Green campaign through virtual trees

Six friends campaigning by sharing an interactive campaign tree on a green topic. More participation in online actions help pimping the team tree and score points and lead to green prizes. That is the concept of the new Dutch site  In the first days more than 5,000 people registered; 1,200 already joined the first campaign “stop the paper telephone guide”.

Kairos Tools, a small internet tool development foundation, developed the concept to draw in 20-35 year people (older alsoe welcome) with an active social network and some interest in green and fair topics. They can put the virtual tree on their own sites or friends sites such as Hyves. It won Kairos Tools this weekend the 25,000 Euro first prize in the Digitale Pioniers Academie 2009 pitch in Amsterdam.

The Guardian “tracks” a rural development project in Uganda

“I wonder if it will ever happen again,” pondered Madeleine Bunting, editorial director of the Guardian’s Katine project – a three-year link up between two NGOs – the African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) and Farm-Africa – and the media organisation in north-east Uganda. The NGOs are implementing the work in the rural sub-county, while the Guardian reports on progress on its dedicated website and encourages donations from readers, which are being matchfunded by Barclays.

So would it? Possibly not at the Guardian – at least not in the same way – but perhaps in a different form, elsewhere. But whatever people think of the Katine project, it has demonstrated how new media can be used to campaign and fundraise, writes Glenda Cooper in her 5 Feb blog.

Since late 2007 the Guardian is tracking Amref’s three-year development project to improve the lives of the 25,000 people in Katine sub-county in Uganda. They are explaining where donations go, how aid works, and how lives are changed.

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Theatre has more impact than journalism

The difference between theatre and journalism featured three times in my readings in the last couple of weeks. Two Dutch journalists wrote in de Volkskrant that theatre has more impact than journalism. And I dug up a story from my first Source Bulletin I wrote in 1998 on the use of theatre for water conservation in Palestine. I wrote this blog from neighboring Egypt where I helped facilitate a workshop on water and land with 21 journalists from seven Arab countries.

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The Printed Blog with local news hits the street in Chicago

I was in Egypt for 10 days combining training 21 journalists from eight Arab countries on water and land with holidaying along the pyramids and tomb complexes of Ramseses, Isis and other kings of 3000-5000 ago (more on the is to follow). In the plane on 21 January 2009 I picked up the International Herald Tribune with the extra pages of news and analysis from Obama’s glorious inauguration.

In the same issue there was an interesting story on a start-up The Printing Blog that has started reprinting blog posts on paper surrounded by local ads in Chicago. From three distribution points it launched the free issue web zine on paper.  The IHT reported that 300 bloggers have given The Printed Blog permission to publish their work for a share of the ad revenue. Founder and publisher Joshua Karp aims to sell 200 ads per issue, 15 signed up for the first issue. Initially publishing weekly Karp aims to eventually publish free hyper-local neighbourhood editions twice a day in many U.S. cities.

The print world will watch this interesting venture closely!