January 11, 2009
If you haven’t checked it out yet, have a good look at Message in-a-Box “A toolkit for communicating your cause”.
It’s relevant to anyone that needs to communicate in life and work.
When Nodestone was commissioned by the Tactical Tech Collective earlier in the year to help bring it together, I faced a somewhat overwhelming task as you might imagine when you see it.
What is it? A rather large online resource for learning how to communicate better, to put it simply.
More specifically, it’s an international educational platform for people in NGOs and campaigning organisations that demonstrates how to use low-tech and high-tech tools and tactics to work on some of the hardest issues of our times.
We show you how to think strategically (about goals, resources and time) and then know which tools and tactics (eg. images / print / audio / video / internet / mobiles and media) to choose to get your message across.
Here’s how Tactical Tech describe it:
“…a set of strategic guides to using communications tools for social change, together with a suite of open source tools to get you making your own media. The toolkit is designed for small and medium-sized NGOs, advocates, and citizen journalists to help them create and distribute content for their advocacy efforts while exploring the constantly evolving world of campaigning and communications.”
The feedback has been excellent around the world. A much needed resource.
Here’s an example of how it works:
This section helps you find out how others have used images effectively and creatively. It helps you learn how to find, create, edit, share great images, with an emphasis on photographs, comics, maps and simple animated images.
Images add impact to stories, blog posts, websites, posters,brochures, email campaigns – whatever campaigning channels and tools you are using.
What do you need?
Essential: ideas, creativity, imagination, a strategy.
Extra: people to help, internet access, mobile phone and/or a camera (digital or other), source books/comics/cartoons collected from anywhere or commissioned.
Having worked in communications as a consultant, writer, activism and educator for (gosh!) over 20 years, it was a dream to be able to put these threads of life to good use. To make something practical and tangible.
Message-in-a-Box is about the power of PR being brought to the people who have historically had least access to it. Things were all explained in the simplest possible terms with examples and free software downloads. From human rights abuses to clean water – NGOs on little or no budget obviously need education and support. It’s an egalitarian Aussie’s delight.
In London, Botswana or Mumbai, Message-in-a-Box is now available for free, 24/7. A print version with DVD software is also being distributed. It’s actually a good resource for anyone a clear (hopefully) perspective on getting your message across.
Along the way we got to massage the words and ideas of some great folk like Becky Faith, Dr Dan McQuillan and Heleana Quartey. Hopefully to first incarnation is already being put to some good use.
Once thing I’m hoping Tactical Tech do soon is to improve collaboration and “stickiness” on the site. Feedback, registration etc… Also the use of images and stills, sound and video clips to make the resource more visual and interactive – to practice what we preach!
Over the years we have increasingly worked on projects that pass positive screens for social / eco accountability. Put another way… that feel good. Like:
- widgets for TrickleStar and the BBC
- social carbon measurement for Global Action Plan
- edu-marketing for the Guerrand Hermes Foundation for Peace
- teaching blogging to communities and companies
- setting up The Big Love Gift Guide
- running a massive campaign for TV Turn Off Week.
But as long as you aren’t arms dealers, we can usually find or create some positive values in just about any project. Get in touch if you want to know how Nodestone can help you feel good about your work.
June 8, 2008
Learning Package: Social Media for the Third Sector
New dates coming soon…
Your chance to get > share > use radical knowledge for positive impact. More information…
February 7, 2008
Lib has headed off to Lift08 in Geneva. Here she is giving some reflections so far…
June 15, 2007
Here’s my mate Richard Giles, Scouta’s CEO, giving a one-minute interview. One minute isn’t long, but he managed to fit a fair bit in there.
May 3, 2007
It is starting to look like the Digg Revolt will be the next step in the turning tide against Digital Rights Management. And what a day for people power. But it does raise some interesting questions that will be played out over the coming weeks.
It all started when Digg responded to a DMCA takedown notice issued by the MPAA and AACS Licensing Authority, the body responsible for managing the DVD-HD rights managment system. Digg administrators deleted the offending posts, a fairly normal operation, in line with Digg’s terms and conditions. All ok so far.
February 22, 2006
Democracy Player is a new free video player and downloader that (given a decent broadband connection) gives the first gimpse I’ve see of the post-broadcast-tv world where you choose what you want to watch without it being painful to do the selection and downloading. Fabulous fun.
And just like TV, if you’ve got stuff downloaded, it just plays video clip after video clip. And downloads in the backgound and all that sort of goodness.
But that is not all. This comes from the Participatory Culture Foundation, the software is open source, and there are other tools to make it participatory:
- Broadcast Machine is used to make channels of your own videos and photos – and it makes distribution by BitTorrent really easy.
- Video Bomb is a collaborative filtering internet video site. The more bombs, or votes a video gets, the higher up the list it gets.
This is a nice set of tools. And it really does point the way to the future. Give us all lots of bandwidth and connections to anwhere in the world, and we no longer have to live with those few free-to-air channels. We have choice. And we can take part by making and adding our own channels. I like it.