Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The WorldChanging Book

Here's how the system is supposed to work: you write a book. If people think it's good they buy it. If enough people think it's good it becomes a bestseller and widely read, spreading new ideas into the public debate.

Here's how the system actually works: you write a book. Unless your publisher spends large sums of money on marketing and promotions to convince booksellers that you will be a blockbuster, your book remains obscure, often quickly sinking out of view, and few people have a chance to see it, let alone encounter the ideas it contains.

These days, in other words, publishing is like the film industry (with its obsession about opening weekend ticket sales) or the music industry (with its focus on making hits). Big is everything. Big gets you into stores. Big gets you media coverage. Big gets enough people talking about your book that the ideas in them (if there are any) have a chance to spread. The Long Tail may keep your book in print, but it won't get your ideas into the mix.

Our book is not Big. It is thick; it is packed with solutions; it is, we think, smart and important.

But we don't have the blockbuster machine working for us. We have no marketing budget at all. Our publisher, Abrams, is terrific, but they are not a big company. They have a comparatively tiny promotions budget and don't have the kind of clout with booksellers to manufacture bestsellers.

Here's what we do have: you.

You're smart. You get it about systems and how they work and the importance of moving new ideas into the mainstream. You like a good hack.

Like this one: we have the capacity, if we work together, to put the Worldchanging book on the top of the Amazon bestseller list.

The Amazon list is hugely influential, indeed it's one of the main ways booksellers and media determine what books are "moving" and thus which books they should pay attention to. It's not the New York Times bestseller list, but it's the next best thing.

And Amazon, you see, ranks books based on their sales over the previous 24 hours. This means that it is possible, through coordinated action, to hack the system by getting a large number of people to buy the book at the same time.

Since, most of the time, purchases of books on Amazon are not coordinated (except in the case of right-wing political books, and that's another story), it is possible for a relatively small number of people to time their purchases right and, for a short period of time, drive the book they wish to support up the charts.

Since we're already doing extraordinarily well on Amazon just through word of mouth, we are actually in a position to quite conceivably make Worldchanging the number one book in the nation on the largest online bookseller, if just for one day.

In that one day, however, every other bookseller, reviewer, producer and store manager will hear about Worldchanging, and our odds of getting the traction we need to bring worldchanging ideas into the public debate will dramatically increase.

Here's what we're asking:

On November first, at eleven minutes after eleven a.m. (Pacific time), please go to Amazon and buy the book.

Better still, go to Amazon and buy the book on the first, and in the meantime blog, email, talk up the book and do whatever you can to encourage everyone who you think cares about sustainability, innovation and social change, everyone who wants more solutions in the public debate, to join you on buying the book on 11/1 at 11:11 a.m. Please help spread the word.

We can do this. We can make the corporate publishing system pay attention to us -- IF we work together.

So mark your calendar. Set an alarm. Tie a string around your finger. 11/1 at 11:11 a.m Pacific.

Show up on November 1st and let's show the blockbuster machine that people who care about ideas are smart enough to hack their system.

A Model of Micro Philanthropy

The Internet and improvements in global communications have created new opportunities for global transformation. Two forms of giving are compared: a single million-dollar donation versus a million one-dollar donations. The transformational energy raised by the increased number of “micro philanthropists” is greater than the single gift, and the beneficial effects on a community may be even greater. Smaller scale giving has many other advantages, including greater intimacy and feedback, discovery of other beneficial forms of interaction, lower risk, and more effective giving in corrupt environments. The early days of the grass roots movement to find a vaccine for Polio is discussed as a role model for this kind of interaction.

GivingSpace is technical infrastructure to support many new forms of philanthropy. It creates a scalable web of interaction, in which participants are rewarded for their earned trustworthiness. By creating a massively scalable infrastructure for small philanthropic activities, we can create a self perpetuating, self-generating explosion of philanthropic activity at many social and economic levels.

Micro Philanthropy Consider two scenarios, both involving a $1 million aggregate gifts:

Scenario A: A wealthy donor gives one million dollars to a philanthropic organization, which is used build wells, build capacity in developing world, build a wing in a hospital, or support a local symphony.

Scenario B: One million donors give $1 gifts. These people may be of ordinary means, or even below the poverty level. One gift may purchase 50 vitamin A tablets, which restore the sight of 50 young children in Southeast Asia. Another might buy two oral rehydration solution doses which save the lives of two babies in Africa. Another might help fund a Women’s’ Empowerment Program circle in Nepal, which teaches the donor the amazing power of savings and literacy.

While both of these scenarios should be encouraged, they have different net effects. Which of these two scenarios has the greater net effect for humanitarian uplift?

NetImpact Conference

Got back from the NetImpact conference in Chicago and it was a very productive conference. Each year I look forward to attneding this conference as a result of the strong attendees that are present.

I was in an especially good breakout session with Netcentric Campaigns as well as Care2.org and Treehugger.com

Gets me even more excited about the work we're doing...

Business & "Doing Good"

More and more I'm finding articles and sites address "the business of doing good."

Inc. has a full story addressing the issue this month.

I just stumbled upon this site and have yet to review it, but it looks along the lines of where I want to go with my site.

Their mission is:

Connecting you to the growing movement of businessmen and women who are fusing good business with faith to become great ministry.



This application looks awesome!

There's been a bunch of reviews so far on Scrybe including:


Marcus Foster

and Digg

I signed up for an account a few weeks ago, but haven't recieved my official invitieation quite yet...please let me know if you've been able to sign into your account...

Monday, October 16, 2006

DJ Cayden

Listening to Adam Weaver & the Ghosts
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Monday, October 02, 2006

Be Someone's .....

Awesome...from this article.

"If you could only tell your future kids one thing and one thing only, what would it be?"

Imagine if everyone were to serve each other and be a “best _____” to everyone they came in contact with. I don't think this is impossible, or something that is unattainable, but it is challenging. Imagine a world where everyone is trying to be someone else's best, not for selfish reasons, but for reasons that are beyond themselves. Imagine if we were driven to enrich the other people's lives to such an extent that the recipient believes that there could be no better friend, brother, sister, spouse, leader, counselor, etc ... What a world that would be! Aim to be a "Best _________" with those you come in contact with. Be patient, lose your pride and ego, and move towards an intimacy that is worth more than all the treasures in the world!