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Catching Up (Second Superpower Edition)
Jamais Cascio, 1 Jul 04

Continuing with the categorized catching-up entries...

  • Jon Stahl points us to an article at Network-Centered Advocacy describing ways in which networked advocacy groups can counter PR efforts when engaged in corporate pressure campaigns. Think of it as "reverse engineering" the corporate efforts: you can't effectively counter them unless you understand how they work. Some of the suggestions are common-sense, but some are novel -- and all take advantage of the immediacy and interconnectedness of the Internet medium.

  • Matt Stoller at the Blogging of the President site has a thoughtful essay on the value of blogs as communication and information vehicles. He asserts that the real value of blogs is not in the raw number of eyeballs viewing the pages, but in the web of conversation which can form around given subjects and controversies. He also is careful to note the ways in which blogs are limited, and the larger digital ecosystem (of listservs, email, IM, etc.) in which they live. He comments that subject niches which appear empty now (and often leading to demands that existing bloggers start talking about them) will undoubtedly be filled in due course, as the Internet and the world of blogging grow. He mentions the environment as a subject woefully devoid of blogs; perhaps he needs to be pointed to some good ones...

  • Social Design Notes asks "What is Asset Mapping?" -- and answers its own question. Asset Mapping is a community development methodology which uses design and graphics tools to map the existing capabilities and resources available for development, organizational strengths, relationships, and community members. The goal is to trigger new ideas and approaches by visualizing relationships in a novel way (this is something that corporate consulting groups have done, in various forms, for a few years now). Social Design Notes has some interesting observations about the technique; if you have any interest in community-scale development, check it out.
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