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Posts Tagged ‘self organizing’

As Facebook is wont to do, they have added a new feature which has potential privacy ramifications.  The new feature shows up as groups and is initially difficult to distinguish from the existing groups feature.  However, it is structured differently, in that members of the group can tag their Facebook friends in order to add them to the group.  This is similar to how the notes feature of Facebook works.  The first reports I heard from the media about it were focused on how it could be misused for pranks and bullying.

I was recently added to a group for Madison Women’s Rugby alums.  With JMU’s Homecoming this weekend, the new groups feature came out just in time ….  this new Facebook group allowed word to spread very quickly about events for the weekend.  Our group is basically a latent network, with many people who are Facebook friends, but who may not have actually spoken to one another in years.  This new feature allowed the network to become active as rugby players from different graduating classes added their cohort to the group.  In just a couple of days the group has grown to 51 members and there are already three events with RSVPs being coordinated through this ad hoc group.

This is a great example of self organizing and I can see potential parallels to community response.  For example, if there is a sudden need for neighbors to organize (think snow storm for example), they could quickly form a group and have it grow organically.  The latent networks that already exist within communities could become active and organized using this new feature.

What do you think?  Could this new feature be beneficial to groups of volunteers or neighborhood members?  What concerns or barriers do you see for using this new feature?

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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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