in on any given day, Facebook claims a massive share of the English-speaking web population, and recently outpaced Google itself in traffic.

The problem is, they operate with neither accountability nor transparency. I’m finding stories like this are becoming way too common:

The folks at Social Media Today have an active Facebook presence, using a Fan Page. And they’ve recently been posting a link to that page twice a day. A few days ago, when they tried to post a link, they received a message from Facebook:

Block! You are engaging in behavior that may be considered annoying or abusive by other users.

You have been blocked from sharing web addresses (URLs) because you repeatedly misused this feature. This block will last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. When you are allowed to reuse this feature, please proceed with caution. Further misuse may result in your account being permanently disabled. For further information, please visit our FAQ page.

The problem, apparently, was they were posting links too often.

So how often is too often? Facebook won’t tell them. How do they need to change their behaviour to get link-sharing reinstated? Facebook won’t tell them.

Now, I understand that Facebook is a private company, not a public utility. They’ve built an enormous user base because they’ve built a compelling platform, and because they’re run by savvy businesspeople.

They’re also spectacularly unaccountable: a closed organization given to apparently capricious decisions. And that’s not a great fit with the Cluetrain era that Facebook is supposedly helping to usher in.

There’s an arguably even deeper issue. With so many people engaged with each other on Facebook, it starts to take on the role of civic space… where a lack of accountability and a Star Chamber mentality have larger social ramifications.

Whether that begins to make the case for some form of regulation – maybe along the lines of consumer protection legislation – is up for debate. But if Facebook’s lack of openness becomes an irritant for the broader user community, and not just social media professionals, then government intervention would be the least of the site’s concerns.

Cloak and daggr

Cloak and daggr published on No Comments on Cloak and daggr

I drew this one in honour of our launch of Open SoSi – the open-sourcing of Social Signal’s intellectual property.