Adventures in Online Organizing: Grt ask for distributed film screenings from Invisible Children

I’ve been inspired by the work that Invisible Children is doing for some time now — the integration of their online communications (heavily film) and their organizing is stellar. Maybe my top NGO crush (tied with

I just rec’d this email asking supporters — primarily students on campuses — to book a screening for this upcoming Congo Tour movie.

They included this video appeal, which i thought was a great example of using a personal voice to make a compelling ask and tell a memorable story at the same time. The guy in the video is literally finishing the edits of the film that you’ll be able to show your community, and the ask is dead simple — sign up to host just one screening. Very simple. And at the same time it teases out one of the stories from the film.

Here it is — more cause-orientated films should follow this model, so many seem to miss the mark in generating word of mouth:

Introducing: The Congo Tour from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Most widespread day of political action in history

This past weekend I had the honor of volunteering with the team during the final 48 hours of their global day of action on October 24, in more than 180 countries and every single time zone. It was filled with the same intensity and emotion as Election Day — complete with lots of under-slept bodies and a dank campaign office. I was thoroughly impressed, learned a good deal, and had a blast. I’m preparing a more in-depth write-up on lessons learned, but in the meantime I wanted to pull together my status updates from the day (start reading from the bottom!) as well as some of the videos i shot.  

ok, has basically turned into a porn site for online organizers. (and my coworkers have caught me sneaking peeks) #350ppm 11:49 PM Oct 26th

v cool: 200 Kayakers form giant floating 350 4 Day of Action. video: @amaser #350ppm #PDX via @350 @blakehschmidt 4:48 PM Oct 26th

RT @philaroneanu: Just about to enter the UN bldg in NYC. Going to deliver your @350 photos to Ban Ki Moon’s climate team @secgen #350ppm 1:40 PM Oct 26th

Grandiose q’s for a Sun, exploring future of citizen organizing + leaderless orgs in social change w/ @heif after ystrday’s @350 events 2:08 PM Oct 25th  

There’re few thing more beautiful to me than what @350 crew + thousands of vol organizers achieved today. all deserve much sleep. #350ppm 1:33 PM Oct 24th

RT @350 on ABC News: Boston to Beijing, Sydney to Delhi #350ppm (via @350buzz) 1:21 AM Oct 24th

video walkthrough of massive 350 Times Sq event: + smiles frm organizers after: #350ppm 6:40 PM Oct 24th cheers erupting from #350ppm HQ as global day of action photos hit homepage of NYT, IHT, Le Monde 6:05 PM Oct 24th

Photo: rallying in times sq under photos from #350ppm global day of climate action 4:19 PM Oct 24th

Photo: From times sq, proud organizers, mvmt builders #350ppm global day of climate action 4:16 PM Oct 24th

Big rally in times sq right now, showing pics of millions ppl taking action in almost every cntry to change our climate future #350ppm 4:07 PM Oct 24th

350 global day of climate action takes over TIMES SQ right now, photos frm around world. Unreal! VID: #350ppm 3:59 PM Oct 24th

this is what new organizing looks like. what’s happening behind largest distributed global action; VID: #350ppm 2:11 PM Oct 24th

athletes organizing events around the world for #350ppm global day of climate action; behind scenes video: 1:16 PM Oct 24th

McKibben re digital organizing: this is beta test of whether we can take this new arch. + make it serve some useful end 1:12 PM Oct 24th

RT @350: #CNN is SO our fav network right now: RT @Agent350: #350ppm on CNN this morning! Josh gets the story exactly: 1:07 PM Oct 24th

caught up w/ @billmckibben for realtime update on #350ppm day of action as it unfolds around the world: #350ppm 1:05 PM Oct 24th

incred photos coming in fast and furious frm #350ppm actions around the world: several of us tagging/sorting furiously 12:15 PM Oct 24th

“How long till I can get a decent robot?”

ROCKET MAN from last week’s NYT Mag (“The Screens Issue”) – Andy Samberg:

I saw a clip on the Internet of that Swiss dude, Yves Rossy, who made himself a jet pack and then flew it around like some kind of European awesome guy! If you haven’t seen it, just imagine if Iron Man and a Stealth bomber had a baby and decided to raise it in Switzerland to be a bald dude. The jet pack, much like the video phone, has always been on my childhood list of things I’ve been waiting for. And now, they’re both here. The future has arrived! Which raises the question: How long till I can get a decent robot? I don’t want any of those big white clunkers I’ve seen rolling around. I want a robot that I can really use. One that can entertain guests with political trivia and lend me money for late-night cab rides. Get it together, robot makers.

I’ve also been enjoying “The Wire” on DVD.

where did all of these catalogs come from?

… and, what’s a catalog? Just when i thought purchasing a physical CD was a quaint notion, when’s the last time anyone outside of Iowa ordered holiday gifts from a catalog?I returned from a few days away to find a mountain of catalogs begging to be redirected to the landfill (my building doesn’t recycle them, sadly). Then I remembered a recent post somewhere about a free service called that does all the legwork of unsubscribing for you — from whatever catalogs you no longer want to receive. Brilliant.No idea if it works yet (ask me in 8 weeks), but it couldn’t have been much easier, and it sure is a great idea long overdue.

my first yahoo answer, and not poisoning myself on lithium ions

I just finished some impressive handiwork replacing my 3G ipod battery (so far, so good — it’s charging) and found myself with an old lithium ion battery which, the packaging said, i absolutely could not discard in the trash. (Side note regarding my skillz: If you compare my hackery with the likes of tom’s breadboarding and sottering, based solely on appearances, i think I measure up quite well.)Of course, Newer Technology made no effort whatsoever to tell me what i, or anyone with a conscience, was supposed to do with said battery that could not be tossed. After all, why should my kids be forced to swim with terrorists in lithium-coated waters just so that i can have the pleasure of listening to a couple more hours of emo?So I asked The Internet and the internet delivered, as usual. After a few false trails on google, i was bopped over to Yahoo! Answers, where i found, “Discarding a battery?” Perfect! Well, almost. Everyone confirmed that I shouldn’t jettison it, but the majority told me to go the local recycling depot, which is a ridiculously impractical idea, since I have no idea where such a depot would be found along my commute to work.I did, however, find through some pages linked from the answer page that you can take your battery to almost any electronics or phone store and they’ll take the weapon off your hands at no charge, which was exactly what I wanted to hear. So i logged in and added my very first Yahoo! Answer to the Yahoo! Question and hopefully someone will Yahoo! benefit soon from my goodwill. I was impressed at how easy it was and rewarding to post an answer.Then, logically, i was smartly asked to take the next action (since I was presumably on a roll after answering my very first Q) and answer another question. Top of the suggestions list: Teen party dillema. Thanks, Yahoo. I help you save the planet and now you want to turn me into a child predator. I’ll pass.

Goodbye, friendster. It was you, not me.

does anyone still use friendster? i just logged in to delete my account, primarily to stop receiving those stupid update emails. and also because i figured it would feel good to feign at least some element of control over my online identity sprawl. sure enough, i feel great. master of my destiny. king of the castle.before hitting the big cancel button, i did a final victory lap just to make sure there wasn’t a whole mess of great new functionality (or friends) that had secretly come to light in the past few months. nope, definitely not — just a ghost town showing the remains of a raucous 2002, 2003, and 2004. (plus a handful of stragglers still living the dream… let’s not spoil it for them. MyFace, what?)Most satisfying part of canceling my account was telling them why i was going away. i don’t even feel bad for the guy who has to sift through all of the nasty “ever heard of facebook?” messages. i couldn’t help myself either: