Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2011

From StreesideSF.

Life has been so busy lately that it would make many a good blog update but rarely do I seem to have the time, or maybe the patience, with bashing out a proper post at the moment. Part of this is just the raw hours I’m working across three major projects. Part of it is that so much of all these projects takes place on m computer my eyes get tired and I crave time away from this particular screen.

I’m not sure I should feel very guilty about this – I never have been a terribly serious blogger – but I do. At least some of the time. It feels like a goal I’m failing at, even if in many ways it’s been sacrificed so I can achieve the more important goals of the moment. But it’s easy to pick apart our own behavior I think, to be more critical and less forgiving than we would be with a friend.

The truth is I am actually blogging quite a lot at the moment – more than ever before – but just not here very often.

Over the past 9 months I’ve set up a couple of visual and short-form blogs on posterous. One, Bits & Bytes, features my favourite bits of media, information and ephemera I find online. The other, StreetsideSF, is a shared blog with K featuring the street art we see all around us in San Francisco. IF you haven’t checked them out yet please do and consider subscribing.

In addition I currently run two blogs for HopeLab – our main Sticky Notes blog on HopeLab.org and the blog at the JOYcampaign website I manage, both of which I regularly contribute to myself – and I try to write for the StartSomeGood blog whenever I can manage.

We are also eight days away from leaving for Burning Man, and it’s been another epic organizational challenge to pull together a theme camp primarily of first-timers from all around the world. I can’t wait to move beyond the organizing phase, hit the desert and get dusty with my family (literally, my sister is coming) and friends.

Despite all this busyness I’m having a lot of fun, challenging myself to get a lot done and feeling extremely fortunate to be able to work on such exciting and meaningful projects with people I admire. There’s nothing I would rather not be doing. I would like to post here more often however 🙂

I hope everything is great in your world and that life is full of joy.

Read Full Post »

Language matters. It frames our expectations and can limit or expand our thinking.

I’ve written before about my preference for the term “peerfunding” over “crowdfunding”. More recently I’ve begun to see a spectrum of activities which can be more crowd or peer-focused, making both terms relevant but the distinction important.

To me, crowdsourcing is a competitive process – the crowd is either helping select amongst alternatives or competing to win an award. As an example, GeniusRocket is a design crowdsourcing site – their community competes via the submission of ideas and proposals, to have their work selected and be paid by GeniusRocket’s clients.

The Pepsi Refresh Project is another example of the crowd in action. The crowd is helping Pepsi select where to invest its philanthropic dollars. It’s crowdsourcing because it’s a large mass of people who have little-to-no contact with each other making submissions, in the form of votes here and designs with GeniusRocket, to the organizer of the contest.

What Creating the Future is doing, on the other hand, is peersourcing. They have invited their community to co-create the criteria and process of the scholarship fund they recently raised funds for on StartSomeGood.

In this instance the participants are not an anonymous “crowd” and they are not competing with each other. Instead they are co-creating something together. They are peers, colleagues, collaborators. Whilst the number of responses isn’t large the quality of thinking behind the responses makes them enormously valuable.

If we simply refer to Pepsi Refresh, GeniusRocket and what Creating The Future are doing as “crowdsourcing” I think we are missing a key differentiator between them. I am loath to create more jargon but I fear that calling collaborative efforts like Creating The Future, or the way Beth Kanter aggregates contributions and best practices through wiki’s, Facebook and her blog crowdsourcing is to miss the most important aspect of these approaches: that they build a community of peers and invite co-creation, rather than setting up the “crowd” to compete for the organizers favor.

I believe what we and our ventures do at StartSomeGood is peerfunding rather than crowdfunding. On StartSomeGood, as with other fundraising platforms for entrepreneurs and creatives, the majority of the funding comes from the fundraisers existing community. Supporters feel an affiliation for the project and affection for the organizer, or connect to the cause via a shared identity or experience. These funders are not a crowd, they are peers, and they will be your most important asset in creating change.

I’m thrilled to see a project which was successfully peerfunded on StartSomeGood now move on to peersourcing the details of how the scholarship will work. Check out their thinking so far and feel free to contribute!

Read Full Post »