Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Consequential strangers and “the now”

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

So I was  reading @Gumption ‘s blog post on Consequential Strangers and was struck about how weak ties can often be more powerful than your inner circle.  I thought “Well, why would this occur…”

I think much of this has to do with filters and judgment. When we get closer to people, we decide that we “know” them and we project much of ourselves on to them.

Often times, when we do this we limit people with baggage. Sometimes we create self fulfilling prophecies even.

My favorite example, how many times does a parent expect you to act like a 12 yr old and even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t yell at her like a 12 yr old – you find yourself doing it?

With any normal person this would never occur…  And it would certainly not occur with a random stranger.  But for some reason, we are able to give better suggestions and often be better people with strangers.  Time to lose both the amount of projection of self we give to good friends.  I think is slows down the grey matter.  Instead of coming up with solutions instead it just accesses memories both positive and negative rather than looking for novel solutions…

I think I will steal from my happiness post earlier and try to short circuit my neural circuitry when that happens by some physical trick of existing in the now and maybe reroute that neural pathway.

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How to get techies involved in your project

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

I often get asked by NonProfits how do I recruit all these techies to my codeathons…

Well as someone that has managed techies and run volunteer management campaigns.  It is simple:

1) know your audience

That might seem rude or overly simplistic but it is true.  Most Nonprofit volunteer coordinators know how to setup projects to the lowest common denominator for block walking, phone banking etc.  You need to find an Open Source techie project manager type and do the same open source process.  A good place to start is http://producingoss.com Karl Fogel literally wrote the book on Open Source Community management. (And I personally adore the man – not a sweeter person on this planet.)

What I have found to work is:

  • Purpose – it is easy for me to get people to work when they understand exactly how it is helping
  • Free/Open Source – make the sure they know you aren’t just getting free work out of them
  • Clarity – define the project scope you probably need to sit down with an actual designer or project manager to do this properly
  • Clear lines of communication – use the tools they are already using i.e. github and wikis
  • Long term – how will this be sustainable? I suggest finding an exist project to support like Drupal or WordPress modules.

Don’t forget the big things…

  • Fun – always have elements that show it will be bonding for programmers and Nonprofits too.
  • Press – make sure their are visual elements for them to video or photograph this gives cred too..
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