Bring Hicks Home

Amnesty International have just launched a very clever site as part of their campaign to Bring David Hicks home.

They have a “cell” – the same as the one David Hicks has been held in for 5 years without trial – that they are touring around the country with. Visitors to the cell are presented with a “passport” explaining David’s situation, and once in the cell, they can leave a video message, which is then presented on the Bring David Hicks home website.

If you have visited the cell, you can find your video by using the search/filter options on the site.

I think the site is very good – helping to bring home the reality of Hicks’ situation and allowing people to connect in a more emotional way with what is often presented as a legal or political issue.

I also love the fact that the site uses YouTube for video hosting – a fantastic use of participant media.

The site was launched yesterday by Digital Eskimo – who also helped WWF build the Future is man made site. Nice work!

Update: GetUp have also just launched a new video as part of their campaign on the same issue.

Future is man made (Redux)

After a few months of development (and many months of thinking and strategising) I’m proud to announce the launch of the new Future is man made website.

From the blurb on the home page:

This site … is a place where people can share their ideas for living sustainably. We hope the tips and stories here will be useful for you and that you will share your ideas here too.

As part of the team at WWF, I very much hope that the site will become a hub of activity from folks around Australia can share their stories, tips and experiences to make it easier to live more sustainably.

To kick things off, and as part of the Earth Hour promotional activity, the site has a “60 things you can do in the dark” competition – submit your ideas for a chance to win a Nokia 3250 mobile phone and Planet Earth DVD.

I could go into more details about the strategy, development and details, but really, I’d just prefer to point and let y’all decide if you like it or not 🙂 Feel free to let me know what you think by leaving a comment here, or through the site’s contact form.

Big props to Digital Eskimo who were fantastic to work with to get the site up and running. It’s been a blast working with them on the project – muchos kudos guys 🙂

Making a difference

Jason Kottke points to a very moving story “4 Generations” Water Buffalo:

‘4 Generations’ is a film short documenting my journey in southwestern China (near Tibet) to first find, then deliver a water buffalo to a poor family. The water buffalo led us to a family with an phenomenal story. Inspired by author, educator, and founder of, Philip Greenspun’s post, and donated by Philip and his friend Craig.

I read the story – but watching the video really has a big impact, so I’d recommend checking it out.

This is one of the reasons I love Kiva so much – it makes these type of stories possible. I would be happy to donate the funds I loan – but by providing 0% interest loans, that money is able to give again and again, while still making possible great things for the loan recipiants.

Majora Carter at TED

I meant to post this a while back, but remembered it today and wanted to pass it on.

Abe pointed to a podcast of Majora Carter’s talk at TED. She talks at 100 kms an hour, but packs an hour’s worth of impacting, pertinent and hard hitting commentary into her 30 minute slot.

She links the issues of urban renewal, environmental degredation, poverty and race and shows that there are solutions available if we think more about what we’re doing and how we do things.

I especially like the story she relays about meeting Al Gore.

Anyways, if ya got a few minutes check it out.

Update 20-Oct-2006 The video of the speech is also available on Google Video.

Youth views: poltician and media trust, refugees, global warming

The Democrats have released the results of their latest youth survey, reported by AAP.

It’s interesting that water in the Murray, refugee detention and global warming are high on the mind of young people. I knew that trust in the mainstream media was low, but the last two sentences even had me surprised:

The survey also uncovered an overwhelming distrust of politicians among Australia’s youth, with only four per cent saying they trusted politicians.

However, politicians beat the media, which came in last in the trustworthy stakes, with a paltry three per cent of the vote.

What I think is the warning bell for media companies is that this is their future audience speaking. Perhaps they think they can just keep putting out entertainment masquerading as news and get away with it. But with the advance of social media and citizen journalism, maybe they need to think again…