Net Tuesday, August 4: Adding social elements to our/your website

summerlagerJoin us for our next Net Tuesday event on August 4. This will be the second of our Summer Ale Series, “Homebrewed Rumination”.

We’ll have an interactive discussion about what to consider when integrating social elements into a website. We’ll be looking at such themes as how a website can:

  • Help people connect to one another
  • Aggregate information
  • Foster collaboration
  • Encourage self-expression
  • Reach out to the rest of the world

We’ll explore each of these themes in general, and then focus on applying them specifically to: a) Philly NetSquared’s own new, drupal-based site,; and b) other sites represented or suggested by those who show up and participate.

In this way, we hope to accomplish two things… Let’s think together about how the new Philly NetSquared website might foster our individual and collective ideas and ambitions about “using the social web for social change”. And, at the same time, let’s talk about these principles in general, and how they might enhance your own site or cause.

So, bring your own perspective, creativity and open mind. RSVP’s are desired, but not required.

Looking ahead to SeptemberNetwork For Good, Causes and, oh my! These days there are so many portals to use for raising money and engaging members in action on behalf of your cause. How do you choose which one(s) to be on? Does maintaining them take away from your other online efforts (e-news, blog, etc.)? Which ones have you been successful on? These questions and others will be discussed at our Portal Pilsner session, the last of our Summer Ale Series, on September 1. Have a story about a non-profit portal you want to share? E-mail Judah at


Net Tuesday July 7: Activist Communities in the Midst of Social Media

summerlagerAs warm weather settles in, nothing’s more refreshing than a flight of Net Tuesday Summer Ales.

First up, on Tuesday, July 7 starting at 6 PM at Buffalo Billiards, 118 Chestnut Street: Communi-Lager! Chris Bartlett will present Activist Communities in the Midst of Social Media. He’ll share how he has used the tools of the trade — social networks Twitter, Facebook, Stickam, and Ning — to create a series of communities that support his community organizing. He’ll engage Net Tuesday participants in an inquiry about how we can use these tools to build community, strengthen social networks, and bring about powerful change in our communities. Key ideas for the night:

  •  The importance of connecting others — and not only yourself to others — as a strategy for social network organizing.
  • The timeline for face-to-face — how to bring about in-person connections that strengthen online ones.
  • Pitfalls of online organizing– fitting your strategies into your overall plan for getting things done.
    Most importantly, Bartlett will facilitate a conversation among participants to hear what is working for all of us. If Twitter (and other social media tools) are in fact transformative, we’ll hope to hear some stories of those transformations.

Chris Bartlett is a gay men’s health community organizer from Philadelphia. He directed the SafeGuards Gay Men’s Health Project in Philadelphia for ten years, and has acted as lead consultant to the LGBT Community Assessment in Philadelphia, a project that gathers data about LGBT communities in order to make recommendations regarding community organizing, health, housing, and economic development. He co-facilitates the Gay Men’s Health Leadership Academy, a national meeting of leaders in the field of gay men’s health and wellness, and has helped to convene the Gay Men’s Health and LGBTI Summits. Most recently, he has received support from the Arcus Foundation to develop a strategic plan for LGBT leadership development in the United States. Community organizing through social media is his greatest current passion and commitment.

RSVP’s are optional via the Meetup page. Or, just c’mon down, and bring a friend.


Looking forward to what’s on tap for the rest of the Net Tuesday Summer Ale Series…

August 4: Homebrewed Rumination. We’ll be using a modified version of our Extreme Makeover: Web Strategy Edition format with Philly NetSquared’s own website: Together, we’ll identify specific steps we can take to enable the growing Philly NetSquared community to use our website as a place to connect with, learn from and inspire one another to realize each person’s dreams and each organization’s objectives.

September 1: Portal Pilsner. Network for Good. Razoo. And many other sites are out there, committed to using social tools help nonprofits achieve their mission. How do you sort through the clutter and use these sites to advance your own cause?
Join us at our Net Tuesday Summer Ales, where we’ll sit back, relax and explore ways social technology can help organizations and individuals advance social change in Philadelphia.

Net Tuesday March 3: “Extreme Makeover: Web Strategy Edition”

Our next Net Tuesday gathering will be for an “Extreme Makeover: Web Strategy Edition”.  We’ll meet at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, March 3 at Buffalo Billiards at 118 Chestnut Street.

Learn how Web 2.0 strategies can be used for nonprofit and social change causes by participating in an interactive “extreme makeover” session.  This format provides a chance for our diverse group of activists and techies to focus our attention on a particular cause.  We will NOT be creating or directly affecting any website; we WILL be thinking and strategizing together about how Web 2.0 tools and principles can be used most effectively to help an actual client achieve their goals.

Who should attend?

  • Nonprofits and activists who have used the social web: Come share your insights about what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past, and learn about considerations for more effectively using these tools in the future.
  • Nonprofits and activists who have NOT used the social web:  Come share your perspectives, and learn how to think about applying these tools to your own situations.
  • Techies who work with the social web: Come share your technical experience, and learn more about the perspectives and expectations of nonprofit and social change activists who want to use these tools.

Our makeover client will be Carl Ewald, who runs TerraMar Adventures.  Carl wants to use social web tools to engage people in TerraMar’s increasing community service and environmental protection efforts.

RSVP via our Meetup page is appreciated, but not required.  Feel free to just show up, and bring your friends (and your thinking caps)!

So, come participate in a shared endeavor to strategize about the most effective ways to apply Web 2.0 tools in a real situation, and perhaps, ultimately, to help out our natural environment as well.

Hope to see you there!


Net Tuesday February 3: Democracy 2.0 and social change

We gratefully acknowledge this meeting’s sponsorship by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, leading the effort to increase awareness of, participation in and support for arts and culture in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Our Net Tuesday Philly on February 3 will focus on “Democracy 2.0” — how the social web is being used for political and civic engagement.  This was considered a big factor in Barack Obama’s successful campaign, and is poised to permanently and profoundly alter the landscape of politics from now on.

  • What can non profits and social change agents learn from these early experiments?
  • How can our efforts reflect and reinforce this new political paradigm?
  • What implications  does Democracy 2.0 present for how we engage with clients, with our causes and with one another?

We’ll have an interactive discussion with a great panel, including:

  1. Ian Storrar, Chief Operating Officer of, an all-partisan network dedicated to educating, empowering, and energizing young people to increase their civic engagement and political participation. He is heavily involved in the Democracy 2.0 process, which is the central theory of change at  Ian is based in Washington, DC.
  2. Rob Stuart, Founding President of Evolve Strategies (a full-service communications firm serving issue advocacy, nonprofit, and political organizations) and the Evolve Foundation (which supports efforts to increase citizen participation in government). He has been an activist and lobbyist for over 20 years, and will talk about the dynamics of advocacy and Democracy 2.0.
  3. Michael Tweed, organizer of the Ben Franklin Thinking Society will present what his group is about and their initiative (and Meetup) called Democracy 2.0, an attempt to generate ideas that will use technology to improve the democratic process by making representatives more accountable and people more knowledgeable.

Plus, there will be plenty of time for schmoozing, networking and meeting other folks who want to use the social web for social change.


When: 6:00 – 9:00 PM on Tuesday, February 3

Where: Buffalo Billiards, 118 Chestnut Street in Olde City.  (We have the 2nd floor private room to ourselves.  The first two hours (until 8 PM) are Happy Hour with half-priced appetizers and $3 draft beer.)

RSVP’s via our Meetup page are requested, but not required, for this fun and informative event.  Feel free to just show up, and bring your friends.  Hope to see you there.

Updated info on the Social Web Carnival on December 2

When: This Tuesday, December 2, 2008 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Where: Independents Hall, 32 Strawberry Street in Olde City (Strawberry Street runs parallel to and between 2nd and 3rd Streets, and IndyHall is between Market and Chestnut.)

Plans for the Net Tuesday Social Web Carnival are coming along nicely. Here’s how it will work…

People will visit each of 5 stations throughout the room. At each station, we will brainstorm ways in which that station’s tools have been or can be used for social change causes, as well as ideas for future Net Tuesday programs and other ways we can support, learn from and inspire one another in the Philly area. Then, we’ll come back together to share some of the insights and ideas that were generated. The stations will be:

  • Writin’ Roller Coaster (blogging, microblogging …)
  • Multimedia Midway (photo, video, audio, slide sharing services; podcasts, vlogs …)
  • Ferris Wheel of Friends (social networking sites)
  • Folksonomy Funhouse (tagging, social bookmarking …)
  • Freaks and Geeks (everything else: wikis, mashups, e-democracy, RSS, mobile apps …)

What will you get out of this fast-paced event?

  • Non-profit and social change activists will discover more about the tremendous power of these tools, and will likely come away with new ideas about how they might be used for their own organizations or causes.
  • Techies will learn about the hopes and needs of people who can imagine using these technologies to make the world a better place.
  • Visionaries and career changers may discover opportunities and gaps that have not yet been revealed or filled.
  • And all of us will have a chance to make friends and contacts, to help shape Net Tuesday (and NetSquared) programs for 2009, and to generally continue advancing Philly as a place for progressive social innovation.

If you haven’t already RSVP’d, it would be helpful to do so via the Meetup page. But that’s not required; feel free to show up and bring a friend.

Questions? Contact