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CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470375044
ISBN-10: 0470375043
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Editorial Reviews


“In his timely book, CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World (Wiley, 2008), Tom Watson tracks the growing trend of activists creatively using online media to generate new forms of involvement, support, and fundraising. Watson presents a series of case studies and anecdotes from his personal experience to analyze networked activism and provide a set of principles, as well as a few words of caution, for effective online organizing. All in all, the book provided a great read.” (FliptheMedia.com, February 2009)

"It's a fascinating read, not least because the principles he outlines for effective online organising are based on his own experiences. He has clearly identified the ways in which the network (Kiva.org) is making a difference, and given us a valuable primer in the ways in which those who want to change the world can make effective use of the tools and services now available." (BBCNews.com; 11/4/08)

"Journalist Tom Watson explores where technology and social action meet in this new release. Coining the phrase "CauseWired", Watson describes a movement that's tapping the web in creative ways to generate interest in activism-from organizing to raising funds." (The Business Review; 1/9/09)

"The campaign would not have happened if I hadn't read CauseWired. It is that simple. I think I knew everything I needed before the book, but CauseWired gave me something that I hadn't given it credit for in my earlier review: detailed, specific inspiration. The examples in that book gave me some confidence and momentum I would otherwise have lacked. If its effect on my life is the measure of a book's worth, then CauseWired ended up as the most valuable book I read in 2008." (additiverich.com, January 14, 2009)

"Watson, veteran consultant, journalist, and entrepreneur, gives us CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World, published last month by Wiley. It's an important book. Why? Because what Watson analyzes here is a trend that will affect the entire non-profit sector and has implications for how change will happen in the future. His personal reflections speak to a deep engagement in the sector, which lends color to this book and makes for an engaging read. Watson provides an excellent road map of understanding about this new, wired (and wireless) approach to generating support. Anyone interested in the future of philanthropy should read this book, because the future has arrived." (The Green Skeptic Blog, December 8 2008)

"Anyone interested in using online activism against the death penalty should take a look at the new book, CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World. It is about using online activism to change the world. The author, Tom Watson, also has a blog that is worth a look." (Grits for Breakfast Blog, November 2008)

"It is required reading. Not just because of the importance of the subject matter, not just because increasingly your business demonstrably has to stand for something, but also because it is filled with lessons in low cost marketing and you just know you're going to be expected to market smarter in the coming years." (makemarketinghistory.com, 10/24/08)

“In sum, this is a must-read for anyone in this burgeoning social-media-for-social-change space. It is recommended reading for anyone who wants to better understand what’s taking place on the social web in general. We’re officially adding it to our sidebar of recommended reading. And we look forward to hearing about your reactions to CauseWired…and which pages you were compelled to dog-ear for future reference.” (maxgladwell.com, October 2008)

  “I want to change things, and some things really need changing. If you have ever felt like that, then this is a book for you. It is not a "how to" book in the way of thousands of other pointless pages of lists. This is a down in the dirt, first hand reportage on some of the largest social movements on the Internet and what made it work for them.” (blog.david.bailey.net, 10/5/08)

  “If you’re in the nonprofit world and haven’t yet taken advantage of the online space, then this book is full of great ammunition for you to take to your executives to persuade them that it’s the right thing to do.” (endlessplain.com, 9/23/08)

"Causewired is the first book focused on making sense of social media in the nonprofit world. Watson not only gets it—but he also explains why social media matters in understandable terms. Tom Watson’s Causwired, is must reading for anyone in the nonprofit world." (Blackbaud.com, September 17, 2008)

From the Inside Flap

CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World

or today's super-wired, always-on, live-life-in-public young Americans, thecauses they support define who they are. Societal aspirations have so permeatedthe "net-native" population that causes have become akin to musical tastes, choices, and "blog bling." Redefining twenty-first-century activism, CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World identifies some of the best examples of the cause culture in action and will motivate you to launch yourself down the path of wired social change.

This authoritative book showcases wired causes in action—from Facebook causes and campaigns on MySpace to startups like Kiva, DonorsChoose, and Change.org. It covers the massive societal impact of online social networks in raising money for charity, changing the political climate, electing candidates, and raising consciousness for causes, from the local to the global.

Expertly describing how rapid advances in media and technology and in the ways you communicate are changing how you support causes, this insightful book:

  • Suggests that what some refer to as online social activism and peer-to-peer philanthropy is quickly becoming an influential political and cultural sector

  • Reveals how new technology and the human urge to communicate will create the basis for a golden age of activism and involvement

  • Describes how increasing the reach of philanthropy improves the openness of government and our major social institutions

  • Explores how a super-wired, socially networked cause will change how corporations approach consumers, how charities ask people for money, how candidates seek votes, and how ordinary Americans view their place in the world

  • Shows how you can participate in organizations in a way never before possible—by organizing communities of donors, creating volunteer opportunities, and engaging in direct dialogue

  • Offers real-world stories of success and introduces you to some of the people—famous and almost unknown—powering this movement

Causes matter to today's consumer and they especially matter to companies, to stock prices, to sales, and to brands. An empowering road map for anyone serious about understanding the social impact of causes on the social web, CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World will change how you respond to that underlying human impulse to help others by leveraging your online social network to effect positive change, improve your communities, and change your world.

Join the CausedWired Discussion: www.causedwired.com


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470375043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470375044
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,424,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Tom Watson is a journalist, author, media critic, entrepreneur and consultant who has worked at the confluence of media technology and social change for more than a 15 years. He is the author of CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World (Wiley, 2008 ) a best-selling book that chronicles the rise of online social activism, and managing partner of CauseWired Communications LLC, a consultancy based in New York.

During his long career as journalist, Tom has written for The New York Times, Huffington Post, techPresident.com, Social Edge, Industry Standard, Inside, Worth and Contribute magazines, among many other publications. He writes about politics and media on his personal blog, My Dirty Life & Times, and is the founder and editor of Newcritics.com, a group blog on popular culture. Before launching CauseWired Communications, Tom served for nine years as chief strategy officer of Changing Our World, Inc., the international philanthropic services company he helped to found. Tom is the publisher of onPhilanthropy.com, CauseWired's extensive online resource for philanthropy professionals, and co-founder of the annual Summit onPhilanthropy, a gathering of philanthropy leaders in New York.

Before joining the philanthropy sector, Tom was co-founder and co-editor of @NY, the pioneering Internet news and information service that chronicled the rise New York's Silicon Alley new media in the mid-90s. Early in his career, Tom was the executive editor of The Riverdale Press, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx, where he covered politics and won more than a dozen state and national awards for excellence in journalism.

Tom Watson is a frequent speaker and commentator on trends and issues related to media, technology and society and has appeared on shows ranging from CNN's Moneyline to NPR's All Things Considered. He has spoken at venues that include the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Symposium, MIT Enterprise Forum, the Conference Board, Boardsource Leadership Forum, and the Performance Institute as well as in university settings, including Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, New York University and City University London. He is widely quoted on issues related to philanthropy and media in publications that include Newsweek, USA Today, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Women's Wear Daily and the Christian Science Monitor.

Over the years, Tom was worked with many clients in case development, strategic planning, communications, branding development and marketing, as well as fundraising and development planning, including organizations such as Cabrini Mission Foundation, TrickleUp, North Shore-LIJ Health System Foundation, the International Center for Journalists, the Case Foundation, Save Ellis Island, the Tiger Woods Foundation, the Tuskegee Airmen, Catholic Relief Services, Christian Blind Mission, the Wealth & Giving Forum, and many others.

Tom is a member of the board of directors of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a progressive think tank based in New York. He holds a degree in English literature from Columbia University, where he served as an adjunct professor of new media at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Mount Vernon, NY with his wife, artist Beryl Watson, and their three children, Veronica, Kelsey and Devon.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It probably happens to you once or twice a year.

A well known charity knocks at your door during its annual fund raising appeal. You make a donation and in return get a receipt. This brief encounter speeds your money off somewhere to help someone somehow. Or you might donate regularly to an aid agency that sends out an annual letter about a sponsored child in the third world.

This remote control philanthropy - where your donation helps someone but you're unsure who or how - is set to change according to US author Tom Watson. In his book Cause Wired he argues that Web2.0 technology is arming not for profit organizations with "weapons of mass collaboration" and transforming how people support good causes.

Watson believes that social networking applications like Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin etc are evolving from personal promotion into important fund raising, activist and political tools. And it seems internet users of all generations are welcoming the change. Members of Generation Y find that digitally supporting the issues they believe in is a natural extension of living their lives in public, online. And Baby Boomers are attracted because the new ways of online giving allow them to be personally involved and see results for themselves.

Watson explains how pioneer charities are beginning to use the power of Web 2.0 to gather, sort and distribute information to donors in a way once reserved for only their very wealthiest supporters. kiva.org is probably Cause Wired's best example of online fund raising. This digital not for profit allows small scale donors to use their credit cards and laptops to help struggling entrepreneurs in developing countries.
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Format: Hardcover
It is a very well written and researched look at how these tools have been are being leveraged for social change in way that is new and will continue have major implications. The book is a cogent analysis of the past, current, and future of online activism and fundraising using social networking tools. It's the perfect book to hand an executive director or board member or Communications VP who may not be as hands on with these tools as we are - and needs to understand the big picture.

Beth Kanter
Beth's Blog
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Format: Hardcover
CauseWired by Tom Watson describes an ongoing revolution in philanthropy sparked by the Internet's social networks. Sites like Kiva, DonorsChoose, and Change.org allow people to choose the global or local causes that matter most to them, to donate even small sums according to their preferences and passions, and often to see how their efforts benefit those causes.

A fluid and engaging writer, Watson, who knows the entrepreneurs behind these sites, and has participated in charitable and online start-ups from the Web's early years, describes how even Facebook and My Space allow people to add causes to their profile pages, making causes like AIDS/HIV awareness or cancer research part of their "identity." By advocating these causes with badges and inviting their "friends" to join, they raise awareness and passion even if they're not contributing money, because of youth or (temporarily) insufficient means. While major philanthropists like Warren Buffet will always play the biggest roles, a multitude of friends can make a big impact on any number of causes, from stopping genocide in Darfur to promoting women's health to education or cancer research--whatever issue hits closest to one's heart.

Watson also describes "Flash Causes," where millions of people blog, petition, and phone politicians and bureaucracies, such as insurance company Cigna, which denied Nataline Sarkisyan a liver transplant until she died; or Mukhtaran Bibi placed under house arrest by her native Pakistan for speaking out about human rights; and even the victims of hurricane Katrina. Using the Internet's social networks, people can call up virtual storms of outrage. These can, and have, pressed higher powers into action.

In the wake of the online groundswell that helped to elect Barack Obama, this book is timely and inspirational. Causewired is a phenomenon that is still in its infancy, but is already changing the world.
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading CausedWired by Tom Watson[...]. Tom writes about how individuals and institutions are changing the face of philanthropy using new media tools. We are living through an exciting time where you don't have to be a socialite or a fortune 500 CEO to be a philanthropist. You can be a high school student with a facebook account or a young professional that connects using Twitter. The book is a great study on how Gen X and Y are being philanthropic and how nonprofits are changing how they interact with the public to be more accessible using these tools. This is one of the few books that I read that immediately caused me to do something I said I would never do. After reading the first two chapters I opened a Facebook account and connected with my organization's donors and volunteers. CauseWired made me rethink that position. Multiple access points helps individuals get to know your cause and while we aren't using those tools as a fundraising method right now, being accessible better connects you to supporters and makes your work more transparent. CauseWired is a great study in how these web 2.0 tools are being used, who is using them effectively, and what the true potential is of these mediums.

This book is a must read if you are developing strategies for reaching new donors and supporters using web tools.

Trista Harris
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