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November 15, 2004

Comments

Cameron Barrett

When I was at the Clark campaign, we registered blogcorps.com, blogcorps.org and blogcorps.net becuase we had the idea of building a "Peace Corps-like" group of bloggers and techies. The domains are still owned by the campaign but controlled by Josh Lerner, who was the CTO of the campaign.

These domains are set to expire in a few weeks, but I can request he transfer them to me or someone else unless he has a different use for them -- which is unlikely.

Keith Jenkins

Simply wonderful!!! I spent the weekend with a group of African-American political and business leaders and was stunned at the lack of blog-sense! I am already giving them my time to get them up to speed. Can't imagine more groups don't need help. Count me in!

Jon Garfunkel

The trouble with blogs being that they are too easy to set up... organizations should consider a more manageable community information structure that's not bound to the blog concept, like the Civ. Civ's can handle the "me too" posts...

But I'm just a non-blogging heretic here to cause trouble. :-)

Jon

Trudy W. Schuett

Yep -- I'm also here! I'm wondering with the diversity of ideas, how organized does this really need to be?

Jack Hodgson

I don't necesarily think this is the model you're looking for, but...

I've been encouraging new bloggers by, without any advance warning, creating a free blogspot/blogger blog for people who I think might make good bloggers. I then "give" it to them, no strings attached, show them how easy it is to make a post, offer to be unlimited tech support, and then let them post or not, no pressure.

Of the nine people I've done this for, only one has taken off.

http://concretefrog.blogspot.com/

Chris

I think that each application would be best served by the principals sitting down and developing a good picture of what kinds of interactions, workflow, etc. that they would like to have their collaboration application support, then modeling it, say using storyboarding, and then the developer(s) can build a schema from that and an application on top of that. Its not rocket science.

Blogs are basically content management systems and although many of them, like MovableType, have been quite successful at approximating an effective schema for what they do and then implementing it, at best they are still just approximations of what would be best for a given situation.

If people allowed themselves the flexibility to dream big dreams as far as what they could use, there are definitely people who would love to help them build it.

There are lots of ways of communicating and then, displaying and adding to those communications.

When I first confronted the WWW, it was being hyped as a medium for scientists, who would share, and annotate, all different kinds of information. The annotation took a while to happen. Thats basically where we are today, with the blogging explosion.

Its really just one phase in a process, even if it is a very important one. Computer-mediated communications is clearly here to stay and indeed, it *does* change everything.

The tools we build don't even necessarily have to be based on HTML-ish text which is read on demand, asynchronously. They could easily be audio and video.. even in realtime.

What we can do to facilitate the maximum amount of flexibility is to design these future protocols with that in mind. So bloggers won't necessarily look at 'channels' of information in the same way. We will be able to choose how we interact with it.

But blogs are a good start because they have gotten us talking about and experimenting with the various possibilities.

Here's where I think it will end up.. My first exposure to 'cyberspace', as a child, was a global world of two-way audio communications. I always have thought the Internet would eventually get there, to what I would describe as really an immersive experience. Imagine opening up the computer's power, blog-like spaces, even, to those who didn't even read!

That's the (still quite unrealized) promise of the marriage of broadband.. *rich* media, TCP-IP and distributed hypermedia..

Seshu

I think this is an idea whose time has come. More non-profits need to embrace this concept as a way of keeping in greater touch with the people they serve and the people they wish to attract as donors. While I have a photo/art/literature specific blog called TIFFINBOX (http://www.tiffinbox.org), I helped a non-profit based in India set up a blog called OMLOG (http://www.omlog.org). If there is a push for a "BloggerCorps" please let me know!

Thanks!

Mark

Yes!
I've been a blog proseletyzer, but haven't had resources to offer. The structure exists through a couple of existing organizations: techsoup.org and the circuit-riders http://tinyurl.com/4eotv. The latter group already helps non-profits to plan and implement technology projects, so is a perfect match.

theyeti

Yes, awesome idea!

If my advice means anything, I think it would be best to keep it as open as possible, not just to groups that want to save the entire world. Who knows, once small groups are able to get together, some of them just might.

Make sense? Obviously users should have some sort of a higher purpose, but not everybody is going to be blogging for Peace in the Middle East, for example. :-)

-Brian

Jay Dedman

And why stop at a text blog?
i work with a group og bloggers that are coming together to put video into our blogs.
http://videoblogging.info
Especially for non-profit groups, if you can SHOW people what youre trying to do...its much more effective.
Basically its could be like http://witness.org...but in a blog.

Let us know if you want help.
we're teaching indivdual people as they come...but we live all over(im in NYC) and one of us may be where a group needs some hand-on training.

Jay

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