RENTON, WA—Local man Paul Campbell confirmed Saturday he was raising his daughter Emma on a variety of media carefully selected to help her cultivate an appreciation for artistic quality, a move that will reportedly put the 12-year-old girl hopelessly out of touch with her generation.
Honorable host Rick Steves did a valiant job of breathing life into this event, but its traditional banquet structure is just too flawed. I honestly felt badly for 84 year old Gates Sr. for having to sit through the entire event from start to finish at the front of the room. That guy has endurance.
This is not to say there wasn't fantastic content. The musical entertainment was phenomenal and Dr. Stephen Gloyd gave an amazing speech on the harmful impact of the United States' structural adjustment policies worldwide (which the Obama administration is continuing).
In the age of social media, organizations need to bring people together to engage with each other ... not broadcast. You just can't get up on stage and talk to people for 2 hours and expect them to feel a part of your organization. (It's worth noting that most of the journalism organizations I work with struggle to get this as well.) Is it time to retire the banquet dinner?
The room seem filled with older guests - if you want to attract younger people to your organization, you have to provide a more engaging format. A chance to meet and talk with Bill Gates Sr. perhaps? Q&A? Educational game night? Give the audience a way to be part of the program. If you don't believe your guests have something to offer the organization, then why do you want them as members? I know why (money) ... but I'm asking you to consider if there is more than one reason.
Similarly, the benefit auction - a staple of many nonprofits - promotes (insobriety and) consumption above the vision of your organization ... do you really want guests walking away from your one visit with them a year with this impression? If you're organization has grown to the scale where it relies on an annual event of unbridled extravagance and consumption to support itself, something's probably been lost. Something to think about.
I'm a huge fan of Bill Gates Sr. His advocacy of the estate tax and his passionate support on fair taxation (Initiative 1098) are incredibly admirable. But, even Rick Steves couldn't help note that we all walked into St. Mark's Cathedral past the Tent City homeless encampment (gracefully hosted by the church in its parking lot). When will the Gates Foundation, of which Gates Sr. is a co-chair, realize that stopping homelessness in its backyard is just as sexy as eradicating malaria?
Lone Shark Games, in conjunction with Wired Magazine and Universal Pictures, is looking for a few creative, honest, adventurous people to go on the run starting in late February. You need to be available through late March to leave your regular life behind. (If you are chosen, we will give you exact dates.)
Repo Men stars Jude Law and Forest Whitaker as corporate bounty hunters ultraviolently retrieving life-saving artificial organs from those who can’t pay for them. That includes Law’s character, Remy, whose artificial heart suddenly becomes company property once he loses his nerve for the job.
So, hold on to your organs. If you're interested in running, you can learn more here and here.
I'm excited to announce that NewsCloud has received a new Knight Foundation grant to continue our work on Facebook applications. The focus of this grant is to work more directly with news organizations and expand our open source development community. Hope you'll check it out...
Through April 2011, twelve news organizations will launch Facebook sites with NewsCloud's open source Facebook application technology, thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The goal of the grant is threefold:
To launch community news sites inside Facebook with twelve media partners showcasing different ways of leveraging the popular social network to reach new audiences.
To improve and expand the features and capabilities of the existing NewsCloud Facebook application.
To broaden participation in the open source development community around the NewsCloud Facebook application.
I hope you'll pick up a copy of Wired Magazine's December issue featuring "Gone", by Evan Ratliff. Using Facebook application technology developed with a grant from the Knight Foundation, I helped track Evan to New Orleans. To find out more, you'll have to read the story, which is getting great early reviews:
@skydiver Just missed my subway stop and wound up in Brooklyn because of Wired Article by Evan Ratliff. AMAZING. #vanish #fluke
Encouragingly, we found that publishing news in Facebook improved news-reading habits amongst young people, increased their knowledge about climate change and motivated them to take real world actions in their community.