Visualizing Information for Advocacy

Visualizing Information for Advocacy: An Introduction to Information Design from the Tactical Technology Collective. Oh wow, this is fantastic. Down-loadable. Free. Here is the overview:

Modern life is saturated with ever increasing amounts of information, advertising and media with little time to digest what is being said. Against this background, NGOs and advocates too often find the information they want to communicate, either buried in long reports full of professional jargon and statistics, or overlooked in an endless stream of media releases. Whether communicating to the public, staff, donors or government officials, information design can help NGOs communicate with more impact, increase accessibility, and present issues powerfully.

Visualizing Information for Advocacy: An Introduction to Information Design is a manual aimed at helping NGOs and advocates strengthen their campaigns and projects through communicating vital information with greater impact. This project aims to raise awareness, introduce concepts, and promote good practice in information design – a powerful tool for advocacy, outreach, research, organization and education.

Through examples, the booklet demonstrates how to use innovative visual graphics to tell a complex and powerful story in a snapshot.

The manual was designed and produced as a collaboration between Tactical Tech and John Emerson of Backspace – a design consultancy dedicated to research, development and promotion of design in the public interest. John’s work portfolio includes print, internet, and broadcast television work for NGOs, not-for-profit corporations, and activist groups.

Hattip to Beth Kanter who tweeted about this!

Balancing OLPCs at NorthernVoice 2008

One more NVoice shout out – Luke Closs had an OLPC with him and taught me a LOT, including how to balance one on your chin. Here I’m getting into it slowly by using my teeth to help. Later I balanced, but sitting on the ground so the fall would be shorter for the little green and white sweetie. I’m still a digital grasshopper, oh Master Luke!

Nancy and Luke Duelling on Flickr – Photo Sharing! by Lee LeFever

Enter the NetSquared Mashup Challenge

I’ve volunteered to be an advocate for the NetSquared Mashup Challenge. It is time to SPREAD THE WORD to all my non profit friends! Here’s the scoop:

Mashup innovators and inventors! Now is your chance to create social change with your unique mashup idea, and have an opportunity to win cash prizes and attend the NetSquared Conference (N2Y3).

The NetSquared Mashup Challenge Project Submission Form for the NetSquared Mashup Challenge is up. Submissions will be accepted until March 14, 2008 at 5 PM PST.

Before you fill out the submission form, we highly recommend that you:

1. Register and log into You must be logged into in order to submit a project to the NetSquared Mashup Challenge, and to edit your mashup project page once it is submitted.

2. Review the NetSquared Mashup Challenge FAQs and the NetSquared Mashup Challenge Community Guidelines.

Questions? Join the Mashup Challenge Live Chat today from 2-3 PM PST at Billy Bicket and Marnie Webb of the NetSquared Team will be onlihe to answer your questions. You can also email us at

Enter the NetSquared Mashup Challenge Today! | NetSquared, a project of

Online facilitator humor

In lieu of a Monday Video, I am going out of character and posting a Monday Joke. I am not known for either my love of or telling of jokes. But this one is a keeper.

There has been a humorous thread on the Online Facilitation list this past week, started by the wise and witty Rosanna Tarsiero. You can see the original trigger post here: Message: How many list members does it takes to change a light bulb?. Read the responses to see the additions! 😉

How many list members does it take to change a light bulb?

One to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.

Fourteen to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

Seven to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

Seven more to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.

Five to flame the spell checkers.

Three to correct spelling/grammar flames.

Six to argue over whether it’s “lightbulb” or “light bulb” … another six to condemn those six as stupid.

Fifteen to claim experience in the lighting industry and give the correct spelling.

Nineteen to post that this group is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb (or light bulb) forum.

Eleven to defend the posting to the group saying that we all use light bulbs and there fore the posts are relevant to this group.

Thirty six to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.

Seven to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

Four to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL.

Three to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group.

Thirteen to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add “Me too.”

Five to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy.

Four to say “didn’t we go through this already a short time ago?”

Thirteen to say “do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs.”

Three to tell a funny story about their show dog and a light bulb.


One group lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now with something unrelated they found at and start the thing all over again.

(Photo by jagoLIVE)

What I missed at Northern Voice

The challenge of parallel sessions is you have to miss something, particularly if you are playing a lead role in your own session. Makes it hard to skip out. There were two sesssions I really wish I had not missed. One was Dave Olson‘s F*ck Stats, Make Art Dossier.

Apparently, Dave was on the same stream as our “Writing on Walls” session – tapping into our creativity. I’m glad the session was recorded and blogged. It was interesting to see that there were quite a few sessions that pinged on a central core of creativity.

I also missed Alan “cogdog” Levine’s preso on 50 Ways to Tell a Story. I’ve been following the evolution of this presentation since last summer and was looking forward to the “live” version, but I was deep in a conversation with Dave Pollard and one does not drop the chance for a great conversation. So Alan, know I was beaming you and I’ll look for Injenuity’s video.  (And I’m glad, Alan, you caught Scott Leslie’sTrackback Love“. Geek poetry!)

(Photo by Robert Scales )