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The Psychology of Collective Action, Social Media,...

Fwd: [#MRO-489-36585]: com-give.com scam site

Today's "what's this company?" mystery: Safer Alco...

Losing classroom content

Cross pollinating outreach ideas

Equity versus equality

Tempered glass whiteboard ideas

Top tier front line

What's a "retreat" or a "getaway"

Where to meet?

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The Psychology of Collective Action, Social Media, and Clay Shirky

I FOUND IT! After years of pondering in the back of my mind, I found an article by Clay Shirky that summarizes what I’ve been seeking for years:
From: Larson, Eric M.
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 10:00 AM
Subject: Collective Action and "opting out"?
Hi, Clay!  At last week's AllVoices webinar you mentioned a really interesting concept in passing:  That the studies/experiences in the "psychology of collective action" show that that people tend to "opt out" when the participation rates are unknown.
In other words, "Gee, I don't know how big a deal this is, so I guess I won't go" -- which would be the flip side of, "Wow!  It sounds like that thing is going to be popular; I'd better be there!"  (Or maybe, "Gosh, it's going to be a tiny group; I'd better go to help them out"?)
Here’s the closest thing I’ve found so far, from later that year…
Disciplined and coordinated groups, whether businesses or governments, have always had an advantage over undisciplined ones: they have an easier time engaging in collective action because they have an orderly way of directing the action of their members. Social media can compensate for the disadvantages of undisciplined groups by reducing the costs of coordination. The anti-Estrada movement in the Philippines used the ease of sending and forwarding text messages to organize a massive group with no need (and no time) for standard managerial control. As a result, larger, looser groups can now take on some kinds of coordinated action, such as protest movements and public media campaigns, that were previously reserved for formal organizations. For political movements, one of the main forms of coordination is what the military calls "shared awareness," the ability of each member of a group to not only understand the situation at hand but also understand that everyone else does, too. Social media increase shared awareness by propagating messages through social networks. The anti-Aznar protests in Spain gained momentum so quickly precisely because the millions of people spreading the message were not part of a hierarchical organization.
With the loss of Posterous, I’ve lost some of my comments.  My original blog post is still up at:
The response I got from Peter Fleck (buried in my email now) gives fodder for later research:
I dug around a bit, Eric, but I think Shirky is summarizing some of his work indirectly. I found places he speaks to collective action like Chapter 7 of "Here Comes Everybody" (about street protests in Leipzig) and I can sort of understand the "opt out" statement in the light of the "everybody knows that everybody knows..." framework.
This Wired interview might also be useful:
And this podcast maybe although I haven't listened.
Ultimately, I think you have to get through to Mr. Shirky himself.


Fwd: [#MRO-489-36585]: com-give.com scam site

Wow. Rare to get hypocrisy (or lies) in writing, but sometimes it happens. If you ever wondered if NameCheap stands by the public claims they make in places like https://blog.namecheap.com/how-to-report-a-fraudulent-website-to-a-registrar/ here's proof in black-and-white that they don't:

Begin forwarded message:

From: Nataly Bondarenko <abuse@namecheap.com>
Date: April 29, 2016 at 1:37:03 PM CDT
To: <emlarson@...>
Subject: [#MRO-489-36585]: com-give.com scam site
Reply-To: <abuse@namecheap.com>


Thank you for your email regarding the domain name com-give.com. While the domain name does have Namecheap.com as the registrar, we cannot oversee the data being transmitted through its website. We do not own the domain name mentioned in your complaint, we are simply the company the domain name was purchased from.

The issue would need to be addressed through the hosting provider to see if their terms of service are violated and would need to be addressed through the domain registrant as they should be the individual that controls the particular content being exchanged. We have no way to police such issues as we do not control the hosting company in this instance.

While we understand the inquiry, we are not in a position to determine the validity of your statements. If you believe you are a victim of an internet crime, or if you are aware of an attempted crime, you can file a complaint through Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://complaint.ic3.gov. In case we receive a request form a law enforcement authority of the United States we will assist them in their investigation.

> The site "com-give.com" is cleverly using sub-domains to scam people. See:
> http://marlboro.com-give.com
> Obviously registered with the intent of scamming people in giveaways. Will you bother to shut it down?

Nataly Bondarenko
Legal & Abuse Department

Ticket Details

Ticket ID: MRO-489-36585
Department: Domains -- Legal and Abuse
Type: Issue
Status: Awaiting Client Response
Priority: High

Helpdesk: https://support.namecheap.com/index.php?/default_import

Hmmm... From their blog:

NameCheap takes fraud very seriously.  We do everything we can to keep the internet safe for everyone.  If you find out a website is fake, just follow these directions:

1.) Go to Domain Tools located here and type in the domain.
2.) Find out who the domain is registered with.
3.) Write a formal complaint in an email.
4.) Send it to the registrar’s abuse department. NameCheap’s abuse department can be reached at abuse(at)namecheap(dot)com. If we find the charge valid, we will suspend the domain.

Please keep the internet safe for everyone. Report fraud whenever you see it!


Today's "what's this company?" mystery: Safer Alcohol

Safer Alcohol (@saferalcohol)
Why Is The Government Hiding A Safer Way To Drink Alcohol From Us?

I have to admit, Twitter's ad targeting is pretty good, because more often than not when sponsored tweet shows up in my feed.... I find worthy of exploration.

That happened this morning when the video clip from "safer alcohol" appeared.

It turns out that the organization sponsoring it is the "Coalition For Safer Drinking" and the link is to an informational website at SaferAlcohol.com.  But unless their website simply isn't mobile optimized, which would be unfortunate for an organization advertising on Twitter, there isn't much information on their informational site.

And there's no call to action, so other than keeping a note of the site somewhere in my bookmarks (or Evernote or OneNote a text file in Dropbox or some other place I'll lose track of it) I don't know what I'm supposed to do.

The video references some repressed government research, and I'm always up for a good conspiracy theory, but I can't find what research they're talking about – it sounded good on video, but I don't know how or where I can read more.

The site's terms of service – privacy fine-print that explains things like cookie policy – says it's governed by the laws of Arizona, which seems strange for someone based in St. Louis. But the media contact for press inquiries is "Linda" at "productlaunchers.co"

That's interesting. They're based in White Plains, New York (so where is this Arizona thing coming from?) and they write:

We're Product Launchers, a company that has introduced products from outdoor tossing games and fleece lined leggings to the multi-million dollar As Seen on TV product, STRUTZ arch supports. We're not manufacturer's representatives. We're entrepreneurs that know how to garner placement in stores, catalogs and on home shopping networks. And our approach is different.

Yes, so far they're very different!

This light drinker is still intrigued, but not for the same reason I was a few minutes ago...


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