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Decoding Collaboration Part 3: Collective impact deconstructed

September 23, 2013 in Blog, Distribution

“The expectation that collaboration can occur without a supporting infrastructure is one of the most frequent reasons why it fails.” –Fay Hanley Brown, John Kania and Mark Kramer, Stanford Social Review

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Occupy New York staged in the financial district, directly across from the World Trade Center’s reconstruction effort. Credit Lisa Skube

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here, she generously offers a number of insights, with this the third of her three-part series:

News Collaborations:
Part I:
What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II:
How does collaboration create impact?
Part III: How might collaboration shape the future of journalism? (see below)

There is a reason why the virtues of editorial collaboration have been championed by any number of media watchers in publications like Mediashift, NiemanLabs, J-Lab, and Journalism Accelerator. Collaboration is seen as the best way to leverage scarce resources in order to create more impact than any of the participants could do individually.

To innovate around impact, the journalism world will need philanthropists who understand that collaboration also requires resources, not only for the outlets that collaborate, but for the backbone organizations that support these collaborations.

In this post, I’ll detail the Media Consortium’s 2012 May Day collaboration to demonstrate how one type of high-impact collaboration can be organized, the investment ours required, and the return it offers. Read the rest of this entry →

PauPress

August 2, 2013 in Resources, Technology

PauPress began back in 2006 when we started to code sites in WordPress for non-profits and start-ups. In 2010 it started to take shape as we built out a suite of functions for a number of large sites that had a demand for an integrated, professional platform to manage both their content and their audience. Since then it’s been a staple of our production environments for both large and small organizations alike. The concept was pretty simple — provide CRM functionality without all the baggage, headaches and costs so that social missions and creative endeavors could do more with less.

“We are Frank and Karoline Neville-Hamilton and we’ve been doing this sort of work online for non-profits and creative individuals since the late 90′s. We’ve worked with clients as large as the WorldBank and the United Nations and we’ve worked with endeavors as small as sites for our close friends who have taken the leap into self-employment. We’d like to think that that broad range of experience gives us a really good perspective on how solid business practices can be simplified and applied so that everyone can grow to do what they do best.” Source: PauPress

“With PauPress you can easily add and arrange as many custom fields to your user’s profiles as you need, set advanced permissions and then search those fields to find commonalities or differences. You can create as many contact forms as you like from your existing user fields and track detailed user activity with an intuitive note system. These are the basics of any CRM (contact relationship management) application and PauPress does it all with the ease and simplicity of WordPress.

“Need to do more? With the pro version, you get front-end user registration and account management, searching of user activity, bulk editing of users & actions, import user data, a full-featured e-commerce solution for purchases and donations, an email marketing engine that integrates with MailChimp, Google Maps, User-generated content and Membership restricted access — all integrated into the same application for a seamless user interface that just works.” Source: Plugpress.com

Decoding Collaboration Part 1: Can or should news collaboration be forced?

July 24, 2013 in Blog, Community

The Media Consortium LogoTo scale impact, invest in networks.

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser is the executive director of The Media Consortium. Green-Kaiser’s rich background includes a BA from Yale, a PhD from the University of California, with an impressive body of work across numerous independent magazines; she is a leading figure in Jewish media and an expert on the Jewish social justice movement.

Journalism Accelerator

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, who leads The Media Consortium, has been going deep on collaboration in her work. Here she generously offers a number of insights, with this the first of her three part series:

News Collaborations:
Part I: What do we mean by the word “collaboration”?
Part II: How does collaboration create impact?
Part III: How can collaborations shape the future of journalism?

With collaboration at the center of the JA’s work, we’ve followed Media Shift’s Collaboration Central work with interest.  As well as others who are monitoring new models of collaboration emerging across the news and information spectrum.  Civic engagement “table” development methodology is part of the DNA that inspired the JA’s cross network emphasis (“beyond the usual suspects”). Inspired by wildly successful state organizing efforts, collaboration in this instance fueled by a philanthropic community where funders worked in partnership to build infrastructure to deliver commonly held objectives, leveraging the existing capabilities of civic organizations already existing in the marketplace. Taking out all partisan attachment (progressives were the architects of this infrastructure) – the simple genius of this: How to deploy the power of civic good networks around common aims – respectful of unique missions – to deliver the combined capabilities of unique specialization already creating small scale impact in the marketplace? (i.e. content delivery, craft, community conduit, social, business, technology, product development, topical expertise, etc.) Last year about this time the JA was looking at the combination of revenue and sustainability related to collaboration. Taking this a step further, we’re revisiting this asking others where they see the greatest impact around networked collaboration. As well as asking, what are the barriers slowing progress?

In this post, Jo Ellen explores new working definitions of collaboration and opportunities to consider for deeper impact, leveraging collaboration to unleash the combined power of networks in more intentional and strategic ways. Read the rest of this entry →

B Corps

June 1, 2013 in Distribution, Resources

B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.

B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Today, there is a growing community of more than 600 Certified B Corps from 15 countries and 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business” Source: B Corps

An effort is on to pass legislation in Oregon during the upcoming session that would create a legal framework for a new kind of company, one that bakes into its founding principles the idea of providing a benefit to its community and its environment in addition to providing a financial return.

Since 2007, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit B Lab has been certifying companies as B Corps., a program that benchmarks, measures and creates a community of like minded B Corp. companies. Think of it as similar to the LEED certification program for the green building industry.” Source: Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon

ReadrBoard

October 11, 2012 in Community, Resources, Technology

There are many schools of thought on how to improve commenting on the internet, most of which focus on trying to convince commenters to be more civil. But ReadrBoard turns that idea on its head, asking commenters to be more specific. And doing that, it found a whole new way of looking at the process. Co-created by Porter Bayne, Tyler Brock and Eric Chaves, ReadrBoard aims to change the face of online conversation as we know it. After a successful beta test on news site Hypervocal and (full disclosure) Latoya Peterson’s site, Racialicious, Bayne, Brock and Chavs decided to revamp the overall design and user interface in 2012.  Here Bayne explains the concept behind ReadrBoard, discusses redesign on the fly, and shares a visual history of ReadrBoard’s evolution…

At ReadrBoard, we all think that all reader engagement — a share, a Like, a comment, a bookmark, a copy-paste, anything — is preceded by some emotion or thought: “That’s funny,” or “no way,” or “really?” or “my friend would love this,” and so on and so on. And we’re sure that far more readers have a reaction to content than are currently Liking, commenting, etc.

So, ReadrBoard is working to make it simple for readers to do that: react to content, with just a click. Sort of like a Like button … but any emotion or thought. And you can react to the whole page, or any part of a page…

The biggest conceptual change we had was realizing that the reaction precedes everything. Our early, prelaunch versions would show a reader five buttons after they selected content: react, or comment, or share, or search or bookmark. But we wanted it to be as simple as possible, as it felt like work to have to pick. Steve Jobs would say, “make it have one button.” Well, which one?

So, we asked ourselves, “what is the ONE thing this MUST do?” It seemed clear: react. The idea of losing the other functions was a system shock in a way, but we dug in on it. We would ask, “what if someone wants to react & share? React & comment?” It was always “react and _____”. That helped us realize, “oh… everything comes from a reaction. Rating, sharing, & commenting are all forms of expression that elaborate on the initial reaction or thought. So let’s start there.” Source: Journalists.org

JA Interview: CJR’s Michael Meyer and Street Fight co-founder David Hirschman on technology and revenue for publishers

May 16, 2012 in Blog, Revenue, Technology

Journalism Accelerator

The JA’s most recent forum explored how collaboration could increase revenue for publishers. This JA interview, below, opens a discussion about innovation; how publishers are responding to rapid technological developments that often focus on commerce over content, and what role innovation plays in bringing bucks to journalism. For two perspectives, we asked Street Fight co-founder David Hirschman and Columbia Journalism Review staff writer Michael Meyer to share their insights. We spoke via Skype late last week, as David was finalizing the agenda for Street Fight Summit West, his organization’s California iteration of its annual New York conference, and Michael was adding startup #267 to the CJR’s Guide to Online News Startups. Read the rest of this entry →

Can collaboration in publishing up revenue? Collab/Space forum surfaces insight

May 10, 2012 in Blog, Community, Revenue

Collaboration Sliced Fruit

Can the diverse flavors of collaboration slice up and reconstitute a fuller revenue apple?

Journalism Accelerator

The Journalism Accelerator, MediaShift’s Collaboration Central, and the Investigative Reporting Project at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism experimented with an extended conversation last month. A discussion about collaborating in journalism started among people face-to-face at a conference, then continued online with a sharpened focus on collaboration and revenue. There’s plenty to learn from the entire thread. This post identifies several major themes that emerged, setting the stage for a greater consideration of financial costs and benefits as journalists do more collaborations.

Journalist Carrie Lozano nailed a real need in her #1 takeaway from April’s “collaboration marathon” of back-to-back conferences in Berkeley. “We need to come up with useful cost-benefit analyses of collaboration,” she wrote on Collaboration Central last week.

That work is underway. Journalists and others experienced in collaboration began to assess the costs and benefits in a conversation that started at the Collab/Space 2012 conference, then continued online here at the Journalism Accelerator. The kickoff question focused on financial pros and cons, but people brought all sorts of costs and benefits into the discussion. Here are some highlights. Read the rest of this entry →

Moxie Insight: Collaborative Innovation

May 3, 2012 in Experiments, Resources, Revenue, Technology

Collaborative Innovation is a thought leadership blog about the impact of social networking and other consumer technologies on the enterprise and how to leverage them within the enterprise to foster better collaboration and greater innovation…

Crowdsourcing of Knowledge — Proponents of crowdsourcing believe that greater innovation is delivered when a larger and more diverse crowd is able to collaborate to create new products as is manifested by Wikipedia. Don Tapscott in his Wikonomics and Macrowikonomics books believes that collaborative innovation is altering each and every institution and unless these new principles can become embedded, institutions will continue to wither and die. We can already see this happening within the media and music industries.

Human-Centered Design Principles for Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing — Collaboration is all about the way people work and understanding human interaction is key to delivering collaboration technology. We have partnered with IDEO the global leader in human center design to understand the design principles of technology that is easy and intuitive and drives viral adoption.

Greater Openness — There is now a new engine of innovation and wealth creation and a powerful new force that radically drops collaboration costs and as such enables communities to collaborate on shared concerns, endeavors, and challenges. Greater openness in innovation and science, for example, is creating more economic opportunity for citizens and businesses that learn how to tap into global innovation webs.” Source: Moxie Insight

Tweets for Keeps: April 22 – April 28, 2012

May 2, 2012 in Innovation, Tweets for Keeps

Theme of the tweet week: ways to ease the change. A clearinghouse of free training, a visual how-to become a data journalist, and new ways to focus and fund your work.

Tools & Tactics

Tips & Techniques

Innovation & Experiments

Reports & Articles

People & Collaboration