Thursday, July 2, 2009

Man Week: contagious catharsis for lots of dudes

Right now, I am overlwhelmed by the awesome and contagious contributions of bloggers for #ManWeek. I'll attempt to highlight all of the individual posts for Man Week and please add some if I've missed them, but first the context...

Reach Out's Man Week is a team effort with triple j to get guys to get it out (what goes on inside). Reach Out has a pretty meaty purpose that goes beyond this week too: to de-stigmatise men's mental health issues and reduce the high rates of suicide in young men (and women) by providing the info, support and enouragement that everyone needs once in a while, through Reach Out.

Getting it out is the first step, but it never stops, and gets easier.

It starts with guys getting stuff off their chest. Getting everyone cool with that that is half of the battle, and it seems half won today - through the contagious posts and conversarions of bloggers and the Reach Out crew today.

Finding ways to deal with life as a guy aren't just 'around'. Let's create them.

Reach Out has been around for about 10 years, but now there are some manhood movements popping up in blogs,songs and videos aswell. How can we amplify the voices of those guys who can be mole rodels* for the guys who are slightly younger and, and make it big? Australia wide big? Mark Pollard's idea for a man-shawl fundraiser for men's mental health is great food for thought.

Or maybe it's all about the tactical - the beauty of that tagging function...? Guys tagging other guys to participate in #ManWeek - Thanks Gavin

What's interesting is that for guys, finding ways to deal is the most important bit. For women, it's more about talking it over (or is that latent rhetoric from chirping mums on that Venus and Mars book?)

Enough pontificating from the perspective of a woman. Here's the dudes posts so far. Add yours next (please).

1. Mark Pollard - Why some men are so lost - Man Week

2. Jye Smith – returning to Columbia

3. Gavin Heaton – blogging and amplifying every day this week

4. Julian Cole - bullying and gives help seeking practical props

5. Zac Martin – Balls on the line – 19 yr old

6. Joely Righteous – My current and greatest challenge (man week)

7. Luke Harvey Palmer – Father and Son Day

8. Franksting - Damn the 80's (thanks to #manweek and Reach Out Australia)

9. Joel (another one) Man Week – Being young and learning about masculinity

10. Stan Lee

11. Matt Hazel –dealing with bullies

12. Media hunter – media and males

13. Matt Moore – being a dad

I hope and trust these guys stories will make you want to blog. It might take a bit to begin with, but it sounds like it will be so worth it (that's what the guys are saying)

*mole rodel: less parent/teacher-like way of saying role models

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

$15m from Vic gov to support collaborative web innovation

The Collaboarative Internet Innovation Fund is a new $15 million competitive grants program to accelerate the innovative use of the next generation of ICT (collaborative web technology web 2.0) by Victorian government, business and community.

This supports the proposition that the opportunity to achieve social change through collaborative web based solutions is vast.

From the Program Guidelines:

New web technologies present great opportunities for innovation through harnessing the power of networks, collective capabilities and large-scale information. As with all shifts in technologies, however, there will be a process of adapting and learning about how these new tools and capabilities can be best put to productive use.
cIIF will support leaders in Victoria to take a step-change now and ‘learn by doing’. The program will build capability for ICT-enabled innovation in the State, and generate information and models to support more widespread adoption of new technologies.

The learn by doing philosophy is encouraging. No rules yet. And community organisations, particularly ones with existing web based services are in an advantageous position to benefit and learn. Expressions of Interest close March 5. Time to get cracking methinks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Raise awareness, reduce stigma and empower by sharing stories

Today's piece of stimuli uses the scale of the web and the power of rich media content to raise awareness about human rights cases and issues going on around the globe. It's called The Witness Hub, the global media platform for Human Rights and Action.

Binyam Mohamed - a former British resident who has been held in U.S. captivity without trial for almost seven years - was released today from the Guantanamo Bay military detention center and is now back in the UK. The below video is called "Outlawed". a film in which Mohamed's story is told from excerpts of a diary he kept whilst in detention. Tosee the video or take action, visit The Witness Hub.

The stories of these people, and anyone that matters to your cause can benefit from being heard and seen on the web. Visibility can raise awareness and engagement with the broader public or help to reduce stigma about a particular issue.

Some stories are suitable for video and audio, such as this one.
Some stories are intentionally anonymous and perhaps better left in written form.
For example, consider a blog/diary of the white collar heroin user. The power of that persons story in raising awareness to the public that heroin permeates all levels of society, reducing stigma around users and most importantly, increasing the self worth of the person who is telling their story.
Consider one more step. Connecting 9 to 5 heroin users in a social network supported and mediated by volunteer ex- users, surrounded by all the best information on safe and reduced usage.

Risky? Effective. Tell me your thoughts please.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lesson 1: I must give to end up receiving

So here I am. One month after I'd begun lurking around social media sites and having passionate (but probably scattered) chats with not-for-profits, writing my first post on what will hopefully be a blog that:

a) is a practical experiment on my hypothesis that: social causes can benefit most from the use of social media by

- increasing the reach of their programs

- mobilising groups of empowered people

-empowering those who don't feel like they have control over their lives with a powerful (and anonymous) tool that makes them feel connected and increase self worth.

- connecting their stakeholder groups who have similar motivations to challenge eachothers perspectives

b) teaches me something about myself and my ability to use social media to learn from and influence others.

The penny dropped this morning. It came after yesterday's deep delving on the web to find precendents for my hypothesis and the spinning of ideas that resulted from that, abliet unfulfilling search.

...stage left (penny dropping and spinning on wooden floor)...

I must start giving. Start being part of the conversation. Start my own conversation. Challenge others with perspectives and ideas and most of all, trawl for compelling examples where not for profits have used collaborative web tech to compound the positive effects for their social programs.

So this is number 1.

And I better follow it up by giving something other than the meanderings of my potentially menstrual mind.
So Google Earth Outreach have developed an add on to their popular Google Earth application
Google Earth Outreach gives non-profits and public benefit organizations like yours the knowledge and resources you need to reach their minds and their hearts: See how other organizations have benefited from Google Earth Outreach, then learn how to create maps and virtual visits to your projects that get users engaged and passionate about your work.
One example I've picked is:
Earth Outreach KML: Global Giving
Author: GlobalGiving
In this KML produced by GlobalGiving (an organization that connects potential donors to projects), you can view the locations and details of programs taking place around the world. What we really like about this file, is the geographical connection to where problems are occurring - and what can be done to help.

Using the Google Earth platform, organisations can increase the global and local reach of their programs, engage more donors and potentially use it to partner with other community providers in the area.
How can we apply it to your organisation?
It seems a natural fit for environmental causes wanting to visualise the effects of, for example, logging....
Can you think of a way to appropriate the use of this application to increase the impacts for your cause?
Would love your thoughts, comments, rants.
Wow, first post done. Feels good.