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Posts Tagged ‘HandsOn Network’

Right now there is an international dialogue going on online about service as a solution to challenges around the world.  This dialogue is hosted by IBM and it is called Service Jam.

The discussion platform that IBM provides is very intuitive and powerful.  You can move easily between following discussion threads as they unfold, to looking at themes emerging (in a tag cloud) and then clicking on a particular theme to see where the conversations around that theme are taking place.  In addition, you can choose to follow individual participants or to follow individual posts.  The site includes a page that acts as a personal dashboard in which your own contributions, as well as those you have chosen to follow, are organized.

So far, since the Jam started Sunday morning, there have been over 3,000 posts from over 8,000 people logging in.  Now what really surprised me was that I actually know several of the most active “jammers”.  One of the most prolific participants so far is Andrew Levy, who runs a blog about Citizen Corps and lives nearby.  Another jammer who has been featured on the “Hot Ideas” page almost the entire time, is Jessica Kirkwood, who runs the HandsOn Blog and handles social media for HandsOn Network.  Out of 8,000 participants from around the world, several of the ones who I am running into in the Jam are people who are already in my social network.  How does that happen?

One lesson in this example is that in a platform such as an online discussion forum, content matters.  Andrew and Jessica were both featured throughout the site because they were actively contributing new ideas and coming up with great questions to spark discussion.  In fact, when former President George H.W. Bush came into the room (online), who did he end up conversing with?  Andrew Levy.

These new ways of hosting dialogue allow different voices to be heard.  The former President’s posts get pulled up beside those of citizen leaders, because they are both contributing relevant experience and great questions for discussion.  I think this is a great example of how new technology can change the way we host the conversation.  What do you think?

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If you are not immersed in the world of volunteering and volunteer management, you may not know that next week is National Volunteer Week. I am acutely aware of this fact as it means that I have a packed schedule.

Here’s what the week is looking like:

Class of course on Friday and Saturday (check out our Saturday Learning Community on Twitter @GMUGoldenFleece)

Sunday – Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception (big event at which the Arlington County Board and County staff recognize people who have volunteered through County programs over the last year).  I am in charge of AV and am preparing a 5 minute slideshow (in Windows Movie Maker).

The Chair of Community Volunteer Network (the program that I am the Liaison to), Brendan O’Connor, is receiving an Outstanding Volunteer Award.  I nominated him for the award so that will add something extra special to this year’s reception.

Monday – HandsOn Network has talked about convening the representatives of Affiliates (like Volunteer Arlington) in the evening to kick off the week.  It would be great to meet some of my colleagues from around the country, so I hope that this happens.

Usher
Check out this awesome close up I got of last year’s Celebrity guest, Usher.

Tuesday – The LEAD Summit (see this post) will be the biggest event of the week.  I am lucky enough to have 2 CVN volunteers in attendance as well so I will have someone to enjoy it with and get a chance to bond with our volunteers.  The event is followed by a reception.  They have promised a celebrity guest.  Last year the celebrity guest was Usher.  It’s going to be hard to top that.

I just learned today that after the reception there will be a DC Tweetup at Iron Horse Tap Room.

Wednesday- I spend all morning at Longfellow Middle School’s Charity Fair spreading the word about volunteer opportunities in Arlington.  In the evening I hope to drop by Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon for the Happy Hour to benefit the Reading Connection.

Thursday – There may or may not be a special reception at the British Embassy hosted by Greater DC Cares that I hope to go to.

Friday – And Friday brings us back to class again!  Friday and Saturday I have class.

Saturday – Saturday also happens to be when the Arlington County Board announces their budget.  Since my position is currently on Tier Two (a secondary option of budget cuts) I am very interested to hear what they decide.

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In a few weeks I will be attending a self organizing summit convened by HandsOn Network during National Volunteer Week. Hope to see you there!

Here are the details:
Join the most creative thinkers at LEAD – A Get HandsOn! Summit to learn how individuals are using social media tools and other innovative strategies to change the landscape of service.

Social innovators will share interesting experiences such as locating disaster victims with cell phones, quickly gathering thousands of volunteers for one-day projects and organizing person-to-person service efforts through Web-based technologies and other tools.

Whether you are a community organizer, government or nonprofit leader, corporate community affairs director, student, social media expert, or volunteer leader, there will be something for you at the LEAD – A Get HandsOn! Summit. Come and embrace new ways of engaging people to create citizen-centered change.

Imagine. Create. Inspire.
Speakers include Rich Harwood, founder of the Harwood Institute; Allison Fine, author and social change connoisseur, and Heather Mansfield, social media expert. James “JB” Brown, AARP Brand Ambassador for Community and Host of CBS’ NFL Today and Showtime’s Inside the NFL will moderate an engaging discussion! Click here to learn about the other dynamic thought leaders who will be presenting at LEAD.

LEAD – A Get HandsOn! Summit is sponsored by University of Phoenix and SAP. To read about all of the activities and events planned during National Volunteer Week, visit http://www.handsonnetwork.org/events/nvw2010.

Registration is only $125 and includes access to all sessions, a continental breakfast, buffet lunch, a unique gift and an invitation to a special reception themed, “Inspire…Serve… Solve: A Celebration of National Volunteer Week and the Serve America Act.” This reception, co-convened by Points of Light Institute and ServiceNation and supported by Procter & Gamble on the evening of April 20, will honor the countless Americans who are making extraordinary efforts to address challenges in our communities.

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