September 5, 2009
To make good on that 10:10 committment of reducing your CO2 by 10% by 2010, how are you going to do it?
Here are three things you can do to get started:
1. Sign up to 10:10
If you haven’t made a committment to the 10% reduction, go to the 10:10 website and sign up. That’s important. It adds to the volume of people and business that have signed up, and makes it harder for the government to ignore, so there’s something useful for them to take to Copenhagen. You can sign up as a person or as a business or as a school or an organisation.
2. Look at the Guardian G2 guide to get ideas where to make changes
The Guardian published a really clear guide to personal carbon reductions, with simple actions and real numbers. They start with averages of CO2 per year then lists lots of actions you can take to make CO2 savings. It begins:
Every year, each person in the UK is, on average, responsible for about 14 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. (The government’s published figures suggest a lower amount, but they omit things such as international aviation.) So, if we want to make a genuine cut of 10% across the board, we need to reduce our emissions by about 1.4 tonnes each. Let’s call it 1.5 tonnes, just to be sure.
And goes on with useful savings you can make by tonnes per year. This is the best short reference I have seen so far.
3. Start an EcoTeam, measure and reduce
Gather your neighbours or online friends and start measuring, learning and reducing your Rubbish, Energy, Water and Travel. Sign up and create an EcoTeams online — invite friends, and start measuring and learning and reducing your usage.
You can sign up online now and get started gathering your team together.
EcoTeams is one of my favourites, perhaps because I’ve been working on several releases of the EcoTeams website over the last couple of years. This latest version makes fully online EcoTeams easy, and support you a lot in taking measurements and inviting others to get involved.
Here are three ways to get started. I’ll do an update article in a few days with a few more online resources to have a look at, incluing using power saving plug adapter things, energy monitors and turning things off.
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.
October 3, 2008
Back in my dark old days as a corporate PR consultant, we had a room full of poor sods somewhere in the bowels of the machine, cutting out column cms from dead-trees-pages. Why? So we could justify our exorbitant fees and monitor our clients reputations. It was also so we could respond to a debate or manage an “issue”.
In some ways, nothing’s really changed. That is still going on, but many people would say the real action is now happening online. And the best thing is, I don’t have to feel sorry for the Google search spiders having to crawl through the myriad pages to retrieve what I want. It’s what they love best!
Here’s a helpful piece from E-Consultancy about how to monitor opinions, articles, conversations relevant to you and your organisation – without paying a brass razoo (in most cases).
Before you get cracking (because you know it’s time) – here’s a quick Nodestone guide to getting sorted.
1. Know what your goals are
- Do you just want to know what being said about you online, or are you planning to enter the conversation (and if you are not sure, best you be reading up on the power of web 2.0, blogging and the social web. See our presentation here for a start.
- How far do you want to go and what resources do you have to manage your responses?
2. What key words are most relevant to you
- Various spellings and shortened versions of your company, major projects/products and names of key people
- Major stakeholders (eg. legislators, major customers/shareholders, funding partners).
- The sector that you are in
- Other key words, eg topics you would scan for when reading a newspaper
3. How are you planning to circulate and act on what you find?
- If there is a live debate on a blog or in a forum about your key topics, what will you do? Who will be ready and able to respond to misinformation or genuine criticism?
- If there is a chance to offer a positive follow-up story to an influential blogger or mainstream journalist, who and how will (you) act?
- If there is a positive story about your project/organisation – what will you do? Who will you share it with?
- If there is an interesting story written, how can you use it in your own communications?
- Will you carefully subscribe to certain blogs or newsfeeds and read them?
Welcome to the great conversation of “us”. In some ways it’s never been easier. If you do nothing more than have a play with Google Alerts – you will learn a lot.
If you want to discuss a proper strategy about media monitoring and reputation management, give me a tinkle. We’ld love to help you improve your communications. It might be as simple as a short chat and a sign post to send you off in the right direction.
July 21, 2008
These slides from the training session for the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce last week. Let me know if you want us to come to your event or run a bespoke event or Masterclass.
More details on our Social Media for Good course soon (looks like next date will be Oct 3 in Brighton).
Covers a bit of an introduction to social media and blogging, plus some questions to get you thinking about your own context, opportunities and challenges.
Some good thinking in the room and animated conversations. Quite a few organisations ready to get blogging and exploring integrated social media in more depth.
A few of you made pledges are you walked out the door about your goals and intentions, so let me know how you get on!
Thanks to all for your warm feedback and to those who helped make it a positive event, especially Lorraine Bell (BCP), Tania “Radiance” Fullerton (Brighton Steiner School) and Fay McDonald.
July 17, 2008
|21 August, 2008|
|6:30 pm||to||8:30 pm|
One of our special Nodestone colleagues Mr Jim Callender is running a session soon that can’t be missed. Well, except by us as we will be swanning around in France having a well earned break!
For those of you who will be around, do get along. Email is one of the most tried and true, low cost and high response online marketing / social media tools to use. Do it well, and it might even go viral.
Jim will be co-presenting with the now-famous pure360 – total email marketing solution people. Great resources available on their site.
Thursday 21st August, 18:30 – 20:30
Payment by donation to The Werks.
June 19, 2008
For the new nodestone banner, I made a little application that goes and builds that set of faces that you see on the top-left banner of the nodestone.com. This post is all about the why and how of that.
We were looking for a way to visually represent the human nature of social media. We’ve got the nice, nodey logo, but where are the people? All the people. All the faces, so that leads us to a bunch of avatars or icons with people’s faces.
Now there is a facebook app called FriendGrid which goes some way there:
But, too big and not enough faces for what we are looking for. We needed something wide to fill that banner space. Also, those question marks send the wrong message, no?
So, then, how hard is it to get that set of avatars photos, scale em down and place them in a single image? Not hard at all, it turns out.
I turned to Twitter. Twitter users are prety good at uploading avatars, and accessing them via the API is pretty straightforward, so I wrote a quick app with Google AppEngine to accept a twitter username and password and then fetch the avatar URLs and display them in a block. It worked nicely, so I meddled with the display of the images, got them in a suitable sized block in a browser and screen captured them. I used the Gimp to manipulate the image a bit and make the fractured right hand end. Done.
Next features I’ll add:
- Add more source twitter IDs, so the starting set can be our friends, not my friends.
- Follow friends of friends until we have enough unique faces, this avoiding duplicates
- Remove the ‘no avatar’ images
- Do the actual image manipulation to build a single image from all these.
- Auto-update the nodestone banner once a week or something as friends change,
Sometime over summer I’ll tidy up and publish the app over to AppEngine and let you all know.
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…