Lau Schulpen of CIDIN at the Radboud University in Nijmegen researched the effectiveness of Dutch "private initiatives" working in international development. Last week, his first findings were published, and created a little storm in the Dutch development sector (see e.g. the Dutch Trouw newspaper, copied by most other papers). I’m just returning from a presentation of his results, followed by a debate with Henny Helmich of NCDO, and Robert Wiggers of Wilde Ganzen: two organisations who fund a lot actvities of private initiatives. My take-away: private initiatives need a branch organisation, a kind of union.
Today I took a first look at Tasktop (claiming it "takes the effort out of being organized"). It didn’t quite take the effort out of being installed, but I’ve kind of grown used to that with Eclipse, and it is still in beta. Tasktop is taking Mylyn, the "task-focused interface" to a whole new level. First geeky impressions from an Eclipse user.
I just discovered Google’s Webmaster Tools, which is a nice addition to Google Analytics: add your site (or sites), and Google will give you insight in how it sees your pages:
Last Friday, Adam Hyde pressed the big green "go" button for flossmanuals.net: a place to read, write, and remix free manuals for free software. The Netherlands Media Art Institute provided the place and time as part of the opening of the Video Vortex exhibition (they call it their response to Web 2.0). Part of the exhibition is a workshop space for projects, available for a week, and flossmanuals.net is the first one there. Adam also announced a good Board of Advisors that’s just established, and a grant from the Digital Pioneers fund.
I feel privileged to enjoy another NetSquared rollercoaster ride of fun for good!
I’ve tried to find projects that truely put the “local agenda” of the end user at the heart of their work. “Facilitator projects” that are not becoming a stakeholder, but a means to a (local) end. Giving people tools to improve their own situation in their own way, extra opportunities to be effective with their energy and ambitions.
Some of my favourites:
An interesting set of sites in the UK, volunteer-run, to keep track of Parliament. TheyWorkForYou lets you check who your MP is, based on postcode: voting record, topics they’re interested in, and "performance" like participation in debates, recent appearances, responsiveness…