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Tell a friend The Point: leveraging tipping points to achieve Big Goals

The Point

Got vision? Ready to inspire others to do something big? If you’ve got an idea, what you need to do next is build a powerful network of like-minded enthusiasts to achieve a common goal. Yeah, you could create yet another Facebook group or Twitter hash tag — or you could try The Point, which has developed software technology that allows organizers to leverage tipping points. Specifically, you can use The Point to start a campaign to raise money (minus five percent for The Point — if the campaign successfully reaches a minimum threshold that you decide) or to enlist volunteers for a cause, such as eliminating high fructose corn syrup from soda or developing wind farms. Once you’ve launched your campaign, you can embed a widget on your site to publicize it.

Current campaigns are organized into channels, like Education, Music, Politics, Technology, and so on. The "Social Experiments" channel hosts some interesting and amusing campaigns, and compelling public dares and calls to action are filed under "Challenges". You’ll find the best organized campaigns in the "Popular" section, along with many Groupon deals (because Groupon, a successful commercial project, is The Point’s biggest and most successful "campaign").

Posted August 11, 2009 by Mariva in community, deals, innovations, media, resources, shopping, social, technology

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Tell a friend election toys & info

Vote

Really? There’s an election? Gee, I had no idea.

For anyone living under a rock, the United States is approaching the decision that initiates the peaceful transfer of power (or the Quadrennial Showdown between Good and Evil, take your pick). Some elections are more contentious than others; the race for the impending presidential election on November 4, 2008 may be one of the most heated.

MSNBC produced a slideshow of voter portraits. After viewing just a few photos, though, I could accurately guess the voter’s allegiance. For example, every single African American pictured is voting for Barack Obama. The lobbyist in a business suit is supporting John McCain. The hip young people tend to lean Democratic. The older rural white men are all Republicans. (Well, duh.) While I appreciate the diversity of American citizens featured, the voting populace is full of surprises, and I wish the slideshow reflected some of those instead of reinforcing stereotypes according to the conventional wisdom of demographics.

Tangentially, speaking of demographics, do you know about Generation Jones? Born between 1954 and 1965, “Jonesers” occupy the recently acknowledged generation between Baby Boomers and Generation Xers. For decades, Jonesers had been imprecisely lumped in with Baby Boomers, but their life experiences have been very different from those of Boomers. Instead of worrying about getting drafted into the Vietnam War or dancing in mud at Woodstock, Jonesers were listening to punk rock on their way to the unemployment office in the late ’70s and wondering when Ronald Reagan would get around to mentioning AIDS in the ’80s. (The name Generation Jones, according to Wikipedia, “derives from the slang term jonesing, referring to the unrequited cravings felt by this generation of unfulfilled expectations.”) Both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are members of Generation Jones, and the Jonesers bloc comprises a potentially large number of swing voters.

Posted October 10, 2008 by Mariva in community, education, media, news, resources

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Tell a friend Leo Laporte’s podcasting tips

Only days after my initial careless omission of TWiT (this WEEK in TECH) in the list of the best free tech industry podcasts, I was fortunate enough to see Leo Laporte — who has a background in media, including radio and television — give an insider’s talk about podcasting at last week’s MacWorld. Here are some professional tips I picked up for current or would-be podcasters:

  • Bring passion. When developing a subject idea for a new podcast program, don’t try to game the media market — find what you love or care about and talk about it. If you focus your show on what you’re passionate and knowledgeable about, you’re much more likely to generate interest and be successful.
  • Specialize in a niche. There are thousands of audio shows available, and, for every topic you can think of, there’s at least one podcast for it. So instead of starting a new program about old cars, for example, start out by focusing on old Corvettes. Interview Corvette owners, dealers, and restorers. You can always expand your focus later. Also, don’t worry about getting a huge audience right away. If you have an audience of 1,000 dedicated listeners, you’re doing well. One thousand is a lot of people; if you were speaking to that many in person, it’d be an impressive crowd.

Posted January 24, 2008 by Mariva in audio, business, career, media, resources, technology

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Tell a friend best free audio podcasts

best free audio podcasts

Over the years I’ve developed a pathological fear of boredom, and subsequently a fear of mundane activities that lead to boredom, like waiting at the airport (especially at night), exercising (if it’s routine and not, say, a hike in an unfamiliar area), or cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. I like to keep my mind occupied; sometimes my own thoughts are enough, and sometimes they’re just not. For when my thoughts aren’t enough, and there’s nothing good on the radio, I listen to my favorite podcasts.

The irony? Alas, there is simply not enough time — even counting the stretches of boring time during aforementioned mundane activities — to listen to everything I want to, so the podcasts not yet listened to stack up in a sometimes overwhelming queue. I’ve realized that podcasts are like books or recorded TV shows: I probably won’t get to everything, but it comforts me to know they’re there, promising a rich intellectual landscape in which to escape from a wasteland of ennui.

Posted January 5, 2008 by Mariva in education, entertainment, news, resources, technology

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Tell a friend time management haiku

work, home, health, friends, sleep
not enough hours in the day
just treading water
  time management: watching the clock

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen

The Time Trap: The Classic Book on Time Management
by Alec MacKenzie

Time Tactics of Very Successful People
by B. Eugene Griessman

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
(and other books by Stephen R. Covey & family)

Posted March 24, 2006 by Mariva in books, business, career, innovations, resources

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Tell a friend do it yourself

Make magazine

Remember "The Future"? When our environment was supposed to have become so technologically advanced that machines would do virtually everything for us, leaving us with many hours of free time to pursue various leisure activities? It turns out that the exact opposite happened, and so we’re left with less time for accomplishing the basic tasks of maintaining our lives, let alone for leisure.

Paradoxically, those with free time often use it to cram more work into their lives, inspired by the growing Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement. (Granted, it’s work that’s taken on by choice — as opposed to the DIY work we’ll supposedly be doing after the post-peak oil crash — but still work nevertheless.)

Posted March 21, 2006 by Mariva in arts, crafts, education, fun, gadgets, innovations, resources, social

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Tell a friend book clubs and reading resources

book clubs and reading resources

A couple of years ago, I co-founded a major book club in my city. Because I was the facilitator, I felt it was my duty to read not only the chosen books but the study guides as well. It was like taking a literature class, without the term papers and oppressive overhead lighting.

Ah, those were the days. Now I’m in the middle of seven different books and can’t seem to finish any of them. Seriously. (I hope at least to finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix — yes, that’s Book 5, not even Book 6! — before the movie is released.)

Posted March 17, 2006 by Mariva in books, community, education, innovations, resources, social

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Tell a friend cutting straight lines

Fiskars rotary paper trimmer

So many paper crafts, so little time. If you’re cutting paper (or even cloth!), you can — safely — get clean, straight lines with a Fiskars rotary paper trimmer (available with a 12-inch or a 24-inch cutting board), which is surprisingly affordable for quality home office/crafting equipment.

Perhaps the best part is the available assortment of rotary blades, including blades for scoring paper (for easy bending without cutting), perforation (for easy ripping along predetermined lines) and decorative edges (pinking, scallop, wave, tiara, Victorian, deckle, squiggle).

Posted March 16, 2006 by Mariva in arts, crafts, fun, gifts, innovations, resources

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Tell a friend live long and Prosper

Prosper

I hear all sorts of business ideas at the monthly Entrepreneurship Meetup — some OK but need further development, some not so good, some downright ill-conceived. At the last month’s Meetup, I met the CTO of Prosper.com, an innovative financial startup that facilitates person-to-person lending — for example, a blogger in California lending $500 to a cafe owner in Maine — via a system that CEO and E-Loan co-founder Chris Larsen hopes to become "the eBay of loans."

Prosper seemed to be in the "OK but needs further development" category of startups until I heard more about it. My first thought was, "How safe is this thing? Could I just be throwing money away to strangers asking for a ‘loan’?" Other Meetup attendees voiced similar concerns. "Are these loans in any way guaranteed?" asked the hotshot from OngoBongo (which, tangentially, may have bigger problems with the advent of Lala — or maybe not: see the update below).

Posted March 7, 2006 by Mariva in business, community, finance, innovations, news, resources

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Tell a friend BBC World Service: “Mobile Phones”

BBC World Service: "Mobile Phones" The BBC World Service produces fascinating radio documentaries on various topics:
  • "Building Beijing": Construction within this Chinese city — the site of the 2008 Olympic Games — is happening at such a mind-boggling rate that a new map is issued every three months.
  • "Memory": How does memory work, and how does it fail?
  • "All in a Day’s Work": Exploring the ways in which people around the world earn their living. Profiles include domestic workers, soldiers, judges and clerics.

Posted February 23, 2006 by Mariva in education, gadgets, innovations, news, resources, social

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