Digital Insights: Creating better digital strategies, programs & teams.

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Tapping the power of networks.

Insights on strategy, campaign innovation, and team transformation.

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.

Culture change through digital projects - 8 steps

Jun 9, 2011  |  by Jason Mogus

One of my wiser clients once told me “Culture eats strategy. Every time”. If you’ve worked in this field for a while now you see how many change projects fail to achieve their (admittedly often too high) expectations. The idea of embracing change sounds great on paper, but as any therapist will tell you, it's extremely difficult to break away from years of patterned behaviour. Add all those individual pattens into a structured system, and you've got a big barrier standing in the way of innovation.

My experience from leading digital change projects for 15 years is that if you don’t use the catalyst of a digital project to shift the culture of your institution towards a more innovative and responsive model, you’re really just building a website.

A screenshot of the 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

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.

Transform, courtesy Tricky

6 principles of transformative digital campaigns

Mar 18, 2011  |  by Jason Mogus

In the last few weeks I’ve had calls from a high profile multi-city concert to grow the global women’s movement, an international network of freedom of expression activists who need to re-invent their organization, and a big international NGO that wants to “network their whole organization” so they can do more with the same number of people.

For each of these ambitious visions, digital lies at the core of their plans. It’s a way to land the conceptual changes they want in a practical way. The challenge is to design campaigns or new organizational structures that don’t just graft new tools onto old, linear models. If you want to know how that works, tell me how well your organization collaborates internally, or point to the transformative cultural changes you’ve pulled off lately. .

Blogs are not dead yet. Image courtesy Charles Darwin University Art Gallery

Not dead yet: Blogs still the backbone

Feb 28, 2011  |  by Jason Mogus

We've heard a lot of noise lately about blogs being a dying breed, with people's attention and effort being pulled towards smaller snippets of content in social networks. While that's certainly happening, I believe blogs are still a critical and under-utilized tool for organizations to share expertise, support cause goals, and grow their businesses. In fact, they are the backbone of a strong multi-channel engagement strategy.

A recent Pew research study shows that, far from shrinking, blog use among adults has grown by an amazing 27% in only the last 2 years.

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.