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News from the Case Foundation and what people are talking about this week in the world of giving, tech and everything in between.
NonProfit Times names Power & Influence Top 50 We were honored this week when our CEO, Jean Case was named to the NonProfit Times' annual Power and Influence Top 50 list. The article introducing this year's list of honorees states, "These executives were selected for the impact they have now and for the innovative plans they are putting in place to evolve the charitable sector," and describes Jean's selection to the list:
Case realizes that measurement tools change as you move across the sector and the foundation’s funding shows that she means it. One of a growing number of CEOs who regularly Tweet on Twitter, she uses instant technology to point to ideas for lasting solutions that are too often overlooked when having to deal with the here and now.
Nathaniel Whittemore at Change.org's Social Entrepreneurship blog shared his thoughts on this year's list, noting that "The list is a virtual who's-who of philanthropy and nonprofit work." However, he also argues that the influence of technology on the sector is under-represented on the list, and consideration should also be given to bloggers and others who are having as much impact on driving conversation in the philanthropy space.
Social web under attack? If you're anything like me, you felt a bit out of sorts on Thursday morning when Twitter was down for a good part of the morning, and Facebook was moving quite slowly. Well, it turns out that both sites, along with LiveJournal, YouTube, Google Sites and Google’s Blogger were victims of what's called a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, which according to Wikipedia is "an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users." Mashable also has a good explanation of what happened here. Mashable, TechCrunch and many other blogs and news organizations have been all over this story as it continues to evolve. Computerworld has an interesting article on the process security experts went through immediately following the attack to try to get to the bottom of it, noting that:
With little information to go on, researchers ended up speculating on who launched the attacks and why, although several agreed that Twitter's infrastructure needed immediate strengthening.
However, as a CNET News article first reported, the attack appears to have been targeting a Georgian blogger, who had accounts on all of the affected services. According to the CNET article, Facebook's chief security officer Max Kelly stated:
"It was a simultaneous attack across a number of properties targeting him to keep his voice from being heard," Kelly said. "We're actively investigating the source of the attacks and we hope to be able to find out the individuals involved in the back end and to take action against them if we can."
The attacks Thursday underscored the rising profile of social-networking sites -- particularly Twitter and Facebook -- which have become major communications hubs for millions of people. Twitter appeared to have the most difficulty coping with the attacks, which computer-industry experts attributed to its smaller size and rapid growth.
CNET explores the future of Charity 2.0 CNET's Caroline McCarthy wrote an interesting article this week about the future of social media for social good, focusing on the success that organizations like charity:water have had in leveraging social media to raise funds and awareness, noting that "In challenging economic times, the inexpensive use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other social outlets to solicit small donations from the masses rather than relying on a few deep pockets has drawn extra buzz for Charity Water..." However, she also ponders the explosive growth in the use of social networks by nonprofits, noting that:
As the Web is flooded with more and more charity initiatives, both large, well-established ones and new nonprofits created specifically with harnessing social media in mind, problems can arise. At best, donations could be spread too thin, rendering many organizations less effective.
Beth Kanter responded to the article in an insightful blog post, noting three key elements where she believes social media will play an important role for nonprofits - including "movement building" around issues and causes and the ability to scale efforts by working across multiple organizations in order to cut through the noise. Beth also notes that "important to be in the more 'crowded' places so your social networking presence on your own site doesn't become an isolated silo."