How Do You Learn About Your Local Community?

Television remains the top source of local news for most Americans but many now turn to the internet and cast a wider net for information on specific topics, according to survey results released Monday.

While local TV news was the main source for staples such as weather, traffic and breaking news, the internet was the preferred resource for finding more specific information, according to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project.

Local news and information is filtered best via community, perhaps even more so in the digital age. People continue to show faith in community, whether learning news via word-of-mouth at the supermarket or via local sources and neighbors on Facebook and Twitter. Fifty-five percent said they get their local news via word of mouth at least once a week compared to 74 percent for television, 51 percent for radio, 50 percent for the local newspaper, 47 percent for the Internet, and 9 percent for a printed community newsletter.

Read the rest of my post and check out the full survey at KCET’s The Public Note blog.

Help Fundraise for One Economy: Bringing Tech and Internet to Communities in Need

Please click here to visit my razoo.com fundraising page or use the widget at right.

Online fundraising platform Razoo launched a new DonateAnywhere widget this month and I’m excited to be selected to the #ZooGooder team of a dozen or so chosen to lead a series of discussions on fundraising in the digital age of social media.

Join us for our first weekly Twitter chat at 6 p.m. PT / 9p.m. ET and. John Haydon will be co-hosting the first one. To participate, use your favorite Twitter client or service and follow the #zooGood hashtag.

In addition to these weekly chats, I chose to raise funds for One Economy Corporation with a goal of raising $8,000 by the end of the year. Not an easy choice given the breadth of my endeavors and pet projects and the 1.5 million or so fundraising causes listed on razoo.com. But after much internal deliberation and debate (and cross-research on sites like Charity Navigator) I decided that One Economy will have the most effective global reach with the money I raise as part of the #zooGood campaign. One Economy brings broadband into low-income households and builds and maintains virtual and physical community centers to provide underserved communities the training and tools needed to leverage the internet for information and local resources on education, jobs, health care and other vital issues.

More about One Economy in the video below:

This is a cause that I have long been passionate about and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to focus on it more publicly in the coming months. One Economy Corp is a top (4-star) rated charitable organization according to Charity Navigator and it has been expanding its geographic focus areas over its 10-years to cover the Middle East, Africa, and North America. More recently, One Economy launched PIC.tv, the Public Internet Channel website, which has boundless potential that I find very exciting as a long-time web producer and content creator myself.

So let’s see if we can hit $8,000 in two months, while helping to bolster One Economy Corp’s profile as a leading charitable protagonist for leveling the playing field, proliferating the spread of broadband and computer ed into underserved communities, and creating opportunities and local resources in cities and villages worldwide.

I’m dropping my first $10 in the bucket and you can too — the widget is on the right side of this blog. Your support is greatly appreciated – if you’d rather not donate money, thanks for reading this far and for your generous re-Tweet and/or Facebook share! You can also fan One Economy on Facebook and check out the Digital Connectors page (some of whom met recently with FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in SF).

Thanks and see you on the #zooGood hashtag!

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Public [Dis]service Message: Regular People Use the Library for Internet Access EVERY DAY!

la public libraries are closed on sundays andn mondays. this is beverly hills public library on a monday
Beverly Hills Public Library is open seven days a week. Some spaces are exclusively for public internet use. No books on these shelves. | Photo by Andy Sternberg/LAist

LA Public Libraries are closed on Sundays and Mondays due to unruly budget cuts. This includes the historic Central Library – a downtown landmark and one of the largest libraries in the country – in addition to all 70 LAPL branches. Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Burbank patrons can access their library’s resources 7 days a week.

How do we fix this? LA City Council President Eric Garcetti told me last month (in a Twitter reply) that the library cuts signify about $10 million in savings for the city “…and I am working to see if this 15% cut can be mitigated as soon as economy/receipts pick up.”

This is an issue that should irritate everyone who feels part of the community as it affects education, jobs, and the digital divide, not to mention the amount of waste contributed to people who are forced to buy new books because the library is closed on their day off.

As long as our elected officials are corrupting our tax dollars for personal and professional gain, we should not allow them to take away our communities’ most precious resources (a far more valuable allocation of taxes, dontcha think?). This shouldn’t require a costly amendment that, if passed, would add a $39 parcel tax to our plate.

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Real-time case study in generating comments. Is timing everything?

Hidden Los Angeles posted a simple “what are you doing” query to its fan page in the 5 o’clock hour on a Friday and started an avalanche of commenting from like-minded people who were likely wondering the same thing.


“Hidden Los Angeles wants to hear all about he awesome local LA stuff you’re doing this weekend! Do tell…”

153 comments in 43 minutes. Of course, HLA is an exceptionally well run Facebook page. I seem to remember it only having 1,000 or so fans about a month ago. Today it’s up over 140,000. That’s a lot of Facebook News Feeds to capitalize on.

What we see here is just how vital Facebook is to building a following and creating a community. The HiddenLA website is only 8 months old and up until January, only attracted 1-3,000 unique visitors per month. Will be interesting to see how the growth of its fan page affected it’s web traffic in February.

Twestival: Around the World in a Day for charity: water

Twestival is on — it’s an event taking place in 200 cities worldwide to raise money for charity: water. If the goal of $1 million dollars is reached — as many as 200 communities, or 80,000 people will get access to clean drinking water. One in six people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. And the message is getting out there.

twestival banner live earth
Please visit the Live Earth video site — we are the global video partner for Twestival — and learn more + watch live streams from over 100 cities on this 12th of February, 2009.


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