Sharing Knowledge at the Local Level

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Facilitated by Arthur Coddington, Craigslist Foundation

Session Description

This year Craigslist Foundation has hosted a series of community discussions focused on sharing of local community action stories - goals, techniques used, results achieved in improving local communities. This session will explore what motivates sharing in social change, what holds people back, and how to encourage more sharing at the local level.

Session Notes

Around the room:

Ben Digital Art Service Corps Place VISTAs with orgs to do capacity building projects interested in learning how people are communicating stories currently sees stories coming in through: blogs, phone, email, but mostly via people

Alex Illinois Arts Council Wants to incentivize people to share stories now everyone is doing story drives competition is on for people's stories -- to the point where it's annoying excited to see others taking it on, wants to collaborate

Zach Exygy Software Development for Non Profits Exygy is building LikeMinded with the CraigsListFoundation

Colleen Center for multi culturual cooperation youth and intergenerational story telling

Mat working on project w/ arthur and CL Foundation "interested in who is interested"

Scott IdeaEncore online knowledge sharing platform interested in using incentives to get people to share what's on their hard drive

Josué Progressive Technology Project US Social Projects 20 orgs that do comm org around the country there are plenty of stories, so i'm attracted to a platform

matt 350.org past life: capacity building planning and eval group w/ social justice groups worked with incredible orgs that no one has ever heard of interested in asset based community development

Jon 350.org we tell big aggregated stories but very specific local stories are compelling humanizing = compelling

Lani Tech Soup we have contests to get nps to tell their stories around technology that they've done we'd like for it to be more collaborative but it's focused on the prize money

Daniel RiseUp Collective builds secure infrastructure for online organizing interested in local organizing efforts and tools to facilitate

Arthur LikeMinded CraigsList Foundation Facilitator

Q (Ben): how are people using their stories? what is the goal for collecting?

A (Alex): gather and use in speeches to testify before house and senate

this org provides this many jobs in this community

advocacy for value of the work that's going on to use in annual reports making a case to demonstrate impact

A (Daniel): couchsurfing = awesome

A (Matt): storycorps = awesome

A (Matt): to give to reporters For the 350 day, Photo + Story = value because I can now tell that story even though I've never met that person

A (Lani): at tech soup we want the stories for internal purposes to understand better what users need

A (Daniel): "user stories" like in agile development

Josué: planting seeds and tilling the soil = different activities - thinking about stories in terms of these two types of activities

Arthur: stories can not only make you more effective but also inspire others into action who are currently inactive stories can also encourage collaborations that wouldn't have otherwise happened find common bonds and potentials for community collaborations

Jon: Marshal Gans a theory of "story based social organizations" people must understand their own story to understand their part in a bigger mission that makes them more motivated and engaged and likely to reach out to others wants to be able to pick out patterns

Alex: Also there are found stories

Arthur bg on likeminded Premise: if you are doing something cool locally, can others find out about it easily? hosted discussions around the country answer was: "sort of" but not as effectively as they should but often it's through boring / sterile whitepapers the story telling / short form element is missing no effective tech platform that spans different silos of local community some people are doing great stuff: IdeaEncore is distributing resources in NP area, WiserEarth is doing it in Env sector but things are travelling we thought that CL as a neutral convener (sp?) could solve this problem taking approach of bringing together stories from national partners talk about folks who have done local work around the country but also allow folks to document what they're doing right now. give visibility to what people are doing so folks two towns over can get inspired and do something similar, or join the cause so not only archival but also active reference of what people are doing around the country starting in US, but hopefully spreading

Daniel: what makes it different from events on facebook or a meetup? Arthur: those are components of a LikeMinded Projects.

Jon: can we walk through the steps of how I'd organize on LikeMinded

Arthur: later we'll have widgets you can embed that describe projects related to you or your mission Arthur: example of folks going to a planning comission. you see that. you message the organizer. you start a project. we message you w/ best practices. we're going to start w/ generic best practices, then get more specific. idealist and points of light institute are going to help us with more specific best practices.

Matt: do other people then those who created the project have ability to participate? arthur: yes, we will list participants. but we don't want to be a social network.

ben: is it individuals or organizations? Arthur: it's focused on individuals. they are the ones making things happen. but organizations will be listed as collaborators (eg, funders). we're hoping that if you share your project on likeminded, funders might be more likely to find you it's possible this could be a really light weight grant reporting mechanism we're going to build an initial release and get feedback -- take an agile approach

Alex: can i search for local stuff? Arthur: yep, you can look locally. it'll be more like Kayak then Craigslist (faceted search). Big bucket is topical -- eg, if you care about public safety, that'd be your entry mechanism.

Matt: there are a lot of places for volunteer postings. will you work with them? arthur: that's an opportunity down the road… that may be an angle we'll take, but it's not in the initial narrow scope.

Jon: behavioral psychology would be cool. getting people to commit with you.

Matt: kickstarter does some of the best story telling i've seen in a while.

Zach: incetives? games? prizes?

mat: don't really like that as motivator

Scott: we've found w/ ideaencore that we do need something to incentivize for some people it's status. for others its income. for others, it's a prize.

lani: sometimes it's a structure -- submit your story between X and Y dates.

Wrap Up what are our takeaways:

- story telling is inherintly valuable
- but it's not easy to get stories
- there are a lot of cool ways to get them

Arthur: would love for you all to be in the loop and get your feedback. let me know and i'll add you to our list.