April 30, 2009

Tim Ferriss’ method of supporting causes

tim-ferriss

JD LasicaTim Ferriss, author of the best-seller The Four-Hour Work Week, appeared today via uStream at the Inbound Marketing Summit during the session “How to Create a Worldwide Social Media Phenomenon.”

He took questions from the audience, and I asked how he decides which causes to support.

It wasn’t an idle question. Ferriss has become a remarkably adept advocate for philanthropic causes in a startlingly short time. He has successfully made use of social media tools to raise thousands of dollars to build schools in Vietnam, libraries in Nepal and India, and most recently, to help thousands of classrooms in the U.S. obtain basic classroom supplies. (Source: WalletPop)

Tim singled out three organizations and initiatives as exemplars of philanthropy in the age of Web 2.0:

Donorschoose.org, the remarkable organization founded by Charles Best (I did a video interview with him Monday and hope to post it soon). Ferriss, who sits on the organization’s board, said the ability for users to select the specific educational causes they support and to receive tangible feedback are key drivers of its success.

roomtoread1Roomtoread is a global organization that has established more than 7,000 libraries in the developing world since 2000.

Charity: water, the nonprofit that was the beneficiary of the Twestival event in 205 cities, is representative of a new breed of charitable organizations, he said. Some of these groups have smartly begun to set up an administrative structure in which 100 percent of donated funds go directly to the cause, with a separate fund, generated through other means (such as a small add-on to support the group’s operations), paying for administration.

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April 29, 2009

Secrets and sex education


Secrets and sex education from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaHannah Cordero, program coordinator for the Education Theatre Program of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, tells about the Secrets program geared toward teens through theatrical performances. Educational Theatre Programs served over 360,000 people in Northern California in 2008. Hannah spoke at the recent sex::tech conference in San Francisco.

To see upcoming performances, go to: kp.org/etp/ncal/.

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April 27, 2009

What is off-limits to a documentary filmmaker?

Fair use and ‘free use': As a documentary filmmaker, when must I turn off my camera?

Guest post by Peter Jaszi
Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University

The answers to some of filmmakers’ most common clearance questions don’t really lie in the realm of “fair use” at all, but fall under the heading of “free use.” Some examples:

  • Buildings that can be seen from public areas can be filmed for any purpose. Although there has been copyright in architectural works in the United States since 1990, the U.S. Copyright Act includes an exemption for filming. It doesn’t matter whether the building is the subject of the film or an incidental background.
  • Federal government works enjoy no copyright protection whatsoever, whether they are the words of federal government employees or footage taken by camerapeople in civilian or military service. The purpose for which you use the material – as well as the source from which you obtain it – are irrelevant from a copyright perspective.
  • Public domain works (such as 19th century paintings or medieval manuscripts) in museums or private collections are free for use as well, if you have access to a reproduction. Many institutions claim copyright in their own photographs of old objects in their collections. But if you have a different source, you’re free to proceed, without a license from the collection.
  • For most documentary projects, filmmakers don’t have to be concerned about the so-called “right of publicity” that exists under some state laws. The cases (and sometimes the statutes themselves) make it clear that the right bars only the commercial exploitation of celebrities’ “persona,” and First Amendment-protected expressive uses are specifically exempted.
  • In answer to a common (but not intellectual property-related) question, documentarians don’t need photo releases from individuals who are filmed in parks, streets or other public places where they have no expectation of privacy. If you single out an individual for special attention, you may a need a release.
Peter Jaszi is professor of law and faculty director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at Washington College of Law, American University. This article originally appeared at American University’s Center for Social Media and is published under a Creative Commons license.. It is available in PDF form.
Related

Filmmakers’ best practices in fair use

The rules around capturing public performances

Guide to shooting photos in public

Your rights as a photographer

April 27, 2009

Mapping your organization’s social media strategy

Amy Sample WardI’m here at NTEN’s 09NTC and am going to live blog Beth Kanter’s session on mapping your social media strategy to metrics.  Below is the live blog or the archive of the live blog.  Can’t wait!

The internet connection here is such that I don’t think a live blog portal will sustain itself.  So, I’m going to trouble shoot and just take some live notes here and post them as soon as possible.

Here goes…

Takeaways:

  • How to use listening
  • The right metrics
  • Analytics tools

Panelists:

  • Wendy Harmon: social media manager, philosophy is to use social media to execute mission
  • Danielle Brigida: using social media to increase, reach, engagement and revenue
  • Qui Diaz:Livingston, recently did research for the Philanthropy 2.0 report
  • Sarah Granger: advise nonprofits on using social media for advocating and communicating

Themes that people want to learn:

  • new metrics structures can bubble up
  • funders of a 20th century mindset – what metrics speak to them
  • what things need to be measured
  • obama reach vs local reach
  • industry benchmarks
  • how to integrate tools without reinventing the wheel
  • success stories

List, Learn, Adapt – concept from David Armano: “Insight must come before investment when implementing a social media project.”

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April 23, 2009

How mobile is empowering consumers

Sea turtle - Photo courtesy Blue Ocean Institute

Photo courtesy Blue Ocean Institute

Katrin VerclasSensing is just one way in which mobiles are used in environmental protection. Another promising area is wildlife protection in sensitive areas where humans and animals collide, often to the detriment of protected animals.

In the Laikipia District in Kenya, the University of Cambridge conducted a project using mobile phones to protect and manage Kenya’s second largest elephant population, and the ecosystem they inhabit.  The goal was to alleviate human-elephant conflict between local farmers and the protected elephants.  The project used mobile phones for early warning of elephants approaching farmland by using ‘push-to-talk’ technologies, and GPS/GSM collars for the elephants, allowing wildlife personnel to intervene before elephant became a danger to farmers and vice versa.

Mobiles are especially useful for gathering and acting on just-in-time information. Imagine this scenario: A woman in Johannesburg, South Africa, stands at the fish counter in her local supermarket and texts the name of a fish to a phone number. Within seconds, she receives back information via a short text message informing her whether the fish is legally and environmentally harvested and advising her whether “to tuck in, think twice or avoid completely.”

The consumer is using FishMS, a text service of Sassi (The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) and the World Wildlife Fund to help consumers make informed choices about the seafood they purchase.

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April 22, 2009

Carbon footprints, nation by nation

Breathing Earth

kiwanjaJust in time for Earth Day: the site Breathing Earth, which is described as a “real-time simulation which displays CO2 emissions from every country in the world, as well as their birth and death rates.” The data used comes from reputable sources, although the site admits that a simulation on this scale can never be 100% accurate. Worryingly, they note that the CO2 emission levels shown are much more likely to be too low than too high. Yikes.

This is a fascinating site, and one which throws up numbers on a scale large enough to scare the best of us. Since I started writing this brief blog post, for example, the world population has risen by over 2,000 and total CO2 emissions have exceeded an incredible 760,000 tons. The United States alone was responsible for approximately 175,000 of that.

If you ever need reminding of the relentless march of global population growth, and the increasing impact that our growing numbers are having on the planet, there can’t be many sites better than this.

This entry originally appeared at Kiwanja.net.