The core of this whole sCNN idea is two-fold:
1. Open Blog... anyone anywhere who has a blog that is reporting planning and progress on projects for the common good will be able to post a bit of news or requests for assistance here.
2. Replicating Blogrolls... we will troll the open blog postings and keep popping project blog links into the Local News and Network News blogrolls. Ideally, the blogrolls will be swiped and displayed by those listed in them. Everybody magnifying the links to everybody.
In this way, we hope to create a center of giving and receiving for the common good, a place where your gifts and your needs can meet.
Until we get the open public email posting functionality working, we're pulling referrals out of comments and emails.
What Do You Have?
At this point, this whole idea is only six months old, and more than half of that time I've been out of the country. Good news is that I've been able to make connections that can make sCNN an international phenomenon. Bad news is that everything's been moving more slowly than I'd like. Here's what we have discovered, created, invested and received to date:
- A Simple, Powerful Concept. The idea is to create an online Center for the Common Good, where active givers and gifted activists can enter into conversations that help small change(s) make a world of difference. The discovery is that we don't need to control or capture your giving transactions, project information, or even your contact information. All we need is the URL to your project or network weblog, in order to grow a central and totally public/shared listing of weblogs associated with community-based, common good projects and organizations.
- A Working Template and a lot of Free Services. The format that we've developed here can be quickly and easily applied in any community, organization, or network that wants to support wildly organic growth even while maintaining the kind of clarity and coherence required by major funders and other supporters. sCNN is built almost entirely on free services, so even though the template could be used very effectively by cash-rich corporations, it's simple and free enough that any youth group can afford it.
- A Good Name and a Good Look. Well, a lot of people seem to like it, anyway, which is important because we'd like to grow it into a bit of a brand name. in the course of developing the idea of a "giving market" we looked at a lot of what was out there already. we didn't find anything quite like this, but we did notice that small changes, small gifts, small upticks, like in the stock market or sports scores, or even daily horoscopes, seemed to hold our interest more. we think small change has great potential to hold and leverage interest and attention. Stay tuned for a couple of buttons we'd like to start spreading around on supporting weblogs everywhere.
- Blogrolled Links and Personal Connections. sCNN is linked and connected with active givers and gifted activists around the world. The conversations we have had about this idea specifically are starting to bear fruit in the various blogrolls. These developments are made possible by 15 years of personal and online facilitation, networking, contribution and development work, by partners who've given generously of their time and attention to work out the simplicity of the design, and by financial sponsors who have covered initial costs and pledged more giving in the future.
- A Plan for Wide Open Public Access. We have the infrastructure in place, and again, it's all running on free services that any corporation could replicate, any community organization can utilize and any youth group can afford. We'll soon make open posting of project news, project support, and project blog urls possible via email, so that anyone who's got something to give to this Center can get the attention they deserve.
- A Mailing List. Occasionally, when something very good or very bad happens, we want to be able to invite all our members and friends to look up and join the conversation for a moment. We'd also like to be able to make quarterly reports to all members, friends and supporters. To join the list -- which will never be shared with anyone, for any other purpose -- mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not send more than a handful of message each year.
- An Invitation... Join Us! Membership is easy and self-organizing. Here's what Members do: Read sCNN. Link to sCNN. Follow others' links. Refer project and network blogs for the blogrolls. Surf the sCNN blogrolls. Make contributions of time, attention, expertise, contacts, funding, equipment and other needs -- to sCNN or the projects linked from here. Make requests to support your project(s). Ask to be added to the sCNN project or network blogrolls. Post those rolls on your blog. Replicate the template in your organization. Help others find sCNN, make their own gifts, start their own blogs, and add their links...
And more than anything, we have the belief that the most powerful leadership position you can take is participation, in the flow, in community action, and in the blogosphere. We have a way to get connected, get support, get partners, and get things done. Now you have it, too.