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April 29, 2004


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Excellent post, both Marty's and yours here. I do think that "nodes" need to be more than one person, but rather small groups with a purpose and critical roles filled based on talent and dedication. Donors fill a role too, but not just by providing the funds for stability and action, but also by filling in with their talent and drive in other roles. Maybe the term "Active Donor" can be featured as you have featured "Active Citizens". Really, it's not that big of a distinction except that donors with significant resources can bootstrap nodes to the point of self-sustainability, and then, perhaps, move on to create other nodes with other complimentary purposes.


I also want to riff off from your mention of "strategic enclaves", which in the old model are heavily funded and branded behemoths. At ChiliPLoP, there was another group working on "Patterns of Collaboration" which was organized by the founder of "Blue Oxen Associates". A very interesting initiative with a strong background.

I don't know if you are familiar with the technical use of the word "bootstrap" which reduces to "boot" as in "reboot your machine" (because Windows has crashed again). Eugene Kim, the founder of Blue Oxen (http://www.blueoxen.org") has worked with Doug Englebart (http://www.bootstrap.org/chronicle/cv.html), the inventor of the mouse, and founder of the Bootstrap Project.

The connection and the reason for this digression is that I learned from Eugene that there is a "bootstrap" has a connection to a Paul Bunyan story, which also supplies the background for the Blue Oxen name.

I'm planning on hooking up with Blue Oxen for my projects. It's been on my todo list since I got back to contact them with a somewhat comprehensive proposal for working together on a number of projects. He is creating exactly the sort of "strategic node" that we need for our networks, and I would love to be part of it.

(BTW, although I really like the new features like "Recent Comments" on this site, it would not let me format my own links with <a href=...>...</a> notation, hence the ugly links above. Don't know if it can be changed, but thought you should know).


Oh good. I thought the lack of a linking feature was my incompetence.

Phil Cubeta

Gerry, Thanks. Active Citizen is meant to include donors but not be limited to them. The idea is that we want active people, with or without money, and don't look upon those with money as "targets of solicitation," nor as passive investors, nor as "checkbook philanthropists," but as potential active partners.

On the linking, if you type the url it should hot up as a link. Like this, I hope, http://www.gifthub.org

On the setup for Typepad I can choose either that feature OR "allow html." I found it easier for me to just have links automatically created from urls. What is your advice?

I hope we can keep talking about nodes and hubs and get some started. Tech could be one. Legal another. Marketing and PR a third. Giving and Planned Giving a fourth. "Mix and match" to create a solid program just by making a few phone calls.

Then the question is what holds the weave in place, money and professionalism or a common story? I really believe that in the end the common narrative and common values will trump models based on money only.

Gifthub could serve any constituency, and I am trying to reach out to many who hold views clean contrary to my own - but the people who are livened by my prejudices are the ones who are most likely to get active here, rather than somewhere else. A network that includes this site, your evolving tech crew, and Marty Kearns PR/Marketing Tools hub, begins to look like the beginning of something formidable.

My understanding of bootstrap is a thread shot over a gorge, used then to pull a string across, and so on until we have the Golden Gate Bridge.

Marty is a serious and brilliant guy. He is going after funding, and if he gets it, that too will be a "best practice" that could be shared. (He told me about how he plans to do this, but I am not at liberty to talk about it. I hope he will come to Chicago, as planned, and give us an update with tips, pointers, and lessons learned.)

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