Facebook Graduates: Now Do Something For the World

first_imgjosh catone 1 Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#Facebook#Non-Profits#Trends#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditcenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Yesterday marked Facebook‘s four year anniversary, or to look at it from the college perspective to which the site owes its success: Facebook graduated. Washington Post assistant editor Rachel Dry, who was a senior at Harvard when Mark Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com from his college dorm room on February 4, 2004, wrote a commencement address for The New Republic. In it, Dry wonders if Facebook is taking “on the big inequities,” as Bill Gates — like Zuckerberg, a famous Harvard dropout — urged in his commencement speech at the university last year. We wondered the same thing.Last week, we wrote about how Twitter, our Best Web LittleCo of 2007, was quickly morphing into a viable platform for serious discussion. One can see that happening today, as Super Tuesday primary elections take place across the US and people report and debate the results across Twitter. But what about Facebook? It was, afterall, our Best Web BigCo of last year, one that we called a “company that really came of age this year; and […] was the catalyst for some important Web trends.”So we started wondering, could Facebook be a catalyst for something else: social change. Dry mentions the Causes application on Facebook, and groups which “connect thousands of people with common interests in humanitarian efforts.” Dry also talks about Facebook as an organizational tool, writing, “it’s very easy for people to organize races for cures and alert their 547 nearest and dearest to articles on under-covered international tragedies.”Facebook as a Vehicle for Social ChangeIndeed, on Facebook’s graduation day a massive political protest in Colombia demonstrated Facebook’s power to rally people to a cause. Monday afternoon hundreds of thousands of Colombians took to the streets to protest the Marxist rebel group FARC. Estimates on the crowd size ranged from 500,000 to 2 million people, which in and of itself isn’t all that extraordinary — millions of people get together to protest things all the time. What is extraordinary, is that the protest was organized largely online through Facebook.A Facebook event page created by protest organizers attracted over 106,000 confirmed guests with 18,000 maybes. Almost 320,000 people were invited to the event, which demonstrates the ability for Facebook to get the word out to a massive number of people about social and political issues, quickly and effectively.Another example of someone successfully using Facebook to enact change is the “For Every 1,000 that join this group I will donate $1 for Darfur,” which was started by NYU student Marek Grodzicki. The group has 424,000 members — or $424 — and Grodzicki is renewing his pledge for next year. That may not be a lot of money, but it’s almost half a million people who may now be more aware of an issue because a single person was able to reach them simply by announcing an altruistic act on Facebook and letting viral nature of social networking take over.But how common are examples like the FARC protest and the Darfur donation group? It’s really hard to tell, but what we can look at, is the effectiveness of the previously mentioned Causes application to raise money. Just how charitable are Facebook users? It turns out… not very. Or at least, Facebook isn’t prompting people to be charitable — they may give plenty via other channels.The Causes app, which allows anyone to create a cause and link it to a registered non-profit organization in the US or Canada, is one of the most popular on Facebook with 10.8 million registered users. Because Causes interfaces with Network for Good, users can set up donation pages for thousands of charities, making it difficult to figure out how successful the application is as a whole. However, looking at the top five campaigns by users, the results aren’t so promising in terms of money raised:Clearly, these are important issues that a lot of people care about, but the application isn’t doing much to inspire people to donate money to the causes. An average of 1 to 2 cents per user isn’t really anything to write home about.Recently, the Causes app held a contest in which it gave out a $50,000 top prize to the organization that collected the most donations over a six week span. That’s a great idea because even organizations that don’t land the $50,000 prize theoretically see an increase in donations. The Giving Challenge began on December 14th and ended on February 1st, and though the official results won’t be announced until later in the month, unofficial results predict the “Love Without Boundaries Foundation” as the winner of the top prize with 4,564 donors. The participants in the Giving Challenge, who were mostly smaller charities, have much higher per user giving rates than the larger causes — “Love Without Boundaries,” for example, has a per user average over $15.But even while the challenge made the Causes app a successful fundraising tool for a handful of small charities, it also exposed the same sort of apathy (at least when it comes to giving) that the top causes seem to deal with. As part of the competition, Causes gave out a daily $1,000 prize to the charity that had the most donors each day. Except for the final week, when a couple of charities were making a big push for the top prize, the daily winner generally had under 100 donors. That may seem like a lot, but with over 30 million people in the US and Canada over the age of 16, it still feels somewhat underwhelming.However, even if Causes isn’t doing much to raise money, it is potentially doing a lot to raise awareness. When just the top 5 causes reach about 7.5 million people, that’s pretty powerful stuff. Further, each cause is given a group page that has familiar Facebook tools like a wall — the Cancer Research cause, for example, has nearly 8,000 wall posts. Giving 3 million people a platform to discuss something they’re passionate about and raise awareness — whether or not it leads to money donated — points to Facebook’s potential as a powerful social tool.The bad news for Causes is that like other applications on Facebook, it has recently appeared susceptible to app fatigue. It still has a huge installed based, but its active user base has been sliced to about 1/4th of what it was just a few months ago.ConclusionSo is Facebook really a viable platform for social change? I think it can be. But like any new platform, we’re still learning how to use it most successfully. There have been some major successes — like the FARC protest and the participants in the Causes Giving Challenge — but also some less than stellar performances.Facebook still has some growing up to do. But as the user base gets older and more comfortable with the site, and as developers and organizers figure out the best ways to exploit Facebook to precipitate social change, it certainly could become a very important tool in any organizer’s arsenal.What do you think? Can Facebook be a serious platform for eliciting social change? Or will it never be more than a place to play Scrabulous and poke friends? Can it ever work for real fundraising? Share your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

New Releases

first_imgA shot at history: my obsessive journey to olympic goldby Abhinav Bindra with Rohit Brijnath; Harper Sport The autobiography tracks Abhinav Bindra’s journey from suffering a shattering defeat in the 2004 Olympics to winning Olympic Gold in shooting.Policing delhi: urbanization, crime and law enforcementby O.P. Mishra; OxfordAn insider’s study of the connection between rapid urbanization, rising crime and law enforcement in Delhi.The Dancing Boyby Ishani Kar-Purkayastha; HarperCollinsA beautifully imagined story of Moyur, the boy with two souls, and of his twin sister who died before she was born.The best of cadbury bournvita quiz contestby Derek O’ Brien; PuffinA compilation of 1,000 questions from the archives of the popular show along with some fun facts.The Fatwa Girlby Akbar Agha; HachetteThe novel is a quirky exploration of a modern-day Pakistan on edge and a tender tale of shattered innocence.When the Time is Rightby Buddhadeva Bose, Translated by Arunava Sinha; PenguinSet in Calcutta in the last two decades of British rule, it is a moving tale of a family and a nation.The empty spaceby Geetanjali Shree; HarperCollinsA fictional chronicle of the memories of a victim of a bomb blast, the story of a young survivor and the cataclysmic crossing of life and death.The way i see itby Alan Sugar; MacmillanFull of brilliant stories, amusing rants and sound advice, the book is written by the popular, straight-talking businessman.The mind’s eyeby Oliver Sacks; Picador The author tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing their sense of sight.advertisementPakistan: identity and destinyby Javed Jabbar; Har-AnandA no-holds barred analysis of a country coming to terms with its origins.last_img read more

Manute Bol could have been ’40 or 50 years old’ while in NBA, ex-coach says

first_imgThe Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Davis, Cousins, power Pelicans’ rout of Spurs LATEST STORIES Sudanese former NBA star Manute Bol sits in the southern Sudanese capital of Juba on Feb. 16, 2009.  AFP/PETER MARTELLManute Bol didn’t have a stellar career in the NBA, but he certainly was one of the league’s most memorable players.Standing 7 feet and 7 inches tall and tied with Gheorghe Muresan as the NBA’s tallest player, the willowy Sudanese giant suited up four teams in a career that spanned 10 seasons.ADVERTISEMENT ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Malditas save PH from shutoutcenter_img UCF’s Tacko Fall is 7-foot-6, and his game is still growingSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:15Zimbabwe ex-president Robert Mugabe dies aged 9503:14Mom of 3 year old girl slain in anti drug ops files raps vs Rodriguez cops02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Apart form his pole-like stature and penchant for blocking shots, Bol is perhaps best remembered for his supposedly dubious age, as fans have long disputed if he really was 23 years old when when he entered the league in 1985.Among those doubters include former Cleveland State head coach Kevin Mackey, who first recruited Bol when he arrived in the US in the mid-1980s.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“I gave him his birthday (Oct. 16, 1962) because they didn’t know how old he was,” Mackey revealed to Zagsblog’s Adam Zagoria.With Bol’s origin in question, Mackey admitted that he made the lanky center appear as young as plausible to get him into the program. “Every athletic door is open at 19, every athletic door is closed when you’re 35,” the former bench boss explained.  “He was probably 40, 50 years old when he was playing in the NBA.”Bol passed away due to kidney failure in 2010 and was believed to have been 47 years old at the time.A capable three-point shooter and elite rim protector, Bol is the only player in history to have tallied more career blocked shots (2,086) than points (1,599).He is survived by his son Bol Bol, an upcoming NBA prospect who recently committed to the University of Oregon.  Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORY:ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Let’s football! Indian Super League more popular than Italy’s Serie A

first_imgIndian Super League(ISL) has notched up an average match attendance of 24,357The inaugural Indian Super League(ISL) has been successful in luring one million fans to the stadia, the organisers said Thursday.The average match attendance for the tournament since its commencement Oct 12 is 24,357, the highest across Asia, according to a release by the organisers which also said that the league now trails only Germany’s Bundesliga, the Barclays Premier League and Spain’s La Liga in terms of average attendance.The tournament kicked off with 65,000 people attending the opening game between Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC Oct 12.last_img read more

Eight most expensive players at the IPL 2015

first_imgAs many as 344 players have been shortlisted for Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction 2015.Here is a list of eight most expensive players auctioned till now:PlayerTypeTeamPrice (Rs)Yuvraj SinghBatsmanDelhi Daredevils16 CroresDinesh KarthikWicket KeeperRoyal Challengers Bangalore10.5 CroresAngelo MathewsAll-RounderDelhi Daredevils7.5 CroresTrent BoultBowlerSunrisers Hyderabad3.8 CroresAmit MishraBowlerDelhi Daredevils3.5 CroresAaron FinchBatsmanMumbai Indians3.2 CroresMurali VijayBatsmanKings XI Punjab3 CroresDarren SammyAll-RounderRoyal Challengers Bangalore2.8 Crores A brief insight of skill set of these players: 1. Yuvraj Singh (India): He is an all-rounder who bats left-handed in the middle-order and bowls slow left-arm orthodox. He was the vice-captain of the Indian ODI team between 2007-2008. 2. Dinesh Karthik (India): Krishna Kumar Dinesh Karthik made his debut for the Indian cricket team in 2004 and has been a regular member of the team for varying periods since then, including a stint in 2007 as a specialist opening batsman and non-wicket-keeper. 3. Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka): Mathews is a lower-order batting all-rounder and is known for his compact batting technique and consistent fast-medium bowling.4. Trent Boult (New Zealand): Trent Alexander Boult is a left-arm medium-fast opening bowler and a right-handed batsman. 5. Amit Mishra (India): He is an attacking right-arm leg-break bowler and right-handed tail-ender batsman. He plays for Haryana in the domestic Ranji Trophy and currently appears for the T20 franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.6. Aaron Finch (Australia): A right-handed batsman, Finch currently holds the record for the highest innings in a Twenty20 International match, 156, scored against England on August 29, 2013.advertisement7. Murali Vijay (India): He plays as a right-handed opening batsman. He represents Tamil Nadu in first-class cricket and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.8. Darren Sammy (West Indies): He is a right-handed batsman and a fast-medium bowler. On making his One Day International (ODI) debut against Bangladesh in 2004, Sammy became the first person from the island of St. Lucia to play international cricket.last_img read more

Connecting Environmental Protection and the Rule of Law

first_imgOn the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, 35 human rights groups and WRI call on the presidential candidates to reaffirm the fundamental legal framework that makes environmental protection possible.Constitution Day is Wednesday, September 17th. 221 years after the document’s ratification, the Constitution continues to provide the framework for one of the world’s most stable and robust republic and democracy.In honor of this day, an ideologically diverse coalition calls upon all presidential candidates to demonstrate their commitment and ability to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” (Read the | text = full media advisory.)Presidents and the Executive Branch exercise a great deal of discretion and flexibility in interpreting the Constitution. It is therefore essential that the presidential candidates, with the media’s help, hold a national dialogue on the Constitution. This would allow the American people to cast an informed vote by understanding where they stand on constitutional issues.Why would an environmental think tank like WRI be so concerned about where candidates stand on constitutional issues?The Constitutional framework is essential to environmental protection, because it establishes the legal principles, check and balances, and enforcement mechanisms that make regulations work. The next administration must therefore respect the Constitution and the legal foundation it provides.In recent years, presidents of both parties have aimed to expand the scope of their authority through abuses of executive power. These practices not only weaken essential environmental laws and regulations, they are unconstitutional.For example:Our scientists’ recommendations for ozone standards were overridden by an Executive Branch supporting laxer regulations. The President made a last minute intervention in the regulatory process to overturn recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency’s expert advisory panel which had been approved by the Administrator. Later, when asked by Congress to justify this action in the course of a subpoena, the Executive Branch withheld about 25 percent of the inter-agency communications which could have shed light on this intervention.The legal protections given to us by Congress over nuclear waste management were disregarded by the President through signing statements. In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress established whistleblower protections for members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy and federal contractors who would report safety violations in nuclear waste management. Yet President Bush declared in a signing statement that “the president or his appointees will determine whether employees of the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can give information to Congress.”The people were left out of the design of their own national health or energy plan. The Clinton Health Care task force and the Cheney Energy Task force conducted their operations behind closed doors, resisting both participation from a wide base of informed stakeholders and judicial proceedings to retrieve the information kept secret about the content and participants of the meetings.When the rule of law fades, our environment deteriorates along with the American people’s health and security. The Bush administration’s abuses of executive power in particular are unprecedented in number and scope and have been exposed and denounced by groups and individuals across the political spectrum. Do they now constitute a precedent for the next President to follow? This question must be answered by the presidential candidates. We need to find out how the candidates would exert their executive authority as President before the election rather than learning it the hard way.We want all campaigns to let the American people know where they stand on such core principles as checks and balances in government, government oversight by Congress, and transparency of information. WRI supports this call, along with the following organizations:America SpeaksAmerican Booksellers Foundation for Free ExpressionAmerican Conservative Defense AllianceAmerican Freedom AgendaAmerican Freedom CampaignBill of Rights Defense CommitteeCalifornians AwareCenter for American Progress Action FundCenter for Constitutional RightsCommon CauseDefending Dissent FoundationElectronic Frontier FoundationEqual Justice SocietyGet FISA RightGovernment Accountability ProjectHuman Rights WatchInternational Association of Whistleblowers (IAW)Liberty CoalitionMinnesota Coalition on Government InformationMuslim AdvocatesNational Campaign to Restore Civil RightsNational Coalition of Organized WomenNational Lawyers GuildNo FEAR CoalitionOMB WatchOpen The Government CoalitionOSC WatchPrivacy LivesProject on Government OversightPublic CitizenRepublican Liberty CaucusScientific Integrity Program of the Union of Concerned ScientistsThe Brennan Center for JusticeThe Rutherford InstituteTranspartisan CenterWhistleblowers USAWorld Resources Institutelast_img read more