Monday, July 30, 2007

BlogHer Second Life Politics Panel - Audio/Video Online

The panel I was on in online at the BlogHer Second Life conference on Saturday was recorded on TV in Second Life so it is now available for viewing on the SLCN.TV web site. I called-in from the Chicago Navy Pier conference center so that's my real voice in the recording. My avatar is the extremely pale, red-headed cybergoth. Watching the avatars doesn't show much except the avatars sitting on stage, but listening to the audio you can hear me and my co-panelist, padlurowncanoe dibou (Kathy Walker), to my right, discussing the topics. Queen Tureaud (Erin Vest), organizer of BlogHer in Second Life, also moderated. There is a slight lag in the conference call-in system so expect more pauses between speakers and occasionally there's some audio feedback but otherwise the recording is very clear. (Note: If you use a Mac, don't run the Quicktime video in Safari - try Firefox instead.)

The panel discussion begins with some information about candidates in Second Life and how that's working, what people do at the candidate headquarters in Second Life, and how the official campaigns have responded so far. Then we discuss political blogs and candidate blogging, along with topics related to social networks and other online tactics for campaigns. We responded to questions IM'd to our avatars by other Second Life residents, and carried on discussion about where we think online campaigns will go in the future.

Some background on candidates and campaigns in Second Life: Second Life is this virtual world with "8 million residents" around the world. They say about 100,000 people log on each week. Four of the current leading presidential candidates have campaign headquarters there - Clinton, Edwards, Giuliani, and Obama - but it seems that only Edwards and Clinton are doing much. The person who started the Clinton headquarters is my co-panelist, although her headquarters in Second Life has not been officially connected to the people in real life. When I visited the virtual Clinton HQ, for example, the most developed of the group, it was very different from a real life campaign headquarters - it has a piano lounge, a lecturn for speeches, an area for swimming, and a nice comfy couch area for conversations. My co-panelist made the interesting point that if someone in Second Life wants to visit a campaign HQ, they want their activities to be different and more recreational than in real life. So I think they have done a good job of creating that environment there as a way to gain interest for the candidates.

I think the conclusions we reached in the panel were that Second Life is still a very experimental place in terms of politics - most of the campaigns are not in-tune with what's happening there and haven't spent much time or resources on it - but that it's likely if Second Life continues to grow as it has, that they will take notice and put more efforts in later in this campaign and definitely down the road in future years. That echos other thoughts from our panel and other BlogHer political panels about how use of the Internet in campaigns is growing in genearal (blogs, social networking sites like MySpace, YouTube videos, etc.).

I enjoyed participating in the panel in Second Life. There was a slight learning curve involved in getting my bearings in the Second Life world and visiting the candidate headquarters there before the panel presentation, but the panel itself was just like being on a conference call while controlling a game character and instant messaging simultaneously. I stayed online for a few minutes after the panel to meet a couple of the questioners in the Second Life audience as I would have in an in-person conference, and then returned to the real life politics panel at BlogHer.

You can see all of the Second Life BlogHer panels here.


Who doesn't look for some of the best jokes online? Create an amusing atmosphere with some good jokes. To tell a joke brightens up people's day, and some political humor works best. When you're at work, try some hilarious jokes before getting to the serious business.

Labels: , , ,

BlogHer Politics Break-out Session: What Questions Do Women Bloggers Want Candidates to Answer in Election 2008? SubGroup - Iraq

I was asked to liveblog during the BlogHer politics break-out session Saturday entitled "What Questions Do Women Bloggers Want Candidates to Answer in Election 2008?" when we broke into subgroups. I sat in the Iraq subgroup and there were some really interesting women in my group (as with all of them) who put together a great set of topics and questions, chronicled here in the comments, along with the liveblog about the entire panel.

The three main issues we came up with were: leaving Iraq (timeline and logistics), financial support through the transition and infrastructure rebuilding, and status of the VA/Healthcare system for our military veterens.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Candidates Missed a Great Blogosphere Media Spike Opportunity

I'm sitting here at BlogHer watching Elizabeth Edwards interviewed by Lisa Stone, BlogHer founder and journalist. We're all very excited she's here. A blogger from the Edwards campaign is also here, as is a representative from the Clinton campaign.

Obama's headquarters is down the street. No one from his campaign is here. I just commented Zephyr Teachout's post at TechPresident about this. We're excited they will all be present at the Yearly KOS conference here in Chicago at the end of the week responding to that invitation from the progressive Democratic blogger communities.

So what do we need to do to get the nominees to come next year to BlogHer? As I noted in my comment referenced above, we have huge communities of swing voters represented here from all over the political spectrum.

Labels: , , ,

BlogHer Update

I'm entering day two of BlogHer - yesterday we launched BlogHers ACT and we'll be focusing on "global health" which encompasses a lot of issues, so we're working on narrowing it down. Two big things that came out of the brainstorm session yesterday were "empowering midwives" and "clean water." Essentially women and children are the most affected around the world in terms of health risks and early deaths - especially childbirth-related - and so things like birthing kits and clean water can make an incredible difference on alll levels. It's tricky to do all of this, of course, but BlogHer has tens of thousands of bloggers (I don't remember the exact figure off the top of my head right now) in their system so if we can even mobilize 1/10th of that online, choose a specific mission, partner with some great organizations, we'll be well on our way to raising awareness and getting something done. I'll be blogging a lot more about specifics over the next few months.

Today the politics track takes place including my Second Life panel at 1:30 Pacific/SL time. We'll be discussing candidates in Second Life and online in general and how these online media like blogs are making a difference in the campaigns. My virtual session overlaps slightly with the end of the GOTV session here so that's a bit of a bummer, but for the most part people can goto both and then the closing keynote will be from Elizabeth Edwards.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In Chicago at BlogHer

I got to read the Martha Stewart issue of Wired (something I never thought in a million years I'd see) on the plane. I'm now in Chicago. I'll be at BlogHer the next few days... hopefully I'll have some time to post about it here. Should be fun...

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tonight's Debate and Where to Read the Live Blog Reports

Tonight's Democratic presidential debate on CNN was well run, and Anderson Cooper did a good job keeping the questions moving along. I'm sad they gave very little time to the issue of the environment, but I enjoyed some of the videos and curve balls. The candidates I thought did a good job responding with interesting answers as well. I had a lot of fun participating in the live blogging tonight, thanks to Morra Aarons for putting out the call to everyone in the BlogHer community. I think we had a pretty good discussion. Check it out for more about the debate content.

I was also hopping around the leading Democratic blogs while we were commenting here, and the Edwards thread was interesting, but I have to say a few of the commenters were off-base, like one that slammed Richardson on his response about the VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails) - he actually answered that very well. (I've studied e-voting issues for several years. It's tricky getting it right, but VVPATs are the only way to go.) But the Edwards blog had the most lively discussion by far. They have a very interactive online organization.

The Obama live blog included several threads supposedly by topic, but not a lot of responses. It would've been better just keeping them all in one place. I commented on the Clinton blog and it came up pretty quickly considering the comment moderation (which I must add is absoltely essential on a Presidential blog). Unfortunately, I don't think many bloggers or people involved in the Clinton campaign knew they were liveblogging there so there weren't very many people participating. (Of course, maybe they were all in SF partying!) Check out the blog for a post about their 30 second video contest finalist ads.

Jerome Armstrong at had a really good post and the comments there were interesting. With over a thousand comments in the collective Daily KOS threads, of course there were some echoing what we were saying on BlogHer, but it was a lot easier to follow all of the discussion on the BlogHer site with fewer participants. All in all, it was a great way to watch the debate.


Who doesn't have a blog? Blogs cover all topics - everything from Iraq soldier blogs to blogs about real estate. If you're looking into making a blog, you can get more information about blogging online.

Labels: , ,

Find Debate Live Bloggers

Sorry for the late notice... anyone who's stopping by, Morra Aarons will be live blogging the Democratic debate starting in 10 minutes and she has links to a few others as well. Also check Daily KOS. They always have good discussion there. Keep on top of it with YouTube and

Added note: I'm participating in the live blogging in the comments on Morra's blog and on the blog open thread if anybody wants to join the discussion.

It can be frustrating searching for things especially when you are searching for someone online. If you're thinking of doing a people search, be sure to go online to find someone.

Labels: , ,

techPresident on Data - Site Visits Mirror Recent Polls

I thought this post by Micah Sifry of techPresident was prescient - according to, site visit stats so far this year mirror polling data both nationally and in key states like Iowa and California. As of June, Clinton has a strong lead. Republican data isn't as strong as Democratic data in general - it's widely known they aren't campaigning as heavily online - but their rankings still line up fairly well.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 21, 2007

E-Mail Security Flap in Nevada Governor's Office

This is classic... according to Declan McCullagh of the Politech mailing list & CNET News, someone in the Nevada governor's office I'll only assume accidentally posted the password to the official Governor's email list and Outlook account password on the gubernatorial web site via a MS Word document that instructed aides on how to send out weekly email updates.

The current Governor, Jim Gibbons, a Republican, must not have much in terms of tech-savvy staff since (this is my favorite part) the password on the account was 'kennyc', the name of the former Republican governor, Kenny C. Guinn. (Note: the old password was weak, let alone the fact that it's how old?)

The full story details the instructional document and a few additional related facts. As Declan notes, it's possible that there's a firewall or some sort of security above and beyond the password "protection" in their system, so had someone attempted to use that password from the outside to hack in, it may not have worked... we can only assume they've changed it by now having heard about this post. Still, this is one of the most embarrassing political computer security stories I've ever heard.

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 20, 2007

Seeking Women to Run for Office!

The following is excerpted from something that was sent to me through Emerge America, a national women's Democratic political leadership training program):

"Can you think of a “PTA mom” who should run for school board? A community leader who should run for city council? A businesswoman who should run for the legislature? Introducing the She Should Run campaign, a brand new project of the Women's Campaign Forum, aimed at gathering the nominations of 1,000 pro-choice women to run for public office... "

Do you know a pro-choice woman who should run for office? Tell her that she should run:

"Women don’t need to be career politicians to be qualified to hold political office. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was a small business owner before she ran for state representative. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was a teacher and school administrator before she ran for New York City Council. And Congresswoman Gwen Moore was a Milwaukee AmeriCorps *VISTA volunteer before running for state assembly. These women ran because they were leaders in their communities – and somebody encouraged them to reach even higher. We all know someone who should run for office. It could be your mother. Your sister. Your co-worker. Your neighbor. Your friend."

Local? Ask me questions about Emerge California as well. It's a great program.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Join Me For BlogHer Second Life

BlogHer '07 in Second Life's schedule is posted. You don't have to be in Chicago for BlogHer to attend online! (Although I will be live in Chicago at BlogHer while presenting in Second Life.)

I just offered a couple of weeks ago to speak at BlogHer. They were already full for the politics track, but they invited me to be a "speaker" online in their Second Life community simulation instead. Not knowing what to expect, but assuming I could figure it out as I go along, I said "sure" - why not?

I think if I wasn't someone who had prior experience with computer games, it might make me uneasy at first, but Second Life is a really cool program and the instructions are very simple. I've only made it through the beginning of Orientation Island (no time!) and I'm already having fun. The only problem with Second Life is it takes a lot of time to participate and it sucks up a lot of processor power, so if you have a laptop like me, multitasking is challenging while running the Second Life app. When I set it up for its test run, it was too slow to get much accomplished thus my as of yet incomplete Orientation.

So I expect to spend some time this weekend finding my way through Second Life to BlogHer. My avatar, Sairy Bailey, will be speaking at 1:30 CDT next Saturday, July 28th about politics online, campaigns in Second Life and how blogs and social networks come into play with campaigns, particularly on the national level. Join me... it's free, and if you're not a woman, no one ever has to know! Anyone can be a "Her" in Second Life.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

FREE Debate Viewing & Party At New Hillary Clinton SF HQ on Monday

Everyone who visits this blog is invited to the grand opening of the Hillary Clinton for President Northern California Headquarters this Monday night, July 23rd at 1122 Howard Street, top floor in San Francisco. (That's South of Market, between 7th and 8th. Easy highway access.)

The fun will begin at 4pm with the debate viewing on CNN/YouTube. Then the party begins at 6pm. Meet Clinton supporters, local elected officials, volunteers and political friends. See a real campaign office in action. No charge.

It doesn't matter if you support Senator Clinton or not, and I don't care if you're a Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, Socialist, Communist, etc... if you're interested in watching the debate and you're willing to consider voting for her, you're welcome. It's not often you get invited to a political event like this. The energy involved in this campaign is really exciting. Be a part of the process and witness history in the making.

RSVP to mmartin(at)hillaryclinton(dot)com.

P.S. Check out my new blog, 1st Lady POTUS, at Sign up to volunteer and you can start one too!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

British Farce Spoofed for Googlers

Lauren Weinstein has produced a song, "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major Googler" which is cute. It doesn't capture the entire essence of Google, of course, but it's amusing nonetheless. If you don't already get the theme, it's Gilbert & Sullivan's "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" from The Pirates of Penzance. (If you're not familiar with G&S or that musical, it's a farce - the character introducing himself, proud of his role in the British Navy.) He dedicated it to all Google employees. I went to read the lyrics first, but it's much more fun to listen to the mp3.

I still remember when Google was just Larry and Sergey and a few other friends at Stanford, so I'll admit that the thought of people working there who have never even seen either of them is odd to me, but I'm sure it's the case these days. I don't know if it's actually true that they ask prospective employees to build working disk drives from lego sets as the song notes (pun intended), but if so, that would be Larry's influence. He had a printer he'd built out of legos when we were undergrads at UofM. And he was talking about the book scanner then. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of that project. I know Google's getting more criticism these days as it grows larger, but I still think they are doing well sticking to their core mission considering their size. Enjoy the song.

Labels: , , ,

Future Campaign Solutions Site is Up

Just a quick note - I finally got around to putting up a basic business web site so people can see what I actually do as a consultant for nonprofits and political organizations in terms of online strategy, communications, etc. Check it out at It still needs some tuning, but it's a start. I'll keep blogging here on related topics for now.

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Patagonia's Latest Grantee & New Palo Alto Store

Saturday, the new Patagonia store in Palo Alto held their Grand Opening. With hourly raffles, live music, and community organizations in-house, it was really fun. (Not to mention the shopping. I came out with an organic cotton/hemp blend jacket and an organic cotton cap.) The new space suits the store well. I was impressed with their new line of shoes and they have an entire section devoted to eco books. (This is not new from other stores, but it's right in front where it's easy to see.) I was also happy to see that since their opening, they've gotten a lot of pro-environment petitions signed. That's something I've always admired about Patagonia.

A pioneer in technical and eco clothing, Patagonia is now making jackets out of recycled polyester as well as expanding their organic product line. I was also impressed by their children's clothing since I'd never really looked at that before having a baby. Our daughter's been decked-out in Patagonia since birth, but it was all gifts - this was my first time in one of their stores since.

Patagonia gave away a $1000 gift certificate at 4pm to a local woman through a drawing, they had some fantastic ice cream, courtesy of Rick's Ice Cream ("Palo Alto's gourmet micro creamery"), great cookies, drinks, and the Save Nature organization provided some very cool bugs to pet - an African millipede, a pair of not-so-scary domesticated giant cockroaches, and a couple of exotic walking sticks. Hidden Villa and the Sierra Club also had tables present. A $5000 grant was presented to Ventana Wildlife Society. They had the most votes on the Patagonia site for their organization. It was well-deserved.

I'll be going back to Patagonia again once the crowd subsides to do more shopping - they have some great skirts, shirts, tunics, jackets, shorts and cropped pants to last through summer and early fall.


(Also posted at SFBayStyle.)

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Report From Yesterday's "Ultimate Women's Power Lunch" in SF

Yesterday, I had the unique opportunity, thanks to Emerge America, to sit with a group of a few hundred women at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and celebrate Nancy Pelosi's 20 years of service in the U.S. Congress and her election as Speaker of the House. They called it the "Ultimate Women's Power Lunch". I don't know if I'd go that far, but it was fun to catch-up with friends and although I'd met Speaker Pelosi before, it had been a few years. They showed a wonderful tribute to her service, including when she invited her grandchildren and other children in the House on the day of her swearing-in up to the podium with her. I have to admit that image brought tears to my eyes.

Nita Whitaker sang the most spectacular version of "God Bless America" I've ever heard. I felt like the ballroom was about 10 square feet with her voice able to carry several football fields in distance. In a past life, I sang in musicals, choirs, ensembles and the like, so I've studied voice and I'm particularly critical of female vocalists, but she blew me away. I was breathless.

Anyway, back to politics. So the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee), through yesterday's lunch raised $1.2 Million for their Women LEAD program. The speakers included Congresswoman Allison Schwartz, Chairwoman of Women LEAD, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (our gal from Silicon Valley), and of course Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, who received a well-deserved standing ovation when she came up to speak.

There was a lot of talk about "breaking the marble ceiling" and Speaker Pelosi detailed the long history of how we've been chipping away at that ceiling for 200 years. Then she spoke about her goals as Speaker of the House and how she's started to "drain the swamp that is Washington, D.C." She spoke about how we need to rely on scientific data for making progress on the environment and other issues, and that science and faith "both reflect truth" and in essence can work together.

Be prepared for when Congress returns to Washington - Nancy Pelosi says getting us out of Iraq is 1st priority and she wants it completed by April 1st, 2008. She said we're spending $10 Billion a month there. I couldn't believe that figure. Imagine all we could do with that money... and she said that generals who are leaving the military are advising her to withdraw now. I've been taking a back seat on the Iraq issue because I really don't know much about the state of the Middle East and I figure people who do need to make those decisions. But when she said the generals say we should leave, that got my attention. And she also said that the strategy they are advising does not mean we won't have troops in Iraq to deal with terrorist cells - that's something different entirely.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 09, 2007

Connecticut Mandates Computer Recycling

I'm in the mood for some good news about environmental policy following Live Earth. So here's some: According to All American Patriots, Connecticut just passed a law requiring recycling of most electronic equipment (vs. trashing it). Computers and TVs are the main items specified in the law. Here's the post. Manufacturers will be required to register and cities will do the recycling. Public Act 07-189 goes into effect October 1st.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Beyond 80 Columns... Where No Terminal Has Gone Before

Yeah, some terminals have gone beyond 80 columns before, but I found this Slashdot debate about the 80 column terminal screen really amusing as a sleep-deprived geek. The author argues that it's time to move beyond 80 columns for coding standards. If phrases like 'DEC VT100', 'text editors' and and 'punch cards' get your blood flowing, you'll enjoy the post.


Not Quite Robin Hood - ID Theft Scams and Nonprofits

According to this Slashdot post (via Symantec), a new identity theft tactic is to test out stolen credit card numbers on nonprofit web sites to determine whether accounts are valid before going on to use the cards elsewhere. Although it might sound like a Robin Hood scheme at first - giving money to charity - it's just another scam.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth Store & Charity Auction

Live Earth is going strong with concerts still happening in the U.S.. If you want to get an eco-friendly t-shirt or belt to support the cause, check out the Live Earth Store. They have shirts made from bamboo and organic cotton as well as belts from recycled fireman's hoses. They look great too! Also take a peek at the shop if you want to see the auction of "high profile concert memorabilia" (via eBay) and a way to purchase carbon offsets, check out this Live Earth Shop link.

Also check out this cool widget for watching the Live Earth Charity Auctions...

Labels: , , , ,

Celebrate Live Earth & 77 Survival Skills

So Live Earth started 3 hours ago in Australia and will continue around the globe all day today. Some of my favorite musicians are performing all over the world, but if I had to choose, I'd be in London where Genesis, Madonna and Metallica will all be on stage. Quite a mix. But if you can't be in any of the great cities where the concerts are happening, they're all on XM Radio and many will be broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Better yet, is hosting a global "Party for the Planet" care of anyone who wants to throw one. Bonus track: Presidential candidates preview their plans for the environment. (See their site for more info.)

As Nadine mentioned, the Global Warming Survival Handbook contains some great tips for what we can all do to be green, good, sustainable and responsible. I reserved my copy and got it in the mail last week - it's very well written, with a brief synopsis of ten easy things we can all do at the beginning, and then a 2-page spread for each of the 77 things throughout the book. Some of them are funny, a la the Worst Case Scenario handbooks, but they get the point across: act now or suffer the consequences later. See some of the "Climate Crisis Solutions" online.

I urge everyone to read Al Gore's article from the New York Times about where we are now, how urgent the climate crisis is, and how the U.S. government must act in order to save the planet over the next ten years. And sign the Live Earth pledge and learn more at about how to get involved.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bloghers Act - Initiative Launching in 3 Weeks

Blogher, for those who don't know, is a women's blogging community online through their site, ad network and cross linking and offline through their conferences and informal local gatherings. The Blogher '07 annual conference is happening at the end of July in Chicago. (It looks like I'll be there as a panelist for their Blogher Second Life online series. I just signed-up, so I'll post more info later.) They are launching an exciting new initiative to harness the power of their fantastic women's network.

Their program is called Bloghers Act, and it has two goals: 1) make a difference in a single cause (voted on by Blogher members) and 2) identify the top 4 issues we feel candidates need to address in the upcoming election. It will be interesting to see where the votes come out.

I would love to see candidates more seriously address some of the issues I didn't vote for, like "separation of church and state", but I know too well most of the candidates won't dare to go there for fear of losing a large segment of voters, so instead I chose to hear more about what they want to do about the environment and the economy since they're both ticking time bombs. Whatever the Bloghers come up with, I'll support it and I hope to be involved on some level to see it through. I think it's a great idea and a wonderful way to harness the power of women bloggers.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 05, 2007

2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

The news is out - surprising many, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday decided upon Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Their site,, says: "real snow guaranteed!" It's an interesting twist for a country that has dominated the sport of figure skating yet has never hosted a Winter Olympics. (Runners-up were Pyeongchang, South Korea and Salzburg, Austria.)

Some facts I learned about Sochi: it has a population of 450,000 "representing over 100 nationalities" according to Sochi Daily Photo. It's located on the Black Sea, near the Russian border and is generally considered a resort city. The reason it works for the Winter Olympics is the nearby mountains where people like Russian President Vladimir Putin, who personally presented the bid in Guatemala, take their vacations. It's at a similar latitude to Rome and Sarajevo.

Supposedly by hosting the Games in Sochi, the area will gain a great deal through rebuilding. According to Reuters, "Russia has earmarked $12 billion for the wider Sochi area... to revamp slopes, infrastructure and accommodation and turn the city into a winter sports hub for athletes and tourists." I can't wait! There will be two Olympic Villages - the main one or "coastal cluster" in the valley along the sea for the ice events and the secondary "mountain cluster" in the Krasnaya Polyana mountains.

I went to Russia in 1989 when it was still officially the U.S.S.R. I carried my figure skates with me for 3 weeks touring the region - from Leningrad to Riga, Latvia, past Chernobyl to Odessa, Ukraine and finally back to Moscow where I took a packed subway train filled with sweaty Russians, skate blades digging into my bag through my backpack, to the Russian sports complex only to discover the rink was closed for annual maintenance. I was crushed. I'll never forget that day.

It should come as no surprise that I'm already planning to attend the Sochi Games and if at all possible, I'll be volunteering at the figure skating rink. For the Salt Lake Games, there was a large demand for people with experience working on figure skating events, but I was too late signing-up. Since I speak some Russian and have experience managing skating events and competing, I'm hoping I can be of use. In any case, it should be a sight to behold. There will probably also be tours put together by some American groups that always develop tours for the major international skating events for anyone who's interested.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I just checked out, thanks to a tip from e.politics. So far, I'm fairly impressed - they are a social networking site for people interested in nonprofit issues and recently they added a section for political candidates because they want to help level the playing field there. The site's fresh and clean, and the nonprofit listing pages remind me a little of Orkut's groups.

It groups nonprofits by the changes they aim to affect, labeling them most often with action verbs like "stop global warming", "save darfur", "separate church and state", and "protect wildlife". You can search by category, like 'animals' and in there, search by specific change like "stop puppy mills" and there you'll find recommended nonprofits that are related. You can also search by nonprofit or by politician like many other social networking sites. What's really cool is you can provide recommendations for politicians on certain issues, and you can write reviews about nonprofits.

Each organization has an 'About' section, reviews, supporters, photos, videos, news, volunteering/action and fundraising areas. Discussions take place within the nonprofit pages - some are calls to action; others contain event information. They partner with JustGive - a 501c3 that passes along the contributions to the nonprofits as allocated. So far they've raised over $36,000. It will be interesting to see how they take off with their political area and how the site is primarily utilized in the long term. I plan to play around with it a little more and see if it sticks for me. I had a few problems using it and I have yet to determine whether it was my browser or their code causing the problems, but in general I like the site and the concept.

Labels: , ,