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Tapping the power of networks.

Insights on strategy, campaign innovation, and team transformation.

Add it up! How the US environmental movement can start to act like one

Sep 8, 2011  |  by Jason Mogus

It's been heartening watching the environmental NGO community finally take up arms against US President Obama's weak environmental record this past week. The bold leadership with clear, direct statements has been inspiring, with their threats to pull their support and the positive response from their supporters to do so marking a rare movement wide high point.

Unfortunately, these groups still act like isolated individual brands and not movement allies, which I think greatly misses the impact of their efforts. In emails, on the web, and to the media, they talk to their supporters like they are the only ones out there doing this heroic work. They only show public support response numbers from their own supporters. They never mention or even allude to the fact that nearly every green group is engaged in the same fight at the same time!

Social media builds community, but not always

Jun 21, 2011  |  by Jason Mogus

My friend and colleague Alex Samuel has written “the soul of the Internet can be shaped by how we individually engage with it. [We get to choose] whether the Internet alienates and isolates us; or connects and enriches us.”  We are still very much shaping this emerging tool today with our behaviours, and the way we do so does not always lead to more community and connectedness.

The shameful Stanley Cup riots in my beautiful city last week show a real time example. People’s behaviours during and after the riots have both strengthened and diminished our sense of trust and community. If you're only watching mainstream media you might miss the good that happened, but each pattern of behaviour left a unique digital signature online we can study.

A screenshot of the MyParksPass.ca website

Designing for engagement

May 14, 2011  |  by Heather Libby

Too often in the digital world we see websites and campaigns from worthy causes fail. They fail to reach intended audiences, fail to go viral, fail to make a real difference in the world. A smart campaign concept or eye-catching design might pique people's interest, but if they aren't then moved to action - what's the point?

We recently developed a strategy for a challenging project that saw participation in the program grow by over 400% in the first week alone! Here's how we designed for engagement.

Website link to VoteSocial.ca

Creating network effects with collaborative campaigns

May 6, 2011  |  by Jason Mogus

This week’s Canadian election was shaping up as a once in a generation game-changer. Some surprisingly creative social media campaigns - driven by a few smart new players – were making an impact on the nightly news and with large swaths of voters, especially youth. I decided to reach out to the leaders of these groups to see if we could find ways to increase their impact.

The pitch was to collaborate publicly and behind the scenes to show up as a united and organized movement. And to create a powerful content network through shared key messaging and activities that would drive more traffic to everyone's sites and, most importantly, the voting booth.

The Global Wake Up Call, organized by Avaaz and TckTckTck in 3 weeks

Be like the web part 2: Network organization structures

Apr 25, 2011  |  by Jason Mogus

Earlier I wrote how many of today’s most successful digital campaigns are grown from organizations who are thinking differently, and not just with their online campaigns. These “network organizations” operate in fundamentally different ways from traditional centralized organizations, and, with relatively few resources, are growing faster and having an outsized impact on our world.

What’s a network organization? From the business world, think Facebook, Google, & Groupon. In NGO’s, think Avaaz, MoveOn, & MomsRising. And what about Wikileaks, Sarah Palin, and the Obama presidential campaign? All have attributes of organizations with network principles baked into their core.

Mandy Moore and the happy recipient of a Nothing But Nets bed net.

Nothing But Nets helps EVERY family in Central African Republic

Feb 1, 2011  |  by Heather Libby

Congratulations are in order for the UN Foundation for reaching another impressive milestone in their highly successful global effort against malaria.

Last week the Nothing But Nets campaign met its goal of giving malaria-preventing bed nets to every family in the Central African Republic. In total they supplied about 837,000 nets with a value of more than $1.25 million.

350.org event in Sydney. 350 is a "network organization"

To succeed on the web, Be like the web

Nov 24, 2010  |  by Jason Mogus

We live in times of great systems change, and a lot of what organizations have done in the past isn’t working so well anymore. But while many are re-trenching, treading water, or tentatively trying small experiments (while keeping everything else the same), some innovators are realizing amazing results by embracing entirely new, network-centric business models.

100K Homes Screenshot

Re-connecting communities to end homelessness

Aug 5, 2010  |  by Jason Mogus

The Communicopia office has been all a-buzz this past week after helping one of our NYC-based clients, Common Ground, launch their bold new campaign to house 100,000 homeless Americans by July 2013.

Being from Vancouver where homelessness is a top-of-mind issue, we were thrilled to work closely with the 100,000 Homes Campaign team because of their unique, integrated approach to solving this problem using a collaborative self-organizing systems approach.

Sharing their vision, passion, and model to grow a groundswell around this campaign makes it one of our most compelling websites of the year.

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