Tuesday, March 4

NY Tech Meetup - March 2008

Scott makes introductions - IAC is looking for Java developers, project and product managers for some new ventures.

Danny Schultz, Ross and Adam from DFJ Gotham.

Future of Organizing with technology - power to the people in this century.

Jordan Goldberg, CEO of stickk
  • "Put a contract out on yourself" - allow users to create commitment contracts and leverage their network of friends to keep you on track.
  • Commit to weight loss, stop smoking, etc - social networking with goal creation - then add stakes (money on the line) to either charity, anti-charity (an organization that you DO NOT want to get your stakes), friend and/or foe or no stakes.
  • Referree - a person to verify your progress - which is a viral nature to get someone else into the site and will track your progress. Email sent to them.
  • Supporters - list of friends who will encourage you to lose your weight, stop smoking, exercise, etc.
  • Using the social networking concept and the social pressure that happens in companies like Kiva and other microloan companies.
  • Looking to build in group commitments rather than simply single person commitments.
Currently: 6000 users, hired a full-service development team to build the system
Success is found on using anti-charity

Peter Deitz, Social Actions
Independent project for the last year - social action aggregation platform - allowes for people to communicate and join guide for social action platforms.
  • Problem with interoperability, higher level integration of social change. 29+ social action platforms - social change campaign.
  • Each with its own: user base, Facebook app, Tag Cloud, etc.
  • Platforms built to empower individuals - full-responsibility for amplifying campaign on campaign creators.
  • Making an API in a microformat - what it is trying to accomplish, merge the feeds and have a aggregated source of information. Thinking of how to make social action platforms work together. (peterdeitz at google's service)
Jesse Richards, Meetup
Anouncing a new functionality: Meetups in the Making - pledging and expressing an interest for a Meetup - the idea is that if you do not want to commit to being the leader of a Meetup, but you are willing to join one at the time when the Meetup happens, then you express your interest.

Then when a person who is closer to becoming a leader of a group, it shows the potential "pledged" people who are interested in the group.

Launched in November 2007 - 70K people have pledged to upcoming groups.
Ready registry: pledgestry (Jesse's word)

"World's first platform for aggregating demand for community" - Scott Heifferman

Paul Miller, SchoolOfEverything (from London)
In 1965, the "Free U" grew from 2 courses to 300 courses (straight out of Accepted). These guys have placed a geo-locator for anyone able to teach a course. They have a search engine, capability of listing your potential course - and a chance for signup.

Similar site: moodle.com and other free ones. They have standards on form and business objects - can we connect with them? Yes - we "broker" relationships. Get people together face-to-face in the real world.

Will include a reputation engine, right now focused on established people who have business. They will determine demand for classes and show the demand geographically.

Andrew, thepoint (from Chicago)
Arose from the problem if - what if all of us did something against a bad thing ("what if we all cancelled our contracts on the same day?") - interesting that Andrew describes what Nate Westheimer described as VentBox - which is now Bricabox.

"Challenging Authority" - hitting a tipping point where the cost of the action exceeds the cost of the policy (e.g. change the policy or the action will cost the company/authority of the policy XXX money).

Has similarities to essembly from before - with a twist on petitions (sign this campaign). Some of the actions can be on issues that have no laws (e.g. upset with university for doing XXX, you can have a group of people do YY).

How much would it be to have the XXX campaign happen to you? Then you could pledge what you feel it is worth to you - ONLY when the campaign reaches the tipping point. (e.g. When we raise $10B, we will build a winter shielding dome over the city).

This is a platform for people to come together and combine in collective action. Aiming for an algorithm such that they understand how a problem will occur to changing the general public.

Concepts: register your "vectors of interest", browse policies you can affect, express willingness to contribute - thepoint will inform you of when you (and the other pledges) can now act to change the policy.

Future of self-government - a DIY-type culture.

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody
The Power of Organizing with Organizations - sharing, conversation and collaboration - and the fourth is "collective action". We are on the cusp of hitting this point.

Example: flight delays and how the people did not together - media had a field day. 1999 and 2007 -- in 2007, the airlines made it happen. How/why?

Kate Hanni was pissed - builds a blog, contacts the media, reaches out to other passengers, builds a petition, 10s of thousands - could not negotiate with the collective since they wanted on thing.

Thinking is for doing, Publishing is for acting. Every URL is a latent community. (Uh oh - sounding like the tail end of 1999 - where everything was "community").

FlashMobs - point of flash mobs was to tease the hipster community. In Belarus would not allow people to act in concert to coordinate. Case of collective action leading the media - part of the goal was to demonstrate the action against the government. (Tinges of "V for Vendetta").

When group tools applied in free communities - always laughed at. But in Egypt, twitter is becoming a powerful community tools. Have to look at the context and the tool to understand.

Fighting Costa Nostra - collaborating with others to fight the Mafia. (Reminds me of BALCONY)
"Media is moving form a source of information to a site of action." - Clay Shirky
In 2008 - less creative use of collaboration tools - think that it has become the "third rail" because of what happened with the Dean Campaign. Being used in quite effective, quite utiliarian operations.

[Ed comment: Democrats are often on these tools because their structure for organizing is available from their spare time, Republicans have a large number of offline connection mechanisms which does not need to "fill their spare time". I wonder how people will connect to these social actions that leverage these technologies.]
"Silicon Valley is obsessed with data and information, New York is about media - helping the world's people self-organize is the real interesting way of sparking the future." - Scott Heifferman
Q: Connecting offline organizations to these tools - spare time fillers versus engaged people.

Q: How do you measure results? Effectiveness? A: their own success metrics - there are no comparison metrics. My suggestion: use the measurement of the value of the actions to generate an equivalency for the action in some financial metric.

Metrics - sounding like what we were doing back in the beginning of banner ads - why not come up with something that is a utility metric for success?

Thought: the technology of accountability will actually force the change that is expected.

Q: Are you going to take over or usurpt the incumbents - or will you work with them? A: Jesse from MeetUp wants to work with them. Jordan from Stickk is trying to work with charities.

1 comment:

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