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outreach & technology

Can Technology Fuel Face-to-Face Social Capital?

Is technology key for building trust and social capital in today's world? That's a key point made in an interesting Fast Company article, "Community Revival: How Technology is Reconstructing our Shared Lives", by Nicole Skibola. She focuses on "Generation Yers"  significant desire to contribute, albeit in forms that might not be recognized by older generations. Skibola cites innovative projects such as Skillshare that helps people share their skills with strangers.Read more

Geek Corps: Answering the call (and changing the name!)

Far too many reports are issued only to collect dust on a shelf.  Fortunately, this is not the case with the Knight Commission report, "Informing Communities:  Sustaining Democracy in a Digital Age", which was issued a year ago and has been the source of ongoing converation about the role of media and information flows in 21st century democractic life.  Just this week I tuned into a symposium the Knight Commission held to mark the one year anniversary of the report, prompting me to share some thoughts on the report.Read more

People Power, Not a Portal

At the "State of Service" event put on by MassINC & AmeriCorps Alums earlier this month, creating a new "Match.com for service" portal was the idea that seemed to generate the most enthusiasm.  In these "there's an app for that" times, thinking there's a technical solution to a challenge comes naturally.  And there is certainly some evidence that doing a better job connecting people with opportunities to participate could increase civic engagement.  Back when I was starting Social Capital Inc. (SCI), I came across a League of Women Voters study which said that roughly half of the Americans they surveyed indicated that they'd like to be more civically active, and that "lack of information" was the single biggest barrier preventing them from doing so.  We have since seen similar findings in our own local survey, pointing to the need to connect people with information.Read more

Outreach & Technology Paid Internship

Outreach & Technology Paid Internship by David Crowley of Social Capital Inc., The SCI Daily News

OurNewton.org, a newly launched social networking website dedicated to building civic engagement in Newton, will offer a paid internship for someone to help develop web content and drive traffic to the site. OurNewton.org’s purpose is to provide a one-stop, online connection to Newton-based resources, nonprofit organizations, groups, activities, events and people.

The position involves 3-4 hours of work per week over the course of the 2009/10 school year, beginning in September. Work location is flexible and position can be used to fulfill college credit. The goal of the position is to increase use of the site by community organizations and residents. The intern will work closely with members of the OurNewton Launch committee to achieve the growth goals.


* Monitor web content and promote a new item to the homepage on a weekly basis.

* Reach out to community organizations to generate new web content.

* Work with launch team to publish a monthly newsletter and/or contribute content for PTSO and other community newsletters. Read more

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